15 Writer’s Residency Programs in New England

What better way is there to capture New England lifestyle than to take a break from one’s everyday routine and finally take some time to write uninterruptedly at one of these 15 residency opportunities? These programs range from extremely outdoorsy to comfortable and even somewhat luxurious:

  1. Noëpe Center Residency Program

Where: Edgartown, MA

When: Spring and summer

Cost: $20 application fee; $400/week April–June and September–October; $800/week June–September

The Noëpe Center for Literary Arts on Martha’s Vineyard provides a place in a historic inn for writers of all kinds to focus on completing or creating new works. The program offers residency opportunities for up to 10 writers at a time, and each resident is provided with a private room and bathroom, as well as a community living area and kitchen.

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  1. Writer’s Retreat at Panther Orchard Farm

Where: Hopkinton, RI

When: Open year-round

Cost: $50 administration fee, $650/week master bedroom, $600/week guest bedroom

Settled on 43 acres of land in little, rural Rhode Island is a comfortable house designed for writers to break away from busy urban or suburban life and focus on their work. This retreat offers individualized consultation and mentoring, as well as a complimentary critiquing. There are only two bedrooms in the house, so the experience is peaceful and private.

  1. Whispering Pines Writer’s Retreat

Where: West Greenwich, RI

When: March 2–4, 2018

Cost: Full three days for $570 (members) or $600 (non-members)

The Whispering Pines Writer’s Retreat, a writing center even more beautiful than its name, is designed specifically for serious children’s book writers and illustrators to work on their craft and network with other professionals. The program offers presentations, 25-minute individual critiques, and evening activities.

  1. Vermont Studio Center

Where: Johnson, VT

When: Open year-round

Cost: $3,950 for 4 weeks or $2,050 for 2 weeks, fellowships and financial aid available

Located between the Green Mountains and along the banks of the Gihon River in Johnson, VT, The Vermont Studio Center is a spectacular residence option for visual and creative artists looking for a simple and scenic getaway that will help to inspire and foster their work. Residents are given private bedrooms and studios specific to their mediums and share a communal dining area with fresh foods from local and organic farms.

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5. Fine Arts Work Center

Where: Provincetown, MA

When: October 1–April 30

Cost: $50 application fee ($750 monthly stipend for accepted residents)

Designed for creative writers and visual artists in the early stages of their careers, The Fine Arts Work Center program in Provincetown, MA, provides a unique and fulfilling experience to accepted residents. While it involves various opportunities for group engagements, individuals are also given their own private, furnished apartments and a monthly stipend of $750. Provincetown is located on Cape Cod and is surrounded by serene, local beaches.

6. Edith Wharton Writer-in-Residence Program

Where: Lennox, MA

When: Two–three weeks

Cost: No cost for accepted residents ($1000 stipend)

This residency takes place at The Mount, Edith’s Wharton’s stunning, European-looking home and garden in Lenox, MA, built as a writer’s retreat. Accepted writers are of “demonstrated accomplishment” and currently working on a new piece of writing. Writers are given workspace at The Mount, a $1000 stipend for food and travel, and lodging.

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7. MacDowell Colony

Where: Peterborough, NH

When: Open year-round, residencies of up to eight weeks

Cost: No residency fees

As the nation’s first and leading artist colony, the MacDowell Colony encourages growth of the imagination for writers, composers, visual artists, and the like. More than 6,900 artists have been awarded Fellowships to the Colony and more than 250 artists arrive each year. The Colony is any artist’s ideal home, with facilities such as heat and ventilation, dark rooms, natural lighting, pianos, and more.

8. Peaked Hill Trust

Where: Provincetown, MA.

When: Nine 1–2-week retreats

Cost: $200–$750 fees

The National Park Service of the Dune Shacks of Peaked Hill Bars Historic District has agreements with non-profit organizations that offer writer-in-residence programs within the natural, breathtaking dunes of Provincetown, MA. This program is designed for extreme outdoors lovers, with solitary beach cottages without running water or housekeeping services.

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  1. Wellspring House

Where: Ashfield, MA

When: Open year-round

Cost: $280/week for single room; see other rates on website

Nestled between the green, gorgeous Berkshire Mountains, the Wellspring House retreat for artists and writers emphasizes the importance between quiet, private spaces to focus on work and the connection between human and nature. Surrounded by dense woods and flower and vegetable gardens, it is a perfectly quaint and quiet place to become inspired.

  1. I-Park Foundation

Where: East Haddam, CT

When: Typically 4 weeks from June 12–November 20

Cost: $30 application fee

The General Residency program at I-Park, located in a vast nature preserve, offers the perfect amenities for artists of all kinds, including creative writers, studio artists, musicians, film art, landscape design, and much more. Artists are provided with a private bedroom, private studio, meal plan, common room, library, and Wi-Fi to help artists get work done, which will be presented in an open studio event at the end of the term.

  1. James Merrill Writer-in-Residence Program

Where: Stonington, CT

When: One 4 ½-month residency between mid-January and the end of May, and 3 or 4 shorter residencies of 2 to 6 weeks during the months between Labor Day and mid-January

Cost: No fee for accepted residents ($1,000 monthly stipend)

As a tribute to James Merrill, this beautiful, waterside residence in Stonington, CT provides a comfortable experience for writers and artists accepted to stay in the historical Merrill Apartment. Stonington is a small beach town with independent coffee houses, shops, restaurants, and other local businesses that give the town a homely feeling perfect for focusing on one’s writing.

  1. The Studios at MASS MoCA

Where: North Adams, MA

When: Up to 8 weeks from September–April

Cost: $650/week, but many participants are offered both merit- and need-based financial aid

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, or Mass MoCA, provides exciting residencies for artists and writers in furnished studios and newly renovated apartment space right across from the museum in North Adams, MA. While it provides great opportunities to talk with other artists and gain new inspiration, it also provides generous time and space to your most important work done.

  1. Straw Dog Writer’s Guild Writing Residencies

Where: Westhampton, MA

When: 6-day retreats starting in September

Cost: Accepted writers funded by grants and donations

Writers working on substantial projects who live in one of the four counties of Western Massachusetts and are paying members of the Straw Dog Writer’s Guild are eligible to apply for this residency located on the beautiful Patchwork Farm in Westhampton, MA throughout the year starting in September.

  1. Norton Island Residency

Where: Norton Island, ME

When: July 6–17, 2017

Cost: $35 application fee, $125 residency fee

If you love the extreme outdoors, this program is for you. Norton Island hosts artists in rustic cabins a mile off the coast of Maine, where Wi-Fi can only be accessed from one specific location. It’s remote and wild landscape provides an uninterrupted escape for painters, sculptors, writers, and musicians who are brave enough to experience the great outdoors like never before.

  1. The Helicker LaHoten Foundation

Where: Great Cranberry Island, ME

When: Annual sessions held between June and October

Cost: $40 application fee, $1250 residency fee

This residency takes place in an updated 19th-century house on Great Cranberry Island, Maine, with heated artist studios, a private shorefront out back, and beautiful lawn space. The program is designed for established artists to break away from the chaos of their everyday lives and immerse themselves into a tranquil environment in which they can focus on their work.

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—Audrey Conklin

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