Demystifying Writing Residencies
Date: Saturday, May 18th
Time: 10 am - 3 pm (with one-hour lunch break)
Instructor: Miriam Bird Greenberg
Genre: Writing profession
Writing residencies can provide unparalleled opportunities for deep focus on your projects, facilitating long stretches of uninterrupted time so essential for creative breakthroughs. At plenty of residencies, you’ll also find yourself talking shop around a communal dinner table when the day’s work is done, building friendships with writers and artists that can last a lifetime.
But putting together your first residency application (or your fiftieth!) can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve spent hours on applications in the past only to be rewarded with a rejection note months later. This four-hour course aims to demystify residencies from start to finish, offering a comprehensive overview of the types of programs available in the US (and, to a lesser degree, around the world) and what to look for as you choose programs to apply for that are right for you.
In the second half of the class, we’ll do a deep dive into the application process itself, discussing how to approach project statements, what to include in a writing sample, and how residencies and admissions committees handle applications.
By the end of the day, students will have a solid sense of how find residencies that are right for their working style and creative project, and how to best represent themselves and their creative goals in the context of an application.
This class is appropriate for writers working in any genre and at all stages of their career. Much of the material will be aimed at creative writers with little to no residency experience, but those who have applied to and/or attended residencies in the past will leave with a better understanding of the overall field, and plenty of tips and resources to add to their arsenal.
(Final note: Participants will be asked to share their experience applying for and/or attending residencies with the instructor via email a week before the class, and are also welcome to share a recent residency project statement or proposal then, too.)
Miriam Bird Greenberg is a poet and occasional essayist with a fieldwork-derived practice. The author of In the Volcano's Mouth, which won the 2015 Agnes Starrett Lynch Prize, and the chapbooks All night in the new country and Pact-Blood, Fevergrass, she's the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and the Poetry Foundation.
Miriam has written about the nomads, hitchhikers, and hobos living on America’s margins, and is currently at work on a fieldwork-derived manuscript about economic migrants and asylum seekers of Hong Kong’s Chungking Mansions.
A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, Miriam was writer-in-residence at the National University of Singapore in 2017. She lives in Berkeley, where for many years she collaboratively developed site-specific performances for very small audiences.
More about Miriam: http://miriambirdgreenberg.com