"My residency at Lakeside Lab gifted me not only the time and space to write, but also the new experiences I craved to inspire and invigorate my work. During my residency, I cored lake sediment with the diatoms class, collected water samples with CLAMP volunteers on East Okoboji, and caught sight of a Prothonotary Warbler perched among the cottonwood trees of Lakeside’s waterfront. I found birding with Professor Bernstein’s ornithology class especially inspiring, as I am currently working on a short story inspired by mist netting.
This residency also gave me the opportunity to work on my audio storytelling skills. I interviewed and chatted with a whole troop of pleasant and knowledgeable students and instructors about their experiences at Lakeside Lab. As someone interested in podcasting, I appreciated the freedom to experiment and learn how to shape these narratives.
I am grateful to the Friends of Lakeside for supporting and valuing writers and their work. It’s an important and gracious thing that you do here. Thank you again!" — Jenna Mertz, 2016 Lakeside Summer Writer in Residence