Nanjing Writers Residency Open for 2023

7 August 2023 - News
Nanjing is offering 6 residencies in 2023 to writers, poets and translators from all UNESCO Cities of Literature.

The Nanjing International Writers Residency means to bridge the city’s literary community with its international counterparts. This yearly program was initiated in 2019. It has already hosted 24 writers, poets and translators from the subnetwork.

Nanjing boasts a literary tradition of over 1800 years, the city served as China’s capital for about 400 years across six dynasties. The heritages left from those dynasties and its diversified culture today have all contributed to its role as a “most luring destination” for inbound travellers to China. It has had a huge impact in modern Chinese literature, a possible unexplored treasure trove for international writers.

The Theme

The theme for the 2023 program is “Urban Life and Literature”. Life experiences in cities serve as a reservoir for literary creation. It is especially true for modern literature. Dubliners by James Joyce sets a fine example. With the 2023 program, Nanjing attempts to take the six residents to explore a panorama of contemporary life in this historical city. This may include the literary events, reading clubs, cultural adventures, city walks, random encounters and meetings etc., simply to probe into diversified aspects of Nanjingers’ life today.

With “Urban Life and Literature” as the theme for 2023, we hope that participants may draw inspirations from modern city life for their literary creation, and promote literary communication at both local and international levels.


The Timing

  • Open call for applications: from Friday 4 August till Wednesday 20 September
  • The final decision will be announced 27 Thursday September
  • The residency starts late October and lasts two weeks in Nanjing


What We Offer

  • 2-week in-person residency in Nanjing City of Literature;
  • Tours to culture landmarks and literary places in Nanjing;
  • A selection of local literary activities;
  • Dialogue with Nanjing writers, poets, translators, literary organisations, and students;
  • The flight tickets, food, accommodation and local transport will be provided;
  • A stipend of 1200 USD for each writer-in-residence.


What We Expect

Selected participants must be:

  • Connected to a UNESCO City of Literature (either a resident or one who works or studies in that city, or has other connections with that city as recognised in writing by a UNESCO City of Literature office)
  • Have at least three-year experience in writing, or at least one published work (book in print, all genres acceptable), or have received awards that are recognised by your local literary communities.
  • Be willing to interact with Nanjing’s literary communities, emerging and established writers; as well as to partake in local literary activities;
  • Write a piece of work in English (no less than 1000 words, or 50 lines for poetry) that is inspired by the residency, or translate Chinese stories, poems or prose into English; (All the virtual writers will retain the copyrights of their works. Please understand the works might be used for promotional purpose by Nanjing Literature Center)
  • Be fluent in spoken English, or Chinese;


Documents for application

All applicants are supposed to submit

  • An CV with a passport photo and a life size photo;
  • Extracts from his/her published works;
  • Proof in writing of his/her connection with a City of Literature, when applicable.


Please send all the required materials to the following contacts prior to Wednesday 20 September.



Lilas Yuan, Focal Point for Nanjing UNESCO City of Literature
Director of Nanjing Literature Center: