Update—2021 Writer-In-Residence

Last year at this time, I introduced you to Friday Harbor resident Liz Smith, the 2020 Writer-In-Residence on the Washington State Ferries (WSF). Liz was selected from a dozen applicants to succeed me for the volunteer position. Her plan was to write on board weekly to complete a documentary script about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup for the PBS “Changing Seas” series

In her application for the WIR, Liz had this to say about why she wanted the position:

“I enjoy what the ferry offers in terms of both peacefulness and connectedness — the ebb and flow that brings both quiet, reflective moments, and packs of kids and families that take over the space, in the best possible way. I also love being out on the water. And I love running into strangers and friends. I’m grateful for the way the ferry connects us in the islands with each other and the rest of the world.”

As we all know, those aspects of the residency changed dramatically with the COVID-19 pandemic. Liz has kept writing, but since March 17, not on the Interisland. 

In June, she announced on the WIR Facebook page the screening of “A Decade After Deepwater.” If you missed it, you can watch the 27-minute episode at https://www.changingseas.tv/season-12/1202/.

Forty-one miles off the Louisiana coast, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig leased by BP exploded into the Gulf of Mexico, April 20, 2010. Photo courtesy of “Changing Seas:  Episode 1202.”

Recently, Liz learned the film was nominated for a regional Emmy award!

Producer (and WIR) Liz Smith interviews Dr. Erik Cordes about his work with deep sea corals and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Photo courtesy of “Changing Seas:  Episode 1202.”

As I did in 2019, August 2020 would have been the time to put out a call for the 2021 Writer-in-Residence. Knowing that Liz’s term was cut short in March, it only seemed fair to extend it into 2021. Fortunately, Liz was available and eager to stay in the role. 

We don’t know when Liz will resume her writing on the Interisland, but she and I will keep you updated on Facebook and blogs. Wherever we are, though, you can be sure Liz and I continue to write about the Salish Sea and other parts of our threatened environment. 


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