Writer in Residence Applications
What time periods do the four available writer-in-residence positions cover?
The four available writer-in-residence time slots for 2019–2020 are:
Fall 2019: September 1 through November 21, 2019
Winter 2019–2020: December 1, 2019, through February 20, 2020
Spring 2020: March 1 through May 22, 2020
Summer 2020: June 1 through August 21, 2020
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 $35 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 four residents. In the past, a number of prose submissions have so densely packed text onto the page that it made reading them difficult. As well, many submissions were in san serif fonts, which are also difficult to read, especially when you are reading hundreds of submissions. Hence we have instituted the specific format requirement for all prose submissions. This prose submissions format is:
- 10 pages in length.
- 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 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 to 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 of 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 January 1 of each year, and remains open for approximately 10 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 application and writing sample early.
At midnight Eastern Time on the specified end date of the 10-week submissions 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 had 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 publically 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 through 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. Geoff Benge, a Kerouac Project board member and an accomplished author, chairs the Selection Committee.
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 3-month residency?
During the 3-month residency, the Kerouac Project of Orlando covers the cost of lodging, utilities (cable, water, electricity, lawn, alarm system) and provides the resident with a $1,000 grocery store gift card to pay for their food. There is also a bicycle provided for getting around (grocery store, convenient store, 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 resident 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 two events while you are a resident; a welcome potluck dinner, and a reading of your work at the Kerouac House. However, 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, conduct a writing workshop, 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.
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 and so we grant you up to a maximum of two weeks 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 will be visiting the Orlando area and want a tour of the home. How do I go about this?
The home is not open to the general public. Since it is the residence of a writer, we respect their privacy and protect their time to focus on writing. We can schedule tours to be led by a Board of Director. The requested donation is $100 for a tour to help support our program. You will see where Jack lived and worked while he wrote The Dharma Bums in this home and also receive a copy of Bob Kealing’s book Kerouac in Florida Where the Road Ends. We have several pieces of artifacts/furniture that had belonged to Jack Kerouac from his final home out of St. Petersburg. You will learn the history and hear stories from years’ worth of interviewing and gathering information from neighbors and friends of Jack. Also check out our Events section of our website and Facebook to learn of upcoming events that hold the home open. There is no “cost” for our events, however, donations are always gratefully accepted.
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 Board or Director who would give the tour, and of course the schedule of the resident.
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 date/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 JackKerouac 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.
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.