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I spent today working through my proposal, and expanding on ideas.  I’ve been looking into other residencies, and have emailed HiArts about the Shetland Arts Residency which hosted Susanna Jones as writer-in-residence in 2006, as out of all the residencies I’ve looked at, this seems to fit the project best in terms of its rural location.  It seems that while residencies vary hugely, they roughly fit into the following categories:

1) Public sector – universities, colleges, prisons, libraries, like the Writers in Prison network.

2) Permanent space – designated for artists and writers, like the poetry residency at Wordsworth’s cottage in Grasmere 

3) Business / corporate environment – law firms, hotels etc. Michael Morpurgo, Fay Weldon and Kathy Lette have all been writer in residence at the Savoy, with a free room and breakfast thrown in.  Personally, I think the project van is just as palatial!

4) Arts – festivals, year of the artists etc, either virtual (online or covering a large area) or in a specific location.  The duration of residencies also varies.  The Frome Festival hosts a residency programme that lasts just a few hours.

5) Virtual – online entirely, as part of a website, or as part of a virtual writing project.  The Scottish Book Trust has just started a virtual residency.  Have a look here.

I’m particularly interested in Frothy Tales, a series of short stories that was produced as part of a writing residency at Costa. Davey Spens spent six months writing in Costa coffee shops, travelling to different parts of the country and recording his observations of Costa customers, which was the starting point for Frothy Tales. The stories are now on sale in branches of Costa and are available to download here.

Also, ‘The Town is the Venue’, community based arts project run by Deveron Arts, which includes hosting residencies.  There seems to be a lot going on in Scotland which would translate well to Cornwall.

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Final proposal approved!  Here it is:

Writing in Residence

Aims: 

–         to set up and plan a writing residency.

–         to produce writing during the residency, in response to my location and surroundings

–         to devise a schedule of collaborative activities to take place during the residency (e.g. workshops) in order to involve community in writing, as well as scheduling time for own writing

–         to come up with various ways of transmitting writing produced during residency, both during and after my time in residence (e.g. readings, blog postings, publication in final anthology as part of larger project etc)

–         to take into consideration practical issues such as funding/budgeting, ethics, materials etc

–         to research the work of other writers in residence and other residencies, as well as the work of funding bodies such as the Arts Council, in order to set up and evaluate my own residency

–         to liaise with other writers and artists involved in parallel residencies as part of both research and creative processes

–         to set-up a blog in order to document the process, which can be linked into my final write-up

 

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After speaking to Annie up at Treloan, I have booked the project van for 12th-15th July for my own residency!  I will be living on site and staying in the project van.  This means I’ll be able to have space and time in which to produce my own writing, as well as organise collaborative activites such as workshops, and have the opportunity to get my writing out to a new audience.  Given the other residencies happening at Treloan over the summer, it’ll also give me the chance to collaborate with other artists and projects going on.  We chatted about how interesting it will be to be in residence at a location so close to my own home.  I’m really interested to see how my perspective changes and how this affects my writing.

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