Announcing the July 2019 Mastheads Writers’ Residency

announcing the 2019 mastheads writers’ residency


Applications for the July 2019 Mastheads writers’ residency are now open! Five writers across disciplines are awarded residencies that include a $900 stipend, travel reimbursement, housing, and exclusive use of one of the Mastheads studios, which are installed at a new site throughout the Berkshires each summer.

Designed by architects Tessa Kelly and Chris Parkinson, each mobile studio is the architectural interpretation of the work of a 19th-century writer who worked in Pittsfield. Rustic and open-air, they include a built-in desk, bench, chair, and rechargeable, portable electric outlet, and may be installed in either rural or urban locations. The goal of the residency is to both inspire writers and give them the time and space they need to create. At the end of the month, residents submit a minimum of 1,000 words or 2 to 5 poems to publish in the innovative The Berkshire Eagle X, The Mastheads newspaper folds, and to preserve in an ongoing Pittsfield Anthology. 


July public programming, curated by scholar Jeffrey Lawrence, includes lectures and conversations with experts across disciplines, focused upon writers and artists who worked in Pittsfield. Held at locations such as Melville’s Arrowhead and the Samuel Harrison House, the goal of these gatherings is to build artistic and local community. In addition, residents give at least one public reading, when their books, chapbooks, and other work is offered for sale to the community. 

For 2019, our five focus artists are James Weldon Johnson, Herman Melville, Edith Wharton, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and James Van Der Zee. In the past, focus authors such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Fanny Kemble, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, William Cullen Bryant, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thoreau, Longfellow, and Oliver Wendell Holmes have been discussed by guest lecturers Dolores Hayden, Jaswinder Bolina, Meredith McGill, Neil Roberts, David L. Smith, Tess Chakkalakal, and Lawrence Buell. Past residents have included Justin Boening, Jean Chen Ho, Lincoln Michel, Adrienne Raphel, and more.

Applicants must submit a 10-page Writing Sample, a Letter of Intent, and a CV by February 28, 2019, and will be notified of their status on April 1, 2019. The selection committee includes writers Erica Dawson, Hai-Dang Phan, Karen Shepard, Aaron Thier, and Sarah Trudgeon.

To apply, visit