What IS a Writing Residency? How Can You Get One?
Our residency pro shares everything you need to know to select, apply for and land a writer’s residency
Are you toiling over a novel or a book proposal or another writing project, only to be interrupted every minute or hour or day by the pulls of everyday life? If so, a writing residency—a retreat to achieve your writing goals—might be exactly what you need.
How can you land one? How much does it cost? What do you need to pass muster? Residency pro Sheryl Kayne has the answers. In this one-day workshop you will learn about the many different types of residencies, locations, requirements and experiences available.
There are so many decisions and choices to consider: location, length of stay, level of privacy. Do you hope to focus on your writing without interruptions for a week or more, with meals provided for you? Do you prefer to collaborate with other writers? Do you hope to land a free spot? Or are you willing to pay? If so, how much is right? Sheryl will guide you through a questionnaire to help you find the perfect residency of your dreams.
Once you figure out what you want, Sheryl will help you tackle the application guidelines. Rule #1 is key: Having published books, poetry, plays, etc., is great; however having an actual project to work on during the residency is the crucial component. Do you want to write five new poems or complete research for a historical fiction project? She’ll help you articulate your project, come up with a project plan and write a persuasive statement that conveys why you chose to apply to that particular program. Do you work best when surrounded by nature? Do you know a writer who had a successful residency there and recommended it to you? Did you choose it because of their famous writers’ legacy or the number of residents they host at a time?
Sheryl will help you sort out deadlines and fees, and bid you farewell with a plan in hand to succeed in the application process.
Please bring a laptop, iPad or cell phone to access residency websites for information during this workshop.
Instructor Sheryl Kayne is a writer, adventurer and author of books including Volunteer Vacations Across America, named by Amazon as one of the Top 25 new travel guidebooks; and Immersion Travel USA: The Best and Most Meaningful Volunteering, Living, and Learning Excursions, which won the Society of American Travel Writer’s Lowell Thomas award in the Best Travel Guidebook category. Sheryl contributes to publications including the New York Times, USA Today, Working Mother, Shape, Parents, American Profile, The Writer, Writer’s Digest and more.
The recipient of numerous awards for writing, most recently she was the writer-in-residence at Everglades National Park in Homestead, Florida., and a writing fellow at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico.
She is an adjunct professor at the Welch College of Business at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield.