DETROIT, MI— With one week left to apply for Detroit’s inaugural Write A House literary residency, the Board members proudly announce that renovations of the first house have begun. The property, purchased for $1,000 in a foreclosure auction, will be transformed in 14 weeks. In September it will be awarded to a writer to keep, forever, following a two-year trial period during which the author will live in the home rent-free.
Construction is led by Detroit-based Zac Cruse Construction with a team of 7-10 Young Detroit Builders on site four days a week. Young Detroit Builders are 18-24 year old students working towards their GED while earning a modest living allowance and participating in this full-time 10-month training program.
Applications are coming into Write A House from around the nation and world. To date, most applicants are from California, Michigan, and New York, in that order, and there are much more fiction applications than poetry and nonfiction.
Accomplished writers who will serve as judges include: Toby Barlow, Billy Collins, dream hampton, Major Jackson, and Sean MacDonald. Writing quality is the most important part of the application, but judges will also look for the ability of applicants to contribute to the neighborhood and the wider literary culture of Detroit. Eligible applicants must be low- or moderate-income writers with some history of publication. They must also be U.S. citizens and age 18 or over. Details about the application process and the Write A House program can be found at www.writeahouse.org.
Write A House will winnow applications to a shortlist of 10 finalists that will be announced in August 2014, and will publicly spotlight their talent and passion for Detroit. The winner of the first Write A House residency will be announced in September 2014. Write A House will allow the writer a generous timeline for relocation, if needed, based on job status and distance of a potential move.
Interested writers and non-writers alike can help this project by making a donation to Write A House on their website through Fundly. You can follow Write A House on facebook and twitter for updates on construction and the judging process.
All applications must be turned in by noon on Saturday June 21 for consideration in this first round of judging. Applications are accepted online here: https://writeahouse.submittable.com/submit.
Sarah F. Cox | 646.704.4558 | @xoxoCox
Co-Founder and VP, Write A House Detroit, MI