The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (WCDH) partnered with the University of Central Arkansas to survey twenty years of alumni writers-in-residence. The project was undertaken during the summer term by Logan Bridges, Senior Marketing Major, as a directed study program. It was supervised by Dr. Joe Cangelosi, Professor of Marketing at the University of Central Arkansas and long-time alumnus of WCDH.
The primary objective of the effort was to identify the features most important to a writer when they decide to do a residency and choose a writers’ colony. Determining areas where alumni feel WCDH needs improvement will enable issues to be addressed. In addition, demographic information was obtained for planning and grant-writing purposes.
An email was sent to 524 WCDH alumni with a link to the survey. The twenty-one questions took approximately ten minutes to complete. Answers were anonymous and confidential, and results were reported only in the form of totals.
The goal was 100 responses, however 176 WCDH alumni responded providing a plethora of informative quantitative and qualitative data. Logan compiled a detailed, 78-page survey report which included a concise summary as well as a statistical analysis of the data obtained.
Michelle Hannon, Executive Director of the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, said, “It was a pleasure to work with Logan and Joe, and we would like to express our gratitude to them for their work on the survey. Logan is a sharp, insightful, young woman, and I’m extremely impressed with the quality and substance of the survey report. I’d also like to thank the 176 WCDH alumni who completed the survey and provided such candid feedback.” She continued, “In our quest for continuous improvement, this valuable information will serve as a guide. The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow is committed to identifying ways to better meet our writers’ needs. Alumni feedback is critical to this effort.”
Since opening its doors to writers in 2000, The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow has made a lasting impact on the arts and literary communities by providing uninterrupted residency time for writers of all genres, including culinary, composers, and artists, without discrimination. The WCDH has hosted over 1,500 writers from 48 states and 13 countries. For more information, please visit www.writerscolony.org or call Michelle Hannon or Chad Gurley at (479)253-7444.