Friday, 11 April 2008


I've become interested in residencies. I have just been awarded one in Europe (OK Germany) for two weeks in the summer, which is very exciting, and I was looking at other possibilities. Of course, you can always just rent a room or a cottage somewhere that doesn't specifically cater for writers too or go on a retreat - they're not all religious.

This one you have to pay and I'm not sure that it's a good deal. How much would a self catering cottage cost over the winter in Galway anyway?


Cave Cottage residency is a new programme for writers providing one week terms at a 300 year old thatched cottage on the sea near Clarenbridge, Co. Galway. The programme provides for accommodation for 1 person for 1 week or more. Open to all Writers local and foreign. Selected readings of work will be showcased at an event in the cottage.
The first application deadline is 15 May 2008 and the residency is for weekly periods ranging from November 1 2008 to March 7th 2009.
As we are a new programme and not fully funded, the price per week will be €200. Included is the entire cottage, fully furnished with linens, kitchenware and cost of utilities. Accompanying family/partners permitted at small extra fee. Travel, food and all other expenses is the responsibility of the writer.
Cave Cottage looks out to Dunbulcawn Bay, oyster catchers in their boats and the ruins of an ancient castle across the water. Over 300 years old and one of the last genuine thatched cottages of its kind in the west of Ireland. Twenty minutes from Galway city but secluded in a working farming area just 10 feet from the water, providing the opportunity for undisturbed work . A turf fire, hand crafted kitchen, large bedroom and lots of nooks and cranny's make the cottage an idyllic setting.
Send your CV and work sample to before 15th May 2008.

Paris Irish College. This one sounds lovely but you're competing with people from other art forms.

Artists-in-Residence at the Irish College in Paris

Recent and upcoming artists-in-residence at the Irish College in Paris include visual and performance artist Aoife Desmond, poet Paul Durcan and bowmaker Gary Leahy (one of only two full-time bowmakers in Ireland).

To apply for a residency between September 2008 and July 2009, or for further information, write to Sheila Pratschke, Director, Centre Culturel Irlandais, 5 rue des Irlandais, 75005 Paris or by email

Again this one sounds like any old cottage marketed at writers. Do think the finances through before you apply. Anyone can buy a desk and aim their holiday home at writers.

Writers Retreat | Coney Island

Inish Mulclohy Lodge "is situated on the beautiful unspoilt Coney Island in Sligo Bay. The Lodge is a converted barn and has stunning sea and mountain views."
"The lodge has all mod cons and oil central heating and is is available to writers between the months of February - April for €400 per week and May and June for €450."
For further information contact

India - Writers’ Retreat in Kerala, India. This one has massage and monsoon.

Raheem Residency, a heritage hotel at Alleppey Beach, Kerala, south India, transforms itself into a Writers’ Retreat at certain times of the year. It’s because of a private passion for books and for writing that we want to share this place with writers. I am the Irish owner, a former TV presenter and a scribbler of sorts. Raheem Residency is an old (1868) colonial villa and the home of the Raheem’s for one hundred years until we bought and restored it in 2003. Our facilities - 7 rooms, 15 metre-pool, Ayurvedic Massage centre, Yoga etc are classified by the Tourism Dept as 4-star. We are in a quiet location opposite a beach, 1 hr 40 mins south from Cochin International airport. The town of Alleppey is 10 mins away by rickshaw and still retains a truly Indian character – undeveloped for tourists and therefore still friendly and simple while having all the chaos of any Indian affair. We are classified by the government of India as a genuine Heritage Hotel. The special tariff for writers is about half the normal price of staying with us in the tourist season.
Room, Breakfast & Dinner per night: €75 for single occupancy but you may bring a non-writing partner to share your room for an additional charge of €30 per day to include Breakfast and Dinner for her/him too (please note, we have just two Twin-bedded rooms; all others are big old-style Kerala beds, including a few 4-posters). Minimum Stay: 14 days. Total Number of Rooms: 5 Doubles; 2 Twin (so please book as soon as you can).

Next Available Dates:
June and July are the monsoon season in Kerala, a perfect time to be quiet, still and to knuckle down to your writing project. But a word of clarification: many people who have not been in monsoon climates think that cold rail pelts down all day long. It doesn’t. Contact:

Writing retreats don't suit everyone but they suit me. I get way from the washing and the Tesco run and concentrate/knuckle down. I can't wait!


PJ Nolan said...

I was lucky enough to get 2 weeks in cill rialaig last year. Didn't know myself! The whole 'third place' of being away from family responsibilities and the day job was creative gold. Having said that, it was such a shock to the senses that I didn't really have a huge amount to show right at the end. But the real payoff was the full tank of creativity which has carried me through to some marked successes (or at least progression) over the last 13 months or so. I think every artist/writer should plan them into their year as a regular 'sawsharpening' exercise - or just a chance to get stuff started/finished. I agree that some of these venues are more 'niche tourism marketing' than retreat. Off season cottages aren't that expensive anyway. Better yet, blag a week or 2 off season from a friendly holiday home owner in return for checking up on their property? cill riallaig asks for a donation of work - easier for visual artist than writers maybe. I do both, and was happy to leave a painting and artist proofs of a lino cut for sale in thier gallery. Fair's fair. A good retreat is a neccessity verging on a luxury (or vice versa?) Anyway's Enjoy Germany!

Emerging Writer said...

Hey PJ. I'll have to look up cill rialaig. I'm hoping for creative kick up the backside as well as some sunshine and some German beer! Yay. I have to apply for an Arts Council Travel Award. Anyone done that got any advice?