Application for Residencies
Fall Writer's Coop Residencies (August 27-December 30, 2018)
Spring Farmhouse Residencies (December 31-May 5, 2019)
The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is now accepting applications for short-term artists' residencies in creative writing, visual art, film/theater, music, and more. These residencies are designed to give artists time and space to complete their creative projects in a quiet and productive environment. You can read testimonials from our former residents here.
About Firefly Farms
The SAFTA farmhouse is located on a working farm that rests on a 45-acre wooded plot in a Tennessee "holler" perfect for hiking, camping, and nature walks. Located less than a half-hour from downtown Knoxville, an exciting and creative city of 200,000 in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, SAFTA is an ideal location for those looking for a rural get-away with access to urban amenities.
Our short-term residency bedroom is 130 sq. ft. with queen-size platform bed, closet, small dresser, and desk. The window faces the front of the house with view of butterfly bush in the yard, and the room is painted in a rich brick-colored mural by local artist, Chris Johnson.
The communal bathroom, shared with one to two other visiting artists, features an oversized mirror, matte-finish white tile floors, glass-finish white-and-black walls and back-splashes, toilet, and bathtub with large fixed shower head. The room also contains a wall-length mural by Sundress artist, Rhonda Lott.
There is also a communal kitchen supplied with stove, refrigerator, and microwave plus plenty of cook- and dining-ware. The basic food stuffs like spices, flour, etc are also supplied, though residents will be responsible for their own food and meals. (Though no need for eggs! The Firefly Farms chickens supply those daily!) Laundry facilities are also available on site as well as cable, wi-fi, and central heat and air.
The office has a Mac with access to Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud, among other applications. A large selection of craft supplies is also available. Our library contains over 800 books, including a large contemporary poetry section and, thanks to the Wardrobe, many recent titles by women.
The facility also includes a full-size working 19th century Challenge copy of a C&P old-style letterpress with type, woodworking tools, and a 1930's drafting table. All tools are available to residency artists upon training.
In May of 2017, SAFTA opened our Writers Coop, a 10x10' dry cabin approximately 1/4 of a mile from the farmhouse. This tiny house is furnished with a single bed, a desk, a wood-burning stove, a deck that looks over the pasture and pond, as well as a personal detached outhouse. While the cabin has neither electricity nor running water, residents will have full access to the amenities at farmhouse as well as solitude from other residents to write in the rolling hills of East Tennessee. Check out pictures here.
There are many elements about SAFTA that make it a unique residency experience, including attending SAFTA-sponsored workshops, readings, or events for free during the duration of their residency. (Check our schedules for dates!) Residents are also welcome to participate in weekly local writing workshops with seasoned poets and fiction writers as well as have the opportunity to lead their own workshops. This residency also gives you the chance to learn any number of life skills including construction, working with poultry and livestock, planting and gardening, etc. Residents are also able to connect with the publishers who work with SAFTA including editors at Sundress Publications.
The Sundress Academy for the Arts is committed to making our facilities and programs accessible to disabled writers and artists, and we are in the process of reevaluating our physical spaces to ensure compliance. Currently, our primary residency spaces—both the farmhouse and dry cabin—are built upon rehabilitated structures original to the property. We have worked to make path of travel within these spaces as open as possible; however, certain renovations are not readily achievable for an organization of our size and means. To resolve this issue, we are removing barriers and making readily achievable alterations to the main farmhouse and our events. In addition, we will be building a fully accessible residency space, which is scheduled to be open in 2020.
Cost and Scholarships
Each farmhouse residency costs $250/week, which includes a room of one's own, access to our communal kitchen, bathroom, office, and living space, plus wireless internet and cable.
Residencies in the Writer's Coop are $150/week and include your own private dry cabin as well as access to the farmhouse amenities.
There are limited partial scholarships for those with large scale financial hardship; please indicate this in your application if you feel you qualify. Our full scholarship opportunities for each residency period will be listed below. No other full scholarships are available.
For the fall residency period, SAFTA will be offering one full fellowship and one 50% fellowship for women writers sponsored by VIDA. Trans women and women of color are encouraged to apply. Please note if you would like to be considered for one of these scholarships in your application.
The judge for this year's VIDA scholarships will be Elissa Washuta. Elissa Washuta is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and a nonfiction writer. She is the author of two books, Starvation Mode and My Body Is a Book of Rules, named a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, 4Culture, Potlatch Fund, and Hugo House. Elissa is an assistant professor of English at the Ohio State University.
Limited partial (15-30%) scholarships are also available to applicants with financial need.
Residents are expected to perform approximately five hours per week of service work at the farm as part of their residency. This mostly includes feeding and caring for farm animals, as well as general maintenance at Firefly Farms. For more information, you can see our Firefly Farms guide.
The length of a residency can run from one to three weeks. We are currently accepting applications for:
The deadline for spring farmhouse residency applications is September 1, 2018. The deadline for the Writers Coop residencies is rolling.
Transportation and Check-In
While residents are responsible for their own transportation to and from the farm, our staff will be able to drive residents to the grocery store if they are without a vehicle. Please note that there is no public transportation that travels to the farm, though Uber, Lyft or cabs are available.
It is also important to remember that the residency is supported solely by volunteers, and during the summer months, those running the residency do not live on-site. While we are flexible on arrival times, it is important that you arrive when you say you will. This will allow our team to get you situated comfortably at the residency space. If an emergency or unforeseen circumstance—flight delay, flat tire, etc.—forces you to change your arrival time, please contact us immediately to make new arrangements.
Residency weeks run from Monday to Sunday. Check-out is by noon on Sunday of the your final week.
To apply for the Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) residency, you will need the following:
-Application form* (including brief project statement and contact information for two references)
-Artist sample (see below)
-CV or artist's resume (optional)
-Application fee of $15 or $10 for current students (with student email) payable online (NOTE: For Writers Coop residencies, the application fee has been waived.) **
-For Poetry: Writing sample of 8-12 pages
-For Fiction: Writing sample of 10-20 pages
-For Nonfiction: Writing sample of 10-20 pages
-For Playwrights/Screenwriters: Writing sample of 10-25 pages
-For Hybrid Work: Writing sample of 10-20 pages
-For Academic Work: Writing sample of 10-20 pages
FOR VISUAL ARTISTS:
We accept visual artists of all types including painters, sculptors, metal-smiths, graphic designers, fashion designers, graphic novelists, and those interested working in fiber arts, letterpress, furniture-making, artisan crafts, handicrafts, etc.
-Representative selection of your portfolio with 5-8 high-quality JPGs (5MB maximum for each image)
-A film reel of either 1-3 shorts or one full-length film, submitted either through a .mov or .mp4 format with a maximum of 60MB per file, or a web link to a streaming digital version
-10-25 minutes of high-quality MP3 or comparable format with a maximum file size of 60MB
We accept academic writers in all disciplines.
-10-15 pages of an academic essay or chapter/selection from an academic collection
We also accept submissions from those working in other artistic mediums including dance, performance art, culinary arts, etc. If you are interested in applying, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to determine what sort of portfolio you would need to supply.
Be sure to attach all of these documents to one email that is sent to email@example.com.
*If the PDF does not work, you can download a DOCX version of it here.
** Application fees will be waived for those applying for the Lambda Literary scholarship who demonstrate financial need as noted on the application. Through June and July, 2017, fees will also be waived if you donate any amount to Lambda Legal or the Trevor Project. Simply send a screenshot of your donation with the application.