Please note: while the residency program takes a sabbatical in 2020 due to the construction of an accessible addition, the information about the residency application will likely remain exactly the same. We appreciate your understanding as we work to become accessible to all artists and writers, and we look forward to welcoming you to the new-and-improved Saltonstall in 2021!
We accept New York State writers and artists for residencies in the following categories:
- Fiction | Creative Nonfiction
- Photography | Filmmaking
- Painting | Sculpture | Visual Arts
We use Submittable, an easy, online submission manager. If you are not already signed-up with Submittable, you will be prompted to create a free account. Submittable helps make the application process smooth and simple for you and for us.
We believe in and value a diverse community of creative individuals. To that end, we hope that all artists and writers feel welcome to apply for a residency, regardless of one’s level of education, experience, race, age, sex, religious belief, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or national origin.
If you have applied in the past and have not been selected for a residency, don’t be discouraged! Our juries change yearly, so you have a legitimate chance every year. And every year, there are artists and writers who were unsuccessful in the past and who re-apply and are accepted.
Preparing your application material:
More detailed application instructions specific to each discipline are included within Submittable. However, in all cases, we ask for the following things:
- Basic personal information and a preference regarding residency dates
- A resume (not seen by the jury.) This can be any length and can be named whatever you’d like.
- Contact information for 2 personal references (not seen by the jury.) Please note: we are not asking for letters of reference. Nothing should be mailed or emailed to us. We are simply asking for the contact information for two people who can act as personal references for you.
- An artist’s or writer’s statement (seen by the jury; take care not to identify yourself or include your name in the document or file name.)
For all disciplines, we ask for a short statement about your work, no longer than one page. (For example, something in the 400-word range.) Please keep this brief and specific to the work you are submitting.
PLEASE NOTE: When composing the statement about your work, do not include information such as your name or your age. Do not “credential” yourself by including information that would normally be seen on a resume. For example, your statement should not mention where you went to school or where you’ve been published, exhibited, etc. Simply talk about the work that the jury is reviewing.
- Work samples for everyone and a file list for visual artists (seen by the jury; please do not include your name anywhere or use your name to name your files.)
This is the most important part of your application. Poets, we ask for 15 pages of work; fiction and nonfiction writers, we ask for 20 pages of work, double-spaced. Visual artists and photographers are asked to submit 10 images, and filmmakers are asked to submit 1-2 samples of their work, up to 5 min. in length. (More detailed information is contained within Submittable.)
We can’t stress this enough:
Please take special care regarding identifying and “credentialing” yourself in your statements and especially how you name your work sample files. If there are errors, you will not have an opportunity to fix them and your application will be disqualified. We don’t want that to happen!
- $0 application fee! We eliminated our application fee three years ago in an effort to make a Saltonstall residency accessible to as many people as possible.
We convene a different jury for each discipline, and they change each year. Jurors serve anonymously. Saltonstall’s board members and staff do NOT serve on any juries. Your application is considered solely on the merit of your work sample and your artist’s and writer’s statement.
What does “anonymous” mean, and why is it important?
Our jurying process is anonymous. This means that your application will be assigned a number by the Saltonstall office. Your work and statement are presented anonymously to the jury, and it is the only part of your application that they see. The jury will not know who you are. They will not see your name, your resume, or your references.
Because of this, it is very important that you do not identify yourself in any way within your statement or work samples.
One month? Or two weeks?
Applicants may apply for either a month-long residency or a two-week residency (not both.) Applicants may apply in more than one artistic or literary category, however a complete and separate application for each category is required.
Similarly, applicants cannot apply for both a month-long (or two-week) residency and also our six-night residency for parents.
A 6-night residency for parents?
Yes! Now in its second year, this residency is open solely to artist/writer parents with at least one dependent child (under 18) at home.
All residency guidelines and application instructions are exactly the same for this short residency as they are for our longer sessions. Within Submittable, parents will apply within the specially-designated “6-night Residency for Parents” forms.
Applicants may apply for either this 6-night residency or the longer residencies, not both.
Alumni of Saltonstalls residency program can re-apply for a residency every other year. (i.e. 2017 Fellows are eligible to re-apply for a 2019 residency.)
Two absolute requirements
All applicants must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age. The residency program is open to legal residents of New York State (all counties) and Indian Nations therein. This means you must be living and working in the State of New York at the time of your application and at the time of your residency (if awarded.)
Applicants should seriously consider whether the quiet, communal, working environment of the colony suits their temperaments and work habits. The Foundation requires that those selected for residencies firmly commit to spending their awarded residency period at Saltonstall.
We strongly encourage all applicants to apply on-line. Please call our office at 607-539-3146 if you are unable to apply on-line, and we will work to accommodate you.
“Though I’ve been a resident of Ithaca for four years, it wasn’t until my time in Saltonstall that I was able to really reap its beauty. It was like discovering fresh soil–I wrote more than I wrote in an entire year, and the sacredness of that silence and solicitude helped me write without anything else weighing me down. Saltonstall was a marvelous gift.” – Sally Wen Mao, poet, Ithaca (2014)
“Saltonstall was a gift of focus and clarity; poems and bodies of work with which I was having trouble, I finally could make real progress. I could be a full-time poet, every day, reading, writing, rereading, rewriting. It was a deep, nourishing joy. Poetry is sustenance and Saltonstall allowed me to feast, to savor. Discoveries made at Saltonstall are ones I will carry with me for years to come.” – Chen Chen, poet, Syracuse (2014)
“I loved every minute of my experience at Saltonstall–I felt completely supported and nourished on all levels of experience. I am ever grateful.” – Susan D’Amato, visual artist, Syracuse (2014)