Resident Fellows Program
For our 2013-14 round of residencies, we invite applications from two participants interested in a collaborative project. You'll find more information below.
"The residency gave me the much needed time and space to complete the first draft of my novel. That in itself was significant. But in addition I had the opportunity to be a guest of the community – to meet new people and a new culture and to enjoy the hospitality of my hosts and their friends and people I met… I also loved the experience of being in such an extraordinary natural environment and one that is so different to where I come from… It was a completely unforgettable and wonderful experience that I will always treasure." ---Jesse Blackadder, September 2007 Resident, Fiction, Australia
Our Resident Fellows program was initiated in 1989 to encourage the work of both promising and published writers who share the Island Institute’s interest in fostering a language of community and place, and to create a link between the literary arts and the community of Sitka. Since then, the Institute has hosted over sixty-five residents for month-long stays, typically three or four a year. Those who have come—poets, essayists, novelists, short story and screen-writers—reflect the wealth of expression in the literary arts, and a wide range of accomplishment from established authors to gifted aspiring writers. In November 2004 we began a collaboration with the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program that has allowed us to host residents each year from around the world. So far, they have come from Ireland, Slovenia, Denmark, Russia, Australia, South Africa, and Mauritius.
Our Resident Fellows program is structured to allow writers time to pursue their own work while getting to know our unique island community in the forested coastal mountains of Southeast Alaska. Because the Institute’s central interest is the nature of vital communities, we select residents who share that interest and will enjoy engaging with Sitkans during their stay. In return, we believe that the gift of Sitka’s spectacular landscape and the congenial character of the community are likely, in inestimable ways, to inform the residents’ work. Sitkans, in turn, enjoy the opportunities to meet and get acquainted with Institute residents, and have come to anticipate with interest and pleasure the time these people spend in our community—a reciprocal relationship that benefits all involved.
For our 2013-14 cycle of residencies we are inviting applications from writers who are interested in pursuing a collaborative project with another person—another writer or someone from a different discipline. The collaborators will come to Sitka for a month and be provided accommodations (including a kitchen) and a stipend for groceries. Community activities will be an integral part of each residency and may include public readings/performances, workshops visits to school classes, an extended radio interview, and a community discussion on the collaborative project. Details about the new round of residencies, including appllication forms, are now available (Adobe pdf files). Feel free to contact us with questions.
“A gift of uninterrupted working time is immeasurably valuable to any creative endeavor. There are three ways, however, in which the Island Institute’s gift differs from other residency programs—
. . . the astonishing landscape of the southeast Alaska panhandle
. . . the community involvement which the Institute fosters
. . . the interdisciplinary nature of the residency program.”
--- Alison Deming, April 1992 Resident, Poetry/Non-fiction, Univ. of Arizona Faculty