The residency couldn’t have come at a better time. There had been more than 16,000 applicants and only a handful of winning writers. There was no cash prize, just a much-needed all-expenses-paid retreat to work on the project of her choosing, free from the distractions of everyday life. There was to be cocktail receptions on the first and last nights. The rest of the time was hers to decide: write alone holed up in her room, collaborate with someone new, or sit at the edge of the infinity pool and simply think about the next story.