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Writers' Residences and Colonies

Residencies offer writers uninterrupted time to work on their craft. Residencies vary in length—from two-weeks to several months—but they all share the same goal of providing writers with the time and space to dedicate themselves to the process of writing. If it sounds like a dream come true, then move your schedule around, saddle the spouse with the kids, and convince your boss to approve an extended vacation. If it sounds like torturous hell—endless hours of facing the blank page in a little cottage in the middle of nowhere—than maybe you better reconsider this whole “becoming a writer” thang.

Regardless, residencies provide an excellent excuse to travel far, far away—often to quaint remote towns with lush scenery—for the sake of your writing. And the best part of all? Many residencies are free (yes, free, and you know how much we L-O-V-E free). Residency programs often offer their participating artists room and board—at no charge. It’s like an award. You apply, they accept. And voila! Before you can sneeze, you're in a Colorado mountain cabin where you'll spend the next month working on your first novel. So what are you waiting for?

For a complete list of both US and international residencies and colonies, check out Res Arts: WorldWide Network of Artist Residencies

The Edward F. Albee Foundation
The Foundation maintains the William Flanagan Memorial Creative Persons Center (better known as "The Barn") in Montauk, on Long Island in New York, as a residence for writers, painters, sculptors and composers. Located approximately two miles from the center of Montauk and the Atlantic Ocean, "The Barn" rests in a secluded knoll which offers privacy and a peaceful atmosphere. The Center is open from June 1st to October 1st, and can accommodate comfortably up to five persons at a time. Residencies are for one month periods of time. The standards for admission are talent and need.

Alden B. Dow Creativity Center
The Alden B. Dow Creativity Center offers ten-week residencies to all artists from all disciplines and areas of interest including the arts, sciences and humanities. The Center is located on the Midland campus of Northwood University in Michigan. Residencies are from Mid-June to Mid-August, and the awards include travel reimbursement (up to $500), private studios, board, and $750 stipend. The residencies provide each Fellow the freedom to pursue his/her own concepts through independent, non-scheduled study.

Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Tower View
The Anderson Center has grown to become the largest artist residency community in Minnesota and brings together a varied group of people—dancers, archaeologists, poets, painters, composers, historians, folklorists, writers, scholars, photographers, translators, and anthropologists—through its residency program. Each year, from May through October, the Center makes available private time and space to some 45 artists, writers, and scholars from the United States and abroad. Residencies, which include meals and lodging at the Center, are for two weeks to one month, during which time resident-fellows are expected to work on a clearly defined project.

ArtCroft’s pastoral setting offers the practicing artist a tranquil, natural environment in which to think, plan, and work. Set on 400 acres of rolling Kentucky hills, ArtCroft is a working cattle ranch replete with wildlife ponds, wildflower festooned meadows, and spectacular nightscapes. Experience the restorative power and sense of professional accomplishment that a stay at ArtCroft can bring.

Atlantic Center for the Arts
Located in New Smyrna, Florida, Atlantic Center for the Arts is a nonprofit, interdisciplinary artists’ community and arts education facility dedicated to promoting artistic excellence by providing talented artists an opportunity to work and collaborate with some of the world’s most distinguished contemporary artists in the fields of composing, visual, literary, and performing arts. Participating artists are chosen by Master Artists through an application process to participate in a two-week long creativity exploration their craft. The Master Artists spend two hours per day, five days per week with their Associate Artists. The remaining time can be spent in formal or informal group settings, individual conferences, or just working in the studio.

The Banff Centre
The Banff Centre is an incubator of creativity that inspires and empowers artists, the mountain community, and business and community leaders from Alberta, Canada, and around the world. Located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the Centre provides a unique learning environment where individuals and groups pursue personal and professional development, create new work, engage in applied research, share ideas and experiences, and celebrate accomplishments through performances, exhibitions, and special events.

Caldera provides professional writers and artists of various disciplines the time and space to concentrate on their work. Caldera welcomes applications from those working in traditional mediums as well as from those working in new or interdisciplinary genres. They are particularly interested in receiving applications from artists interested in environmental or site-specific projects. Artists are scheduled for two- to four-week periods of time from December through March.

Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts
The mission of the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts is to support visual and literary artists in New York State, especially in the Finger Lake Regions. The foundation was established in 1994 in accordance with the wishes of Constance Saltonstall, a painter and photographer, who asked after her death that her estate be used to benefit the arts. Since that time, the foundation has established two main programs: the Saltonstall Arts Colony, which provides New York state artists with month-long retreats; and the Individual Artist Grants, providing financial assistance to artists in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

Djerassi Resident Artists Program
Djerassi Resident Artists program is the steward of a 580-acre mountain ranch overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Woodside, California. Residencies are awarded competitively, at no cost, to national and international artists in the disciplines of choreography, literature, music composition, visual arts, and media arts/new genres. They seek applications from emerging and mid-career artists, for whom appointments as resident artists may make a significant difference to their careers, as well as from established artists with national and/or international reputations. Those selected are offered living and studio space for four to five week sessions during the season which runs from mid-March through mid-November.

Espy Foundation
The residency program is the very heart of the Espy Foundation’s mission. The Foundation’s goal is to provide writers and artists of all genres from all over the world with an environment in which they can pursue their work without interruption. Residents live in bay view cottages in the serenely beautiful village of Oysterville, a National Historic District, located near the northern tip of the Long Beach Peninsula on the southwest coast of Washington State. Residents also receive a stipend for food.

Fine Arts Center in Provincetown
The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing emerging writers and visual artists with time and space in which to pursue independent work in a community of peers. Located in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the Work Center provides seven-month fellowships to twenty fellows each year in the form of living/work space and a modest monthly stipend. Residencies run from October 1 through May 1. Fellows have the opportunity to pursue their work independently in a diverse and supportive community.

Hall Farm Center for Arts & Education
Artist residencies at the Hall Farm Center for the Arts & Education are offered at no cost for artists at all stages in their careers working in a variety of mediums. The time is an opportunity to work, relax, reflect, and be inspired by the quiet refuge of the Vermont countryside. Residencies range for one to six weeks, and there are no requirements for how time is spent while at Hall Farm or that a given project be completed.

Headlands Center for the Arts
Headlands Center for the Arts (HCA) is a laboratory for creativity where artists are given time and space to experiment, collaborate and develop new work in a breathtaking natural setting. Located HCA in Fort Barry in the Marin Headlands, Sausalito, California, HCA offers extended, live-in residencies to as many as 30 artists from throughout the U.S. and the world each year and rented studio space for Bay Area artists, providing opportunities for thought and interaction among a diverse community of artists and thinkers working in an array of disciplines.

Hedgebrook is a retreat for women writers of all ages and from all cultural backgrounds. Overlooking Puget Sound on Whidbey Island in Washington state, the Hedgebrook community offers six private cottages that house individual writers. The cottages create a place for stories, poems, novels, plays, essays, and films to emerge and form a small village of working writers. The retreat provides privacy and solitude for residents to work during the day; in the evenings a community exists in which to share ideas and work.

Jentel Artist Residency Program
Jentel Artist Residency Program lies in the Lower Piney Creek Valley in Banner, Wyoming, with spectacular views of the majestic Big Horn Mountains. Residencies provide time, space and facilities for research, experimentation and production for work and ideas in the visual and literary arts. Residents are at liberty to structure their own time and activity. They may choose to maintain their privacy or to engage with other residents and activities at the Jentel Artist Residence Program. Each resident is offered separate living accommodations and work-space. Large well-lit studios are equipped with running water and adequate light for late work. The program welcomes visual artists and writers in all genre.

Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts
The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts offers an average of 38 two to eight week long residencies per year to writers, visual artists and composers worldwide. The Center is located in the historic Missouri River town of Nebraska City. Residents are provided with free housing and studio space, internet access and a $100/week stipend. Deadlines are March 1st for the following 7/1-12/15 and Sept 1st for the following 1/1 - 6/15. Visit the web site for an application and complete guidelines.

Ledig House International Writer Residency
Ledig House International Writer Residency is located approximately two and a half hours north of New York City in the town of Omi, in the scenic Hudson River Valley. Writers and translators from all fields are encouraged to apply for a residence lasting anywhere from one week to two months. Up to 20 writers per session--10 at a given time--live and write on the stunning 300 acre grounds and sculpture park that overlooks the Catskill Mountains. Each year one New Jersey writer will be awarded a two-month residency fellowship to Ledig House.

The MacDowell Colony
The MacDowell Colony is located on 450 acres in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. The Colony's mission is to provide an environment in which creative artists are free to pursue their work without interruption. The Colony is designed to facilitate a balance between social interaction and focus on work. Private studios are available to artists 24 hours a day along with the dining and recreation rooms at Colony Hall, providing an environment adaptable to each individual's needs.

Mary Anderson Center
Since its founding in 1989, the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts has offered artists from around the world a place away from the distractions of everyday life. Named after the 19th century Louisville actress, Mary Anderson, who originally owned the 400 acres that became Mount St. Francis, a Franciscan Friary and Retreat Center in Indiana, the artists are free to hike trails that wind through the hills, woods, and pastures and natural lake in order to contemplate, concentrate, and create.

Millay Colony for the Arts
The Millay Colony for the Arts hosts writers, visual artists, and composers of all ages and in all stages of their artistic career. Groups of six to seven artists representing various disciplines are invited for month-long residencies at the Colony between the months of April and November. The Colony provides each resident a private room and studio, and meals. The gift of a residency affirms for artists that the work they do, and the contribution they make to our society, are important.

Montana Artists Refuge
The Montana Artists Refuge, located in Basin, Montana, is organized to further the creative work of artists, to create residencies for artists, and to provide arts programs and arts education for both artists and community members. The Refuge offers affordable short and long-term living and studio spaces for artists of all disciplines. Each living space includes basic furnishings, a kitchen, bathroom, double bed, and private phone. All facilities are non-smoking. No pets. Visiting artists may come and stay for 1 to 12 months.

Ragdale Foundation
Ragdale is a place where writers and artists of all disciplines can find uninterrupted time to work in a peaceful setting. Ragdale is situated on 50 acres of virgin prairie in beautiful Lake Forest, Illinois, and each year, provides living and working space for more than 200 writers, visual artists and composers from all over the United States and from many other countries.

Sitka Center for Art and Ecology
The mission of the Sitka Center is to expand the relationships between art, nature and humanity through workshops, presentations and individual research projects, and to maintain a facility in harmony with the inspirational coastal environment of Cascade Head along the Oregon Coast. Sitka Center offers artists, teachers, and students a variety of opportunities, including one to five-day workshops for people of all ages and abilities as well as special residency programs for artists and naturalists.

Soapstone provides women writers with a stretch of uninterrupted time for their work and the opportunity to live in semi-solitude close to the natural world. Located in Oregon’s Coast Range, nine miles from the ocean, the retreat stands on twenty-two acres of densely forested land along the banks of Soapstone Creek and is home to much wildlife. Soapstone is set up for two writers at a time, each with her own writing studio. From an applicant pool of 400 to 500, approximately thirty-five writers each year are awarded residencies of one to four weeks.

Ucross Foundation
The Colony is located on a 22,000-acre working cattle ranch at the confluence of Piney, Clear, and Coal Creeks in Ucross, Wyoming. The retreat is twenty-seven miles southeast of Sheridan in the rugged foothills of the Big Horn Mountains. The foundation provides eight residents at a time (four writers and four visual artists) with studio space, living accomodations, and meals. Residency terms are from two to eight weeks.

Vermont Studio Center
The Vermont Studio Center is a nonprofit, year-round, international creative community, serving 600 artists and writers from across the country and around the world in the open, nurturing, supportive work environment of a thirty building campus in Johnson, Vermont. Seventy-five artists and writers participating each month in 4–12 week independent studio residencies are selected to represent an intentional mix of mediums, cultures, experience, and ages.

Virginia Center for the Creative Arts
The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts is a working retreat for writers, visual artists, and composers. Located at Mt. San Angelo, a 450 acre estate in Amherst County, Virginia, the VCCA provides residential fellowships of two weeks to two months in a rural setting where artists may work, free from the distractions and responsibilities of day-to-day life.

The Willard R. Epsy Literary Foundation
The Foundation's goal is to provide writers with an environment in which they can pursue their work without interruption. Writers share accommodations in bay-view cottages in the serenely beautiful village of Oysterville, a National Historic District, located near the Northern tip of the Long Beach Peninsula on the Southwest coast of Washington State. Residents also receive a weekly stipend for food. Both emerging and established poets, fiction writers, creative non-fiction, writers, playwrights, and screenwriters are eligible for the residencies.

The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Arts Colony
The Byrdcliffe Arts Colony is located in the Catskill Mountains, one-and-a-half miles from the center of Woodstock, New York. Founded as an Arts & Crafts community in 1903, it has been a haven for visual artists, writers, crafts people, musicians and theater artists for almost a century. The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild (WBG) offers two residency programs: one-month Artists-in-Residence (AIR) residencies in summer to visual artists and writers. Their goal is to provide solitude in community and undisturbed time in which to concentrate on independent, creative work in company of follow artists.

Yaddo is an artists' community located on a 400-acre estate in Saratoga Springs, New York. Its mission is to nurture the creative process by providing an opportunity for artists to work without interruption in a supportive environment. Yaddo offers residencies to professional creative artists from all nations and backgrounds working in one or more of the following media: choreography, film, literature, musical composition, painting, performance art, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video.

If you are a writer who has recently had a positive experience at a residency program not listed here, please email us about it via In general, we prefer to list established residency programs that offer writers full room, board, and private studio upon acceptance.