Monday, July 18, 2011

Writing Residency: What is it?

View from my writing office window at the Vermont Studio Center

I am very excited to be going to a writing residency on Martha’s Vineyard this October. I’ve received a number of questions from folks asking what that means.

Wikipedia nicely defines a writing residency:
Artist-in-residence programs and other residency opportunities allow visiting
artists to stay and work so that they may apply singular focus to their art practice.
These programs offer conditions that are conductive to creativity and they provide
for working facilities, for both individual artists and groups.

Sometimes a writing residency is hosted some place where there are residencies for visual artists. For example, the Vermont Studio Center, which I attended a few summers ago, hosts both visual artists and writers.  There were open studio visits and readings, which was a wonderful way to cross-pollinate ideas.

The overall goal of a residency is to give the writer time to create. Often a residency has a group of people at once, so that there is the possibility to form a community. Sometimes there is only one person in residency. When there is a group of people, there are often group meals and some activities. Some residencies will hold workshops and classes.

If you scroll down the right hand side column of this blog, you’ll find links to many resources, including one section entitled, “Conferences, Residencies & More.” On these sites, you can search through domestic and international writing residencies.

Have you attended a writing residency? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the Comments section below. 

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