Application for Residencies
Fall Writer's Coop Residencies (Open Weeks: August 27 - September 2; September 10 - 16; September 17- 23; September 24 - 30; October 29 - November 4; December 17 - 23; and December 24 - 30)
Spring Farmhouse Residencies (December 31-May 5, 2019)
Summer Farmhouse Residencies (May 5-August 11, 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 the Residency 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. Tools are available to residency artists upon training. Please note that furing the 2018-2019 residencies, only residents with previous letterpress experience will be allowed to work with the press due to current staffing vacancies.
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.
About the Writers Coop
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.
The Coop's accessibility is described as follows—approaching the Coop, and surrounding the Coop, the terrain consists of unsteady ground. The path to the Coop is clear and graveled, but may be hard to walk for some. You may drive to and from the coop, but your car should be equipped with four-wheel drive. To turn your car around to head back to the road, you must drive past the coop for a moment to an area of the path that is wide and cove-like to turn around easily. Coming into the coop, there is a single step to access the structure. The height of the roof is approximately 6'2''. The outhouse for the coop is approximately 50 yards away. To get there and back, you must walk up and down a gravel walkway that is lit by small lights at night for your convenience. The outhouse itself is a small structure with a light on the inside for you to be able to see, there is also a flashlight within the Coop if you happen to need extra lighting.
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 Fellowships
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.
We have one full fellowship for a fall Writers Coop resident. Applications for this fellowship are due by August 20th.
For the spring residency period, SAFTA will be pairing with Lambda Literary to offer two fellowships (one full fellowship and one 50% fellowship) for a week-long residency to LGBTQIA+ writers of any genre. Lambda believes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer literature is fundamental to the preservation of our culture, and that LGBTQIA+ lives are affirmed when our stories are written, published and read. All applicants to the two fellowships must identify as LGBTQIA+. This year's judges will be Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello, Meagan Cass, and librecht baker. More details here.
For the spring/summer residency period, we are pleased to offer our first ever Fourth Estate Residency Fellowship. This fellowship comes with a two-week residency during the spring or summer residency periods as well as a $500 stipend.
In the age of anti-journalism and "fake news," we believe it is more important than ever to give journalists and writers time to research, write, and revise work that delves into the events and issues of our time. Our group of ten writers (Camille Dungy, Eliza Griswold, Patrick Hicks, Ilyse Kusnetz—in memoriam—Kathryn Miles, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Brian Turner, Sholeh Wolpe, Elliott Woods, and Sunil Yapa) have joined together to make this possible. Although several of us work in writing disciplines outside of journalism, we believe it is crucial to support the work of journalists—especially in a time when the entire profession is under threat. This fellowship is intended to give writers space and time to continue to do this important and necessary work. Applicants may work in any journalistic medium—writing (traditional journalism or literary nonfiction), podcasting, vlogging, etc. More details here.
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.