Applications for the July 2018 writers' residency are open from December 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018.

The residency runs for the month of July in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Applicants must submit a 10-page Writing Sample, a Letter of Intent, and a CV, all through our Submittable site. Applicants will be notified of their status by March 31, 2018.

Five writers across disciplines (poetry, fiction, non-fiction, translation) are awarded residencies.

Residents receive a $900 stipend, travel reimbursement, a private room in a house shared with the other residents, and exclusive use of one of the Mastheads studios, which are located at new sites each season throughout the city of Pittsfield, in the heart of the Berkshire and Taconic Mountains. On weekdays, we provide on-call transportation to the studios. For other transportation needs, residents may use the bikes provided, their own cars, taxis, or Lyft. 

The studios are rustic and open-air.

They include a built-in desk, bench, and chair, and are each equipped with a rechargeable, portable electric outlet. Each studio is located within 100 feet of an accessible restroom. The studios may be installed in either downtown or rural locations, and applicants should be comfortable working in either environment. Our goal is to both inspire residents and give them the time and space they need to create.

Public programming during the residency includes weekly lectures and community conversations with scholars and experts across disciplines.

For 2018, our focus will be social activism through literature, and our five focus authors from the Pittsfield area will include Herman Melville, Fanny Kemble, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, W.E.B. Du Bois, and William Cullen Bryant.

Past lecturers have included David L. Smith on Fanny Kemble and local abolitionist circles; Tess Chakkalakal on the value in preserving authors' homes; and Lawrence Buell on the relationship between Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville. Events are held weekly at locations such as Melville's Arrowhead, Hotel on North, and the W.E.B. Du Bois birthplace. Dinner for the guest speaker and residents is provided after each event, as these gatherings are an integral part of The Mastheads' commitment to building literary community and sharing ideas. In addition, at least once during their stay, residents are asked to give a reading of their work, when we will offer their books or chapbooks for sale to the community.

At the end of The Mastheads residency, we ask each resident to submit a minimum of 1,000 words or 2 to 5 poems to publish in the The Berkshire Eagle and to preserve in an ongoing Pittsfield Anthology.


Selection Committee