Virtual Writer Residencies at the Festival of Libraries

6 April 2021 - News
Manchester City of Literature and Manchester Literature Festival are offering two virtual writer residencies to take place this June during the Festival of Libraries.

During the three week residency, writers will be hosted by one of Manchester’s historic libraries with the opportunity to explore their online collections and archives, meet librarians to find out more about Manchester’s literary heritage and collections, and enjoy virtual tours of the city. During the residency, writers will be encouraged to share their experience of the city with Manchester’s literary community via social media, to take part in other meetings and talks including sharing their work and their influences, and to produce a new piece of writing responding to Manchester or links between the city and their own UNESCO City of Literature. There is a fee of £1,500 for each residency.

The residencies are open to published writers with strong links to a UNESCO City of Literature – please note that this does not include Manchester (our earlier callout for Festival of Libraries Writer Residencies for writers from Manchester closed on 24th March 2021).


The activity during the residency may include:

  • Writing in English or translating into English a short story, essay or series of poems (up to 2000 words) inspired by the residency that can be shared on the Manchester City of Literature and Manchester Literature Festival websites.
  • An online talk as part of the Festival of Libraries about your work and the writers and libraries that have inspired you
  • Meeting a writing group from Manchester online
  • Presenting a virtual tour of your city, either as an illustrated talk, audio recording or self-recorded film.
  • A conversation with a Manchester host or writer about your residency and the work you produced. This could be pre-recorded digitally or live streamed in October as part of Manchester Literature Festival’s 2021 Festival.

How To Apply

If you are interested please send a written application by email to McrCityofLit[@] by the deadline of 10 May 2021. In your application please include responses to the following prompts:

  • Tell us about yourself;
  • Tell us about your writing;
  • Tell us why you would like to be considered for this virtual residency and what you hope to get from it;
  • Tell us about libraries in your life and if there is a particular library in Manchester you would like to be hosted by;
  • Tell us about your connections to a UNESCO City of Literature.

Please also include a CV including publication record.



Residency announced: 6 April

Applications close: 10 May

Interviews: 14, 17 or 19 May if necessary

Residency starts: w/c 24 or 31 May

Festival of Libraries: 9-13 June


For more information please download the full information pack below.