A Room of One's Own

This commission opportunity has now closed. Thank you to all who applied.

This opportunity consists of time and room to write, with a fee. What you write is up to you: we have no expectations or demands on what is produced, though this opportunity might be seen as an opportunity to work on something that might not have been possible otherwise.

What’s it for?

Virginia Woolf’s ground-breaking essay ‘A Room of One’s Own’ posited 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…”

To continue to try to redress the imbalance identified by Woolf, we are offering these paid opportunities and space and time to women and non-binary writers working today.

How does it work?

This opportunity will take place from January – March 2021 (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 £500 (inc.VAT): 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.

Dragon Hall and the Smith room are COVID-secure.

  • 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.
  • A short piece for our blog about the experience
  • The resident can take up the optional opportunity to have a more in-depth conversation with the Programme Director about their writing, next steps, other opportunities that might be of benefit

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. This opportunity does not include accommodation, and any logistical expenses incurred in getting to Norwich should be covered by the stipend mentioned above.

Note: If the cost of travel/accommodation would prevent you from being able to take up this opportunity if offered please let us know on your application form as bursaries may be available.

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 and queries by email for the attention of Peggy Hughes (Programme Director) to: info@nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk. Please use ‘A Room of One’s Own’ in the subject line of your application

Deadline for applications: 7 December 2020 (applications now closed)

Notification of outcome: 14 December 2020 / follow up conversation to arrange dates and logistics for January 2021 and beyond.