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Writing Opportunities

Last updated 2 years ago by Jon Wilkins

I received a really interesting email Newsletter from the Dutch Foundation for Literature.

In it they give writers the opportunity to apply for residential stays at home and abroad. The chance to write in ‘blissful silence in mind and body’, as Miriam Rasch calls it

For literary translator Lisa Thunnissen, the residency period in Banff resulted in an acknowledgement of aspects of her Dutchness that she had not noticed before.

Hanna Bervoets concluded after her stay at the Ledig House: ‘At best, the residence is a magical environment that completely engulfs the writer, giving her reborn to the world.’

Kim van Kaam, head of literary talent development at De New East | Wintergarden, had a month with a Wanderlust scholarship in the US and Canada which allowed her to see her work in a totally new broader perspective: “I thought I came here only to do research … Only after that first week did I realize that I am a resident here… I have shared who I am and what I do and with that I have made connections: with people and with organizations.’

The Dutch Foundation for Literature ask whether writers want to take a gap or research period to help with their writing. Could your work or literary career benefit from a residence or trip? Writers, translators and graphic novelists can apply for a travel grant throughout the year for research that is necessary for their book. Foreign festivals and organizations can apply for a travel allowance if they invite a Dutch illustrator or writer to promote a recent translation. And finally, through the guest writer programme of the Language Union, there are special possibilities of temporarily being attached as a writer to the department of Dutch Studies at a foreign university.

Perhaps you could apply to Wanderlust. Here the Dutch Foundation for Literature describes what it is about:

“With Wanderlust, the Letterenfonds offers both talented writers and mediators the opportunity to develop further in an international setting. By mediators we mean, for example, programme makers at literary festivals or editors at literary magazines or websites. Within Wanderlust they can apply for a scholarship for their own research; This creates space for acquiring knowledge at foreign festivals or organizations, expanding the literary network and for professional deepening.”

Then there is Deltaworkers in New Orleans.

The Foundation tells us that this is:

“For talented young writers in all literary genres, the Wanderlust programme offers research residencies of two months at Deltaworkers in New Orleans or at the multidisciplinary Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. More information about the specific character of both residences, the application procedure, and experiences of previous residents can be found on the Foundation website.”

If you are a Literary translator why not attend Ledig House in upstate New York or the Banff Center in Canada?

Ledig House

“In collaboration with two North American organizations, the Nederlands Letterenfonds offers residencies to literary translators the opportunity to work on a book translation in an inspiring environment in Spring 2019.”

Banff Center

“The Banff Center in Canada offers the opportunity to work in the International Literary Translation Center for three weeks.”

If a Poet, writer or literary translator you can attend Roland Holsthuis. This seems a special place to write. The foundation quotes:

“See how the house is hidden in the green. Open the gate and listen: it sounds like a dinosaur at rest. Walk up the path, along the roses, to the back of the house. Turn the corner. Sit on the bench by the kitchen door. Listen to the birds, to the murmur of the wind.”

This is a motivating place and applications are open for a one-month stay at the Roland Holsthuis on the Nesdijk in the artists’ village of Bergen.

The Publishers in the Netherlands, NIAS (KNAW) have a writer in residence program at the NIAS in Amsterdam “…in a joint initiative of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Humanities and Social Sciences and the Dutch Foundation for Literature. At the moment Poet and essayist Hélène Gelèns is working at the NIAS on her first novel. She will be succeeded in early 2019 by Syrian/Swedish poet Ghayath Almadhoun

The Dutch Foundation for Literature has given dozens of writers from around the world the chance to be inspired by Amsterdam during their stay at the writers’ residence of the Letterenfonds.

“John Green wrote The Fault in Our Stars here, Olga Tokarzcuk worked on the Man Booker Prize 2018-winning novel De rustelozen, and recently Paolo Cognetti was a guest. Publishers in the Netherlands can nominate a foreign author for a period in 2020 – the agenda for 2019 has largely been completed. With the residency, the Letterenfonds wants to encourage international exchanges in the literary field in the Netherlands.”

They stress though that it is essential that the work of the author in question has already been translated into Dutch, and that he or she is prepared for publicity efforts.

TransArtists is a really progressive initiative. It is for those who want to orientate themselves more extensively using the database of DutchCulture | TransArtists where they can locate an unprecedented amount of information about residences in all shapes and sizes worldwide. The database can be searched by region and discipline or keyword. Check there website here.

Finally we have the Villa Marguerite Yourcenar. This is not run via the Letterenfonds, but is interesting for Dutch writers, translators and illustrators. The Villa Marguerite Yourcenar is situated in a rural area near Bailleul on the French-Belgian border. In this house are four apartments for guests. Here authors, translators, illustrators from France or the European ‘neighboring countries’ can work for one or two months.

So here you have it Utrecht city of Literature, the chance to go away and be inspired to write more. If you can think of leaving your very own Utrecht why not take a look at these opportunities?

Check their website for more information.

Jon Wilkins
Jon Wilkins
Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.


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