helpfulsnowman's picture
Community Manager
helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman February 15, 2017 - 8:47pm

My workplace (a library district) is doing a writer in residence program. It's pretty cool, but I wanted to jump on and see whether anyone here has ever been a writer in residence, what that entailed, how your experience turned out and what you might say to someone putting one of these together, easy pitfalls and the like.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal February 15, 2017 - 10:21pm

I'd also like to hear what exactly a "writer in residence" is.

helpfulsnowman's picture
Community Manager
helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman February 15, 2017 - 11:07pm

The way my place does it, writers interview for the position. The position lasts something like 4 months, and the accepted writer makes something like $1K/month to do a few different things. They're supposed to teach some classes or do some writing-related programming, help with some blogging/social media writing, and then they're supposed to work on a manuscript of some kind, a short story or a novella, that connects with our geographic location in some way. The rights to that manuscript are non-exclusively given to the library. I'm not sure if that's the exact terminology, but the writer still owns the work, and the library has the rights to publish and reproduce however they'd like.

Basically, it's like hiring a writer in a way that's supposed to be mutually beneficial. They get some cash and resources to complete their work, and they provide some stuff. 

I think it's kind of a sneaky way to trick taxpayers into supporting the arts. Which is a good thing, in my eyes.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal February 16, 2017 - 8:10am

I don't know if I'd ever call sneaky a good thing when it comes to taxpayers, but that's an interesting idea.

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel February 16, 2017 - 1:26pm

I am currently doing something like that for my MFA. I have an assistantship with Consequence Magazine, where I provide grunt work support in a variety of ways, grant writing, research, slush pile reading, editing, and assisting with writing events here in Boston. Last time I served the wine. I even went down to AWP for support.

It's a good experience, I get to meet other writers and editors, marketing directors, and organizations that are working towards the same goal, supporting the arts in its various hues.

In return, I get a stipend that helps with my tuition. Depending on the assistantship determines how much of the pie they cover. 

So, that's my experience in a nutshell. Hope that was something like what you wanted.

Oh, and I have to provide at least 5 hours of support a week. Some weaks are light, others are quite demanding.

 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal February 16, 2017 - 1:57pm

This sounds like an internship only, you know, on average better. (I guess it depends on the specific internship...) More diverse than a typical internship, at any rate.