If you’re a writer, there is nothing like putting yourself in that perfect setting to write. This might mean something different for different writers. Some like to be out in nature. Neil Gaiman is known for his enclosed gazebo. While some, such as John Green, may be more in their writing zone from the lazy boy recliner at home.
But what if you want or need to find a temporary place of seclusion where you can let your creative flag fly? Writing Residencies might be the place to look. While you could go for a regular apartment or office space, why not get a little more out there with these ten strange writing residencies?
The Mall of America, found in Bloomington, Minnesota, has a five-day Writer-in-Residence program. This program, which doubles as a tourist attraction, involves you sitting at your desk working for at least four hours a day, with your work being displayed on a monitor in real-time. This does mean that whatever you work on during that time will belong to the mall, but it is definitely an experience for writers to check out.
The Fremont Bridge is found in Seattle. In 2016, the city opened a writer’s residence in the northwest control tower. The residence is a studio apartment where you can watch boats pass underneath, as well as the people who cross the bridge. Perfect if being surrounded by nature sparks your creativity!
Perhaps your next book is set in the future, or you find minimalistic design soothing to your creative soul. If so, you might love this residence. These hyper-modern tree houses include seven living modules, and a central module to act as a kitchen and common area. You can stay for two weeks to six months at the cost of 1200 Swiss Francs a month (approximately $1190).
Maybe an actual tree house is more your style. In Scotland, you can visit Outlandia, a workplace that is completely off the grid. They are seeking residents with “proposals that engage with the tensions around nature, industry, tourism, and heritage.”
If you’re a writer who also has a secret desire to be a park ranger, this is the residency for you. In this national park in Alaska, you are paired with a wilderness ranger and together you will explore the national forests while you also assist with light ranger duties.
Whether you’re writing the next great princess story or a gothic mystery, this is the residence for you. Hawthornden Castle is a 17th-century castle tucked away in Scotland. It was once inhabited by the poet William Drummond.
Wojnowice is found in the middle of a picturesque Polish village. Much like Hawthornden, you get to stay in an honest to goodness castle, this one complete with a moat.
Maybe you liked the idea of writing in a forest but weren’t so keen about being a park ranger. In this writer’s residence, you can spend your days walking the majestic forests of Oregon. You’ll also have access to scientists who can answer all of your burning questions about the forest ecosystem.
Want to write a travel story of venturing for miles by train? The Amtrak Residency may be the perfect solution for inspiration. With this retreat, you get a cozy little cabin to write from while the train makes its journey. This residency was created when Alexander Chee tweeted that he wished there was one.
This is probably the most unusual of the group. How many people get to go to Antarctica? Really? Well, in this residency program you get to spend time writing in the southernmost continent on the planet. The program was designed to “increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of the Antarctic and human endeavors.”
Where would your perfect place to write be?
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h/t Literary Hub