Delivered by the National Centre for Writing (NCW), in partnership with the Royal Society of Literature (RSL)
90 years ago, Virginia Woolf published ‘A Room of One’s Own’, a ground-breaking essay positing that to be a writer, a woman needed money and a room of her own. Woolf considered the numerous women whose everyday lives remain unrecorded in the literary canon for want of space, time and support:
…the majority of women are neither harlots nor courtesans; nor do they sit clasping pug dogs to dusty velvet all through the summer afternoon. But what do they do then? … all the dinners are cooked; the plates and cups washed; the children sent to school and gone out into the world. Nothing remains of it all. All has vanished. No biography or history has a word to say about it. And the novels, without meaning to, inevitably lie. All these infinitely obscure lives remain to be recorded… [I] went on in thought through the streets of London feeling in imagination the pressure of dumbness, the accumulation of unrecorded life, whether from the women at the street corners with their arms akimbo, and the rings embedded in their fat swollen fingers, talking with a gesticulation like the swing of Shakespeare’s words; or from the violet-sellers and match-sellers and old crones stationed under doorways; or from drifting girls whose faces, like waves in sun and cloud, signal the coming of men and women and the flickering lights of shop windows.
To mark the 90th anniversary and to continue to try to redress the imbalance identified by Woolf, we are working with the Royal Society of Literature to offer a paid writing space to a woman writing today.
This opportunity will take place in August 2019 (dates dependent on applicant availability) for up to one working week, during National Centre for Writing working hours (Mon-Fri 9.30am – 5pm).
The stipend is £350 (recognising that the living wage outside London is £337.50): half will be paid in advance of the placement, and the other half on completion.
The writing space is located in the Smith Room (named after one of our Patrons, Ali Smith) at the National Centre for Writing at Dragon Hall, 115-123 King Street, Norwich. The Smith Room is a small, self-contained studio space with on-street access, a lockable door, desk and chair, and wifi. It is accessible. Dragon Hall is 5 minutes’ walk from Norwich train station, and close to major cycle routes.
As part of the offering, we would ask the successful resident to have a conversation with us to help us to devise the best way to use the spaces at Dragon Hall for the benefit of writers, both local and visiting. This is a small component of the remit, the key element is providing time and space to write.
This opportunity does not include accommodation, and any logistical expenses incurred in getting to Norwich should be covered by the stipend mentioned above.
Who can apply?
This opportunity is open to all women writers and non-binary people, and from writers of any age and any career stage.
Any forms of writing will be considered.
The writer must live or work in the region of East Anglia.
How to apply
Send us a statement telling us more about you and your work. Outline what the opportunity would mean for you and how you would plan to use your time at Dragon Hall. Why you? Why now? Why Dragon Hall? Please say what date and time arrangement would be the best fit for your existing commitments; we’re keen for this opportunity to be tailored to the needs of the successful applicant.
Applications by email for the attention of Peggy Hughes (Programme Director) to Lillie: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use ‘A Room of One’s Own’ in the subject line of your application
Deadline for applications: 5pm, Monday 1 July
Notification of outcome: Thursday 4 July
Image (c) Anna Trench