The Kerouac Project

FAQ

Writer in Residence Applications

Are there any application fee waivers?

We regret that we are unable to offer these at this time. We are a small group of volunteers operating a year-round writers’ residency, where we cover the operating costs and utilities of owning a house. We give each writer a $600 food stipend. We cover our own insurance, which tripled last year, and we need to make repairs on the historic house. Most of our volunteers are full-time employees outside of Kerouac House, many as writers and teachers. We will look into having a fee waiver application in the future, but this year it won’t be possible. 

Do you accept international applicants?

YES. Definitely. We encourage international writers to apply. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer a travel stipend to get here. Also, please check the U.S. State Department regarding necessary visa application procedures you may have to go through.

What time periods do the SIX available writer-in-residence positions cover?

 
The 2024-2025 residency slots to be filled are as follows:
Residency 1: September 1 through October 20, 2024
Residency 2: November 1st, 2024 through December 22nd, 2024
Residency 3: January 3rd, 2025 through February 23rd, 2025
Residency 4: March 1, 2025 through April 20th, 2025
Residency 5: May 1st, 2025 through June 22nd, 2025
Residency 6: July 1st, 2025 through August 25th, 2025

At the time you submit your application, you will be asked which residency time slot(s) you prefer or are available for. Or you can just indicate ‘any’ if you have no specific time slot preference.

What categories of writing are eligible for submission?

The following categories of writing are eligible for residency submissions: Poetry, Fiction/Short Story, Nonfiction, Play, and Screenplay.

Can I include multiple categories of writing in my submission?

No. You must apply for one category, and your writing sample must match that category. So, for example, if you are applying in the fiction category, your writing sample must only be a fiction sample. You cannot include some fiction and some poems you have written. During the application process and uploading of your writing sample you will be asked to choose which category you are applying in.

Can I apply in more than one category?

Yes, you can, but you will need to start a new application/submission and pay the $50 application fee for that submission as well.

What should I include in my cover letter?

The cover letter should be no more than three paragraphs. The purpose of the cover letter is for you to tell us a little about yourself and the project you would like to work on if you are accepted as a resident. It is not the place to tell us your life story or an in-depth analysis of your artistic vision. Remember, your submission to become a writer-in-residence with the Kerouac Project is based on the quality of your writing sample, not your cover letter.

Why do you require a specific format for prose submissions?

The prose format requirement is designed to make it easier for the Selection Committee members who read and assess the submissions and choose the six residents.
Our standard format for all fiction and nonfiction prose submissions is:
• 10 pages in length maximum.
• 1-inch page margins.
• 1.5 lines spacing.
• Text must be in a 12-point serif font, (preferably Times New Roman as its compact structure allows you the maximum number of words per page).
Those submitting poetry, a play, or a screenplay may continue to follow the genre conventions in their submissions, though your writing sample must also be limited to 10 pages in length.

My résumé is longer than one page. Will you accept this?

While we prefer having a one-page résumé to get a snapshot of you and your experience/accomplishments, you can run to two pages in length should you need to. Remember, in our assessment process, the quality of the writing sample is what matters most, not your résumé. So don’t obsess over the résumé. Your résumé will be uploaded as a separate file along with your writing sample file.

What if my writing sample is longer than 10 pages, may I submit more?

It is strongly encouraged that you stick to the 10-page limit. Remember it is only a sample, not a complete work. More is not always better. However, we understand that if it is just a paragraph or two to finish a short story, a book chapter, or a scene in a play or screenplay, then you can add an extra page to do that. The members of the Selection Committee are instructed not to read beyond 10 pages of a submission but will read an extra page if that extra page is merely a rounding off.

When should I apply?

The submission/application period for Kerouac Project Residencies opens on February 1 this year and remains open for approximately 11 weeks. If your submission is ready to submit, there is no point in waiting until the last week to submit. We encourage writers to submit their applications and writing samples early.
At midnight Eastern Time on the specified end date of the submission period, our submission system automatically stops accepting applications. We will be unable to accept any application after this time, no matter the reason. So apply early and don’t be left out as some have in the past.

Can I mail my submission to you?

No. We will not accept any application that is not submitted to us online. The Kerouac Project uses Submittable to manage the submission and application process, and all writer-in-residence submissions must come through this system. You can get to our submissions application/upload page here: kerouac.submittable.com

Does my submission need to be in English?

Yes, your writing sample must be submitted in English.

When will I know if I have been accepted?

You will be notified by email during the last week of May as to whether or not your submission has been successful. Please do not contact us during the submissions period regarding the status of your submission.

Why is there an application fee?

The Kerouac Project of Orlando is a publicly funded non-profit organization, 501(c)(3), run by volunteers and an unpaid Board of Directors. The application fee goes towards administrative costs associated with the submission process. It also helps keep the writer-in-residence program running by helping provide the food stipend each resident receives, paying for utilities, upkeep of the Kerouac House, and many other things.

Who judges the submissions and chooses the writers-in-residence?

We have a Selection Committee made up of creative writing teachers, professional writers, and other qualified individuals who read and assess all submissions and make the final decision of who will be awarded residencies.

Does the writer-in-residence program cover the cost of travel?

No. If you are selected to be a writer-in-residence at the Kerouac House, you must cover the cost of your travel expenses in getting to and from Orlando.

What is paid for during the 2-month residency?

During the approximately 2-month residency, the Kerouac Project of Orlando covers the cost of lodging and utilities (internet, water, electricity, lawn, alarm system) and provides the resident with a $600 grocery store gift card to pay for their food. There is also a bicycle provided for getting around (grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and even a Dollar Store are within blocks of the house). There is a public bus to get you around to areas outside of College Park, but no automobile is available for the resident. However, friends of the Kerouac Project often provide the residents with rides to local literary events.

Does my work while in the residency program have to be written in English?

No, you may write in your native language. We host you so you can be inspired and removed from the distractions of daily life to focus on your writing in whatever is your primary language. However, prior to the end of your stay, you will participate in a public reading at the Kerouac House where you can read in your native language if that is what you have written your work in. However, a competent English translation of the work you read must be provided and read for the audience by you, or someone else if you do not feel competent reading aloud in English.

Will I have to participate in events during the residency?

We require that you participate in four events while you are a resident: a Welcome Potluck dinner for you, two creative writing workshops you will host (note: you have creative latitude as to what you’d like to do as writing activities in your writing workshops), and a Final Reading of your work at the Kerouac House at the end of your residency.

Orlando has a vibrant literary community and we encourage you to participate in some outside events. As the Kerouac Project writer-in-residence you have the opportunity to read at public readings and be interviewed on the radio and/or a local literary podcast, should you want to. If you have books/chapbooks or other media for sale or to promote, you can do so at most of these events should you choose to participate in them. From time to time during your stay you may be asked to participate when the Kerouac House is used for events such as readings and workshops for local students or book groups.

What are the two creative writing workshops I’d host?

During your stay, you are required to teach two creative writing workshops for the Kerouac Project. These workshops help fund future residencies and maintenance of the Kerouac House, and to aid our mission of bringing the Kerouac Project out into the community. Because we are a volunteer-run nonprofit, writers cannot anticipate compensation for workshops. One workshop will be online so that international writers can attend. The other one can be online or held at the Kerouac House in person. The Kerouac Project board can help with the logistics and advertising of the workshops. You would have creative leeway to present whatever you’d like to teach with whatever activities you’d like to include. This is your moment to teach creative writing in the best way you feel. We want to learn from you and would love to hear your insights on process and craft. In the past, residents have given writing workshops on poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Typically, an online workshop may run for an hour to two, while an in-person workshop may run for two to three hours. The Board of Directors includes creative writing teachers who can add additional guidance should you need it.

Will I be required to live in the Kerouac House for the whole time during the residency?

We require you to be present and living at the Kerouac House during the dates stated (above) for your residency slot. However, we realize that residents have lives beyond their residency, so we grant you up to a maximum of one week during the residency to be away from the Kerouac House or to have family or friends staying with you at the house. If you are unable to meet these requirements, please do not apply for the residency. If you have been accepted as one of our writers-in-residence and your circumstances have changed and you cannot meet these requirements, please let us know as early as possible so we can arrange to replace you with an alternate resident.

Can my family come and stay with me during the residency?

Unfortunately, the Kerouac House is only set up to house a single person. A family member or a friend may visit for a few days during your residency (see question above), but they cannot stay at the house throughout the residency. Besides, the point of a residency is to get away from everyday distractions (including family) to concentrate on your writing.

I’m a scriptwriter. What format should I adhere to?

10 pages of script. Please submit film scripts in spec script format. No camera angles, please. Utilize “How Not to Write a Screenplay: 101 Mistakes Most Screenwriters Make” by Denny Martin Flinn and www. simplyscripts.com for added help. And please do not mention images or clips of copyrighted material in your screenplay.


Tours/Visits

I will be visiting the Orlando area and want a tour of the home. How do I go about this?

The Kerouac House is open for tours during all public events. You will find out about upcoming public events by checking the Events page on this website, or on our Facebook page. You are free to visit the Kerouac House at 1418 Clouser Avenue where you can read the historic marker, take photos of the place, and walk around the outside. However, out of respect for the time and privacy of our writer-in-residence, please do not knock on the door and ask to see inside the place. If there is no upcoming public event that connects with your schedule, you may email us at KerouacProject@gmail.com to inquire about scheduling a tour of the house. There is no guarantee we can meet your request, but we will try. An all-volunteer board administers the house and residency program, and we lead busy lives, which sometimes precludes us from being able to accommodate tour requests. While tours of the house at public events are free, we ask that you make a small (or big!) donation to the Kerouac Project for privately organized tours.


Students/field trips

I am a student or teacher and want my class to have a field trip to Jack Kerouac’s house. How do we schedule a field trip?

We would love to host students for a field trip! We think having the only literary landmark in Orlando is pretty special. We just need to schedule it so that it can work for everyone—students, a member of our Board of Directors to give the tour, and, of course, the writer-in-residence.


Filming/Filmmaking of the home

We are happy to accommodate whatever we can for your filmmaking goals. However, the Board of Directors will need to approve the request. Please limit this request to those who are creating a documentary, the press, or something along those lines. Just coming by with the video function on your phone out of curiosity doesn’t fit into this category. Please see “Tours and Visits.” Otherwise, submit your request with the purpose and date/times requested (please leave at least 2 dates/times so we can try to accommodate you) through the “Contact Us” page. We may ask for supporting documentation (evidence of assignment, intent of news story, etc.) to present to the Board of Directors.


History of the home

How long did Jack Kerouac live in this home?

Jack lived in the home for about a year, between 1957-58.

Who did he live with?

He lived there with his mother.

What did he write while he lived at this house?

Jack Kerouac lived in this little bungalow at the time On The Road was published to much acclaim. He wrote The Dharma Bums while living in the house, writing nearly non-stop for 11 days and nights.


Upcoming events/ programs

Please see our Events section of our website or visit our Facebook page for upcoming events. www.facebook.com/KerouacProject

We are constantly scheduling new events, either hosted by us or events we want to help support with our like-minded community.