Sometimes you need inspiration to write. These writer residencies aim to give you that.
Writer’s block can be the worst.
There are many creative opportunities to help writers write, whether you’re on deadline or have some time to sit and put words down.
Last year, we covered writer residencies and fellowships in Become a Better Writer: 12 Offbeat Residency Programs to Get on Your Radar Now.
Here are a dozen more programs to consider, should you need a change of scenery to start that writing project or push that best-selling novel out of your head.
1. The coastal Pacific Northwest is calling.
Willapa Bay AiR is situated on 16 acres of the Washington state coast. Willapa Bay offers month-long residencies to artists, writers, singer/songwriters, and music composers. The residency program launched March 2014. It features lodging, meals, and work space — at no cost — to six residents every month, from March 1 through Sept. 30.
Applications are evaluated by selection committees comprised of working artists and professionals in each applicant’s respective field of discipline. The application period for a 2019 residency opens on May 15, 2018.
2. Because you’ve always wanted to work for The New York Times.
The New York Times is creating a one-year residency for journalists who write, shoot, and share stories on social. You need to have two years’ reporting experience to apply.
According to The Times: “We are looking for reporters who can tell image-driven stories focusing on subcultures using tools like Instagram, Snapchat, photography, video and more. They will contribute to a new series called ‘Surfacing’ that sheds light on these communities, find depth in the offbeat niche and reveal stories that make us rethink what we already know about the world.” The goal: Explore culture that binds people together.
3. Retreat to the home region of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.
The Millay Colony for the Arts residency program offers two-week to one-month-long retreats to six visual artists, writers, and composers every month, from April to November. Artists of all ages are invited to apply. Each residency includes a private bedroom and studio on the seven-acre upstate New York campus, which is adjacent to the former home and gardens of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.
“We do not emphasize events or production goals,” says the Millay Colony for the Arts site. “We believe we can offer artists nothing more precious than the chance to work, and we provide everything an artist needs to organize her time for maximum productivity.”
Application deadlines are March 1 for August through November stays, and Oct. 1 for April through July stays of the following year.
4. Spread out at a historic working ranch in the American Midwest.
Located on 30,000 acres at the base of the Medicine Bow National Forest outside of Saratoga, Wyo., Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts is situated between the Sierra Madre and Snowy Mountain ranges.
Writers, visual artists, performance artists, musicians, and composers are encouraged to apply for two- and four-week residency programs. Residency includes lodging, meals, and working facilities. The site notes that priority will be given to the applicants applying for four-week residency programs.
Brush Creek Ranch dates to 1884, when the Sterrett brothers settled the land and built the original homestead with logs cut, skid and hauled from the adjoining national forest. In 2008, the ranch was purchased by Bruce White, chairman and CEO of White Lodging.
5. Because it’s BuzzFeed.
While the deadline just passed for 2018 fellowships at BuzzFeed, you should put the fourth annual fellowship on your radar now. BuzzFeed is offering $14,000 stipends to writers to work four months with senior editorial staff in its New York office.
“With the mission of diversifying the broader media landscape by investing in the next generation of necessary voices, BuzzFeed’s Emerging Writers Fellowship is designed to give writers of great promise the support, mentorship, and experience necessary to take a transformative step forward in their careers,” the site says.
Fellows will focus on personal essay writing, cultural reportage, and criticism.
6. A cottage in Stockholm? Yes, please.
If you’re a fiction writer or playwright, listen up: There’s a Baltic Writing Residency in Sweden that offers writers $1,000 and a free three- to four-week stay in a furnished cottage.
The site describes some of what you’re getting into: “Stockholm encompasses 14 islands of the vast Stockholm archipelago on the Baltic Sea. The cobblestone streets and ochre-colored buildings of medieval Gamla Stan, the old town, are home to a 13th-century cathedral, the royal palace of Kungliga Slottet and its underground armory, cafes and restaurants. Ferries and sightseeing boats shuttle passengers between islands, beneath more than 50 bridges.”
Residency applications are chosen by an anonymous peer-review committee, including a fiction writer, poet, and member of Harvard University’s English department. Candidates must submit applications by Jan. 15 of every year.
7. Stay in Martha’s Vineyard for a nominal fee.
The Noepe Center Residency program was established as the Martha’s Vineyard Writer’s Residency in 2007. Its mission is simple: “to provide writers of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, memoir, and plays a place in which to create or complete new works.”
While the center is no longer accepting applications for 2017 writing residencies, you can start thinking about your submission for 2018. Residencies cost $400 a week for the spring and fall. A summer residency runs $800 a week.
The Noepe Center accepts up to 10 writers at a time. Writers can stay two to six weeks. Each resident has a private room with a bath in a historic inn in Edgartown, Mass.
8. Or maybe you’re looking for a short stint on the East Coast.
Want something in the one- to two-week range? Wildacres Residency Program offers this from April to October.
You’ll stay in one of three cabins on the property, which is situated in the North Carolina mountains. And if you need to bunk up because you’re working on a project that involves another person, no sweat.
“We allow two people collaborating on a project to come together and stay in Azalea cabin, which has a loft to accommodate the second person,” the site says. “When applying, fill out one application stating the nature of your project and information about both participants.”
The residency program began in 1999 and has since hosted nearly 700 writers, artists, and musicians. The program is open to anyone, with a limit of two residencies in any four-year period.
9. Who could deny the Big Easy?
The New Orleans Writers’ Residency is a writers’ haven near the French Quarter.
“This coming January, the NOLA Writers’ Residency will offer a small group of writers a four-week writing retreat,” the site says. The retreat covers lodging, up to $500 in airfare, and a $200 weekly stipend for food and entertainment. It also will include a weekly excursion to points of interest in and around New Orleans, including Whitney Plantation.
The January 2018 residency takes place Jan. 8 to Feb. 5. Six winners will be chosen from the pool of applicants.
10. Spend the winter in Mexico.
The 360 Xochi Quetzal Artist and Writer’s Residency Program is located on the shores of the largest lake in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico. The region has become an international artist mecca, with its near perfect year-round climate and stunning lake and mountain views.
“Our aim is to support artists, writers and musicians who would benefit from having uninterrupted time to devote to their creativity,” the site says. “By providing free housing and a generous food allowance, we hope that our residents can make artistic progress without the stress and distractions of daily life.”
The program features studio space and appropriate equipment. For example, it provides a professional easel for painters. The Lower Casita has a Cress sample kiln for ceramic artists. There also is a 33” floor loom in the Middle Casita for weavers.
11. Maybe a French chateau is more your speed.
La Napoule Art Foundation features group residencies for as long as five weeks in Chateau de La Napoule. Single rooms with private baths are given to up to 10 artists.
“At its core is a belief in the value of the shared experience of personal, professional and artistic discovery that takes place within a supportive environment of peers,” says the foundation. “This program promotes opportunities for cross-cultural dialogue, artistic exchange and exploration of a shared interest in the greater good.”
12. Spend your residency at a national park in Alaska.
Denali National Park & Preserve features an artist-in-residence program dedicated to exploring new ways for visitors to experience Denali. Alaska Native artists and artists between the ages of 16 and 25 are strongly encouraged to apply.
“From hundreds of competitive applications each year, about a half-dozen accomplished artists, writers, and composers are invited by the park superintendent to spend ten days in Denali at their own expense the following winter or summer,” the program says. “Visits include a permit for limited access along the Denali Park Road and time alone at a historic ranger patrol cabin.”
Each participant volunteers to lead a public outreach activity with park visitors. Entries are accepted every year from May 15 through Sept. 30 for winter and summer residencies of the following year.
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Christine Cube is a senior audience relations manager with PR Newswire and freelance writer. Follow her at @cpcube.