Write A House

There are presently no open calls for submissions.


Write A House Application

Thank you for your interest in Write A House program and Detroit's literary culture. We look forward to reading your submission!

Before you apply, we ask that prospective applicants seriously consider their interest and availability for this program before beginning the application process. If you are not from Detroit, and especially if you've never been here, we encourage you to visit the city in the coming months so you can get a sense of whether this is the right fit for you. We hope your unique gifts will flourish here and grow our community.  

Please review the eligibility requirements and expectations for this program, detailed below and most thoroughly on our website

In the online application, you will upload your writing sample as a PDF. You may apply in a single genre, including:

  • Poetry (free verse, formal, lyric, prose poem, etc.)
  • Non-fiction (memoir, critical theory, philosophy, journalism, essay, creative nonfiction, etc.)
  • Fiction (literary, science fiction, speculative, novel, short story, screenplay, playwriting, etc.)
Please see links to genre submissions below.

Questions about the application or program can be directed to wah.application@gmail.com.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: July 1, 2016 at 11:59pm EST

Eligibility Requirements

1. While the Detroit area is one of the most international regions in the world, applicants to this program must be a United States citizen or a Permanent Resident with a valid Green Card. We are afraid that we do not currently have the capacity to accept non-U.S. citizens. We apologize!

2. You must not be a family member of any Write A House board members or judges. If judges or board members have another kind of relationship with an applicant, they will be recused from that person’s application process.

3. You must be 18 years old or older.


4. You must be a working writer with some history of publication. You do not necessarily need to be a full-time writer.

5. You must be a low or moderate-income writer. This means that you and your family should fall into one of the following categories:

  • Family of 1 with income of $0-$39,750
  • Family of 2 with income of $0-$45,450
  • Family of 3 with income of $0-$51,100
  • Family of 4 with income of $0-$56,800
  • Family of 5 with income of $0-$61,350
  • Family of 6 with income of $0-$65,900

6. You must be willing to engage with the literary community of Detroit. We are aware that different personalities are inclined to do this in different ways. Whether you want to lead a literary salon, start a magazine, teach a neighborhood writing workshop, tutor kids, or quietly edit a great book blog from your home, we hope your unique gifts will flourish here and grow our community.

7. Previous applicants, including finalists, are eligible. Previous winners are not eligible.

Key Information on the Application Process:

1. Write A House cannot provide critiques or comments on any individual submissions.

2. The most important part of your application is the writing sample. You may apply in a single genre, including:
  • Poetry (free verse, formal, lyric, prose poem, etc.)
  • Nonfiction (memoir, critical theory, philosophy, journalism, essay, creative nonfiction, etc.)
  • Fiction (literary, science fiction, speculative, novel, short story, screenplay, playwriting, etc.)
3. Please pick the genre that you feel you are strongest in, and submit one application. If we receive multiple applications from one individual, we're afraid we must disqualify all of the submissions.

4. Our judges -- all talented and accomplished writers -- will select a set of semi-finalists based on a blind reading of the writing samples. These semi-finalists will not be made public. The group will then be evaluated by an internal Write A House committee based on the rest of their application. 

5. From this process, we will come up with a shortlist of 10 talented writers as our finalists. We will announce the shortlist to the public on our website in August 2015 (expected).

6. Each finalist on the shortlist will schedule an interview with the two Write A House founders. They will be asked to submit income verification documents, and undergo a credit and background check. We will also ask for a full CV.

7. 
We expect to announce the winner of the Write a House residency in late September/early October 2015.

8. In addition to writing skill, we will be considering the ability of applicants to contribute to the neighborhood and the wider literary culture of Detroit. Additionally, in line with the mission of Write A House, we will award the house to the low- or moderate-income writer who will most benefit from it.

9. While we are eager to assist potential applicants and respond to questions, we ask that you first check our website, and especially our FAQ page, before emailing us with your queries. 

Key Information About the House and Residency:

1. If awarded a house in Detroit, you are responsible for maintaining it, and paying taxes and insurance on it. Taxes are estimated at $2000 or less per year. Insurance is estimated at $2500 per year. (We will explore the feasibility of making insurance more affordable with a group policy). We expect you to be a responsible neighbor and resident.

2. We are working through our renovation timeline as swiftly and responsibly as we can, per the needs of our budget and our partners. This means that as we move toward readying our houses for the writers, our schedule is somewhat flexible. At the same time, we understand that moving, whether you are new to Detroit or not, can be challenging and stressful. We are committed to staying in communication about the timeline with applicants, finalists, and ultimately the winner of the Write A House residency so that you can plan your move-in accordingly. 

3. If awarded a house in Detroit, you must reside in it at least 75 percent of the time. Of course, because the house is yours, you should bring your family and pets with you!

4. For the first two years, the house will be yours on a probationary basis so that both you and Write A House can determine if it is a good fit. If all goes well, you will be given the title of the house two years after your move-in date. After five years, you have the ability to sell the house, but Write A House will get the first opportunity to purchase it from you.

Best of luck!