Open Call: Host opportunities for international literature residencies

| by Joe White

We are offering four grants to enable UK Literature festivals, organisations or universities to host an international resident in 2019-2020. Deadline Friday 1 November 2019.

Host opportunities for international literature residencies

We are offering four grants to enable UK-based Literature festivals, organisations or universities to host an international resident during 2020. Through the residencies we seek to:

  • develop audiences for international literature in the UK
  • enable more UK literature organisations to work with international artists, and to actively support professional development in this area.
  • Offer UK and international literature professionals the opportunity to make new connections within the sector and gain a better understanding of each other’s work.

The opportunity

We are offering four grants of £3000 each to UK literature festivals, organisations and universities to host an international (based outside the UK) writer, literary translator or book illustrator. We encourage applications from those interested in developing an international programme, but have not yet had the opportunity to do so. Two of the grants available will prioritise proposals to work with writers based in European countries.

The British Council literature team can provide advice on different aspects of international working, such as the visa process, issuing international invitations, identifying writers, working with translation etc. If there is a specific theme, region or language you are interested in, we can usually help make new connections and assist in the selection process via our global network. Letters of application should be emailed to the British Council Literature team before 1 November 2019, and address the following points:

  1. The creative programme you intend to offer the international resident. This includes a profile of the type of resident you’d like to host, an idea of what they might do, who they might meet, whether you expect them to produce any creative work, how you will engage your audiences and ideas for additional partners you might involve. Please include any particular regions or languages that you are interested in, or suggestions of writers if you have them.
  2. Programme management and delivery; information about how you will manage the residency including the selection, communication and briefing, the practicalities of hosting, translation, fees, accommodation)
  3. Why you are applying for this opportunity and what impact do you expect the international residency to have on your work in both the long and short term?
  4. What experience do you have in working with international writers or literature in translation (if any), and why do you seek to develop this part of your work?
  5. A budget proposal.

Grants will be awarded based on responses to the above and greatest impact potential. We also will prioritise those who have not yet had the opportunity to work internationally.

Activity should take place before 30 November 2020. You will be asked to evaluate the activity against your proposal above and submit as a written report to the British Council within six weeks of completion.

We welcome any questions about this programme before the 1 November deadline. Please write to and we will respond as soon as possible. We aim to communicate the outcomes to all applicants by Friday 15 November.

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