When we writers are not fighting it out with ourselves, what we need most is just time and a space to write. Most of us aren’t very picky. For many, it happens at a kitchen table, even Murakami wrote his first book at one. For others, there is a dedicated space possibly filled with incense and candles to call on the muse. Every writer has their rituals, habits, routines. But sometimes what one needs most is a change of scenery to focus entirely on the task at hand. Writing that is.
There are lots of programs close to home and around the world that offer residencies for writers. Just close your eyes and imagine the ideal locale and working conditions. What do you need to feel creative? What kind of environment do you need to find yourself in? Do you need quiet and isolation or would you prefer to have lots of interaction with other writers and artists? Can you handle the bare minimum and dream of living in the middle of nowhere, at least for a while? Or does that sound like a nightmare?
Whatever it is you may need, there is some place in the world waiting for you. There are a few residencies that provide grants or at least give you free housing while you pay the rest, but the majority on this list require you to spend money to be provided with the time and space you so desperately need. Just because you must pay to go, it doesn’t mean there is no selection process. Residencies in general are very competitive, so keep that in mind when applying and have a contingency plan if the residency you really wanted doesn’t work out.
This list is for the adventurous writer who wants to go somewhere different. Organized in alphabetic order by country.
- Residencia Cozaron in Argentina
- Off the grid in Australia: Lightning Ridge Residency
- Fresh Milk International Residency in Barbados
- Villa Hellebosch in Belgium
- Instituto Sacatar in Brazil
- Culture & Energy Residency in Bulgaria
- Small Pond Arts in Canada
- DongDong & LuLu Artist Residency in three locations in China
- Red Gate Residencies in China
- Intercultural Odysseys in Costa Rica
- Villa Stancia Cicada in Croatia
- Boubouki Cottage in Cyprus
- Guest Studio of the Estonian Artists’ Association
- Artist Residencies in Finnish Archipelago
- La Muse in France
- Takt a.i.r. in Germany
- Outer Space Art Place in Iceland
- Art Castle International Artist Residency in India
- Kooshk Residency in Iran
- Shiro Oni Residency in Japan
- International Writers’ and Translators’ House in Latvia
- Green Olive Arts in Morocco
- New Zealand Pacific Studio Artists’ Residency
- Keret House in Poland – one of the coolest residency opportunities
- Waaw in Senegal
- Konstepidemin in Sweden
- Embassy of Foreign Artists in Switzerland
- Traidhos Arts in Thailand
- Halka Art Project in Turkey
- Maumau in Turkey
- Martha’s Vineyard Writers‘ Residency
Also check out this list of residencies for writers from Aerogramme Studio here. They published this list while I was preparing this post, so I decided to skip those residencies and just link up to their list.
ResArtis is a great resource of residencies for creatives in all types of disciples around the world.
Keep in mind: be aware of any threats traveling to certain parts of the world, be they diseases, political unrest, perceptions of locals of your home country. Obviously, I would not recommend traveling to areas where there are currently unstable political situations or wars (or possibility of war). These may seem obvious, but I just want you to be safe.
Have you ever done a writer’s residency?