Program Objectives

The Associates of the Boston Public Library's Writer-in-Residence program is intended to:

  • Provide an emerging children’s writer with the financial support and office space needed to complete one literary work for children or young adults.
  • Encourage the imagination of young readers, and in so doing, draw attention to the importance of authors and the essential role they perform in nurturing developing minds and furthering our culture.
  • Promote the awareness of the Boston Public Library and its resources, by establishing a living link between the Library and the community.

The Writer-in-Residence program will run from October 2022 through September 2023. To learn more about the Writer-in-Residence program and meet our program alumni please visit our webpage.

Program Guidelines

Residency Benefits

  • A total stipend of $23,000, paid in monthly installments over one year.
  • The opportunity to request up to $2,000 to be paid to an expert of your choice mid-year for coaching, editorial assistance, or a critical reading of your manuscript.
  • Use of a private office, Internet access, and a photocopier. Office space usage is also contingent on the Library being open to the public and it being safe to work onsite.
  • Access to and use of the Boston Public Library’s Research and Special Collections.
  • A forum for the presentation/promotion of your finished literary work.
  • Opportunities to establish connections with writers, publishers, artists, and the community-at-large through participation in/attendance at Library readings, lectures, and other events.
  • At the end of the residency, your completed manuscript will be added to the BPL’s collections. (However, you retain all rights to your completed work.)


Eligibility

  • The proposed literary project should be intended for children or young adult readers. All genres are welcome, including fiction, non-fiction, scripts, graphic novels, or poetry. (The majority of our submissions are generally Young Adult novels.)
  • The applicant should demonstrate active engagement as a writer, whether full or part-time, as an avocation or profession.
  • Since this program is intended for emerging authors, the applicant should not have any prior professional book publications. (Self-published books, textbooks, works for hire, articles, and short stories published in an anthology do not count against this eligibility criteria.)
  • Only one proposal may be submitted per person.
  • Joint applications or proposed collaborations by more than one author are not permitted.
  • Works that are already under contract with a publisher are not eligible for submission.
  • There is NO residency restriction to apply, but you must be able to spend at least nineteen (19) hours per week at the Boston Public Library’s Central Library in Copley Square.
  • Must be legally eligible to work in the US, as a U.S. citizen or green card holder. English fluency required.
  • There are NO age, gender, race, or educational requirements.



Terms of Residency

  • You will work a minimum of nineteen (19) hours per week from October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023.
  • You will participate in a public reception toward the beginning of the residency, on a mutually agreed upon date.
  • You will complete a submission-ready manuscript by the end of residency, which you will present at a second public reception, on a mutually agreed upon date.
  • You will include an acknowledgment of the Associates of the Boston Public Library in all work created during the residency, and during any media opportunities stemming from the program, using mutually agreed upon language.
  • Optionally, you may participate in or create a program for Boston Public Library patrons such as a teen writing workshop or a presentation to Boston-area students, as mutually agreed upon with BPL Youth Services staff. (Participation would be only a small portion of your time and is not required.)


Application Process

  • To apply, please complete the application form (below) and upload a proposal (5 pages max.) and writing sample (15 pages max.) by Friday, June 24, 2022 at 11:59 PM. The documents should be double spaced with one inch margins and at least 11 point font. The attachments should not include any biographical information, since there will be a blind judging process. See questions #13 and 14 below for more details.
  • Basic questions about the application will be answered via email (via hello@AssociatesBPL.org); no calls please. Questions regarding how to present your work will not be considered. Inquiries concerning applications under review will not be answered. 
  • If using Submittable creates an undue burden for you, you can alternatively mail your submission to: Writer-in-Residence Program, Associates of the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116.
  • Late applications will not be considered. Once submitted, applications cannot be altered by either candidates or Associates staff. 


Selection Process

  • Finalists will be evaluated by a panel of judges, which includes a rotating group of authors, librarians, booksellers, publishers, editors, book designers, teachers, and/or citizens representing different areas of the world of children’s literature. Associates staff do not vote in this process. 
  • The judges do not know the candidates’ names, gender, educational qualifications, or any background information. This blind judging process is focused solely on the quality of the submissions. 
  • The candidates selected to be the 2022-23 Associates of the Boston Public Library Writers-in-Residence will be notified by Friday, August 26, 2022.


Key Dates

  • Application Deadline:  Friday, June 24, 2022 at 11:59 PM
  • Notification: Friday, August 26, 2022
  • Residency Period: October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023


Associates of the Boston Public Library