Sundress Academy for the Arts Now Accepting Residency Applications for Spring 2021

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is now accepting applications for short-term writing residencies in all genres—poetry, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting, journalism, academic writing, and more—for their spring residency period which runs from January 3 to May 16, 2021. These residencies are designed to give artists time and space to complete their creative projects in a quiet and productive environment.

Each residency costs $250/week, which includes a room of one’s own, access to our communal kitchen, bathroom, office, and living space, plus wireless internet access.

A Note Regarding covid-19: We are moving forward with spring applications with the assumption that travel will be safer in the spring. However, if you are accepted for this residency and are unable to travel due to continued social distancing measures or other coronavirus-related problems, your residency can be moved to the Spring of 2022 with all scholarships still applicable.

Residents will stay at the SAFTA farmhouse, located on a working farm on a 45-acre wooded plot in a Tennessee “holler” perfect for hiking, camping, and nature walks. The farmhouse is also just a half-hour from downtown Knoxville, an exciting and creative city that is home to a thriving artistic community. SAFTA is ideal for writers looking for a rural retreat with urban amenities.

SAFTA’s residencies, which also include free access to workshops, readings, and events, offer a unique and engaging experience. Residents can participate in local writing workshops, lead their own workshops, and even have the opportunity to learn life skills like gardening and animal care.

For the 2021 Spring residency period, SAFTA will be offering the following fellowships:

Lambda Literary (Spring 2021) – Deadline September 15, 2020: SAFTA will be pairing with Lambda Literary to offer two fellowships (one full fellowship and one 50% fellowship) for a week-long residency to LGBTQIA+ writers of any genre. Lambda believes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer literature is fundamental to the preservation of our culture, and that LGBTQIA+ lives are affirmed when our stories are written, published and read. All applicants to the two fellowships must identify as LGBTQIA+.  Partial scholarships are also available to any applicant with financial need. This year’s judge will be Sundress editor Nicole Oquendo.

Nicole Oquendo is a writer and visual artist that combines these elements, along with magical practice, to craft multimodal nonfiction, poetry, and fiction, as well as translations of these forms. Their work can be found in numerous literary journals, a hybrid memoir, and six chapbooks, including their most recent works: Space Baby: Episodes I-III and The Antichrist and I. Their full-length poetry collection we, animals will be out later this year.

They have been serving the writing community for over a decade as an educator and freelance editor, as well as volunteering time to several literary journals and presses, most recently as a Special Feature Editor for The Florida Review. They are currently an Assistant Editor for Sundress Publications, and their most recently curated anthology, Manticore: Hybrid Writing from Hybrid Identities, is available for free on the Sundress Publications website.

Dr. Kristi Larkin Havens Memorial Fellowship for Service to the Community (Spring 2021 or Fall 2021) – Deadline September 15, 2020: Dr. Kristi Larkin Havens served as the Community Outreach Director for Sundress Academy for the Arts and then as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for Sundress Publications for over six years. She earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she was a Lecturer and the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies. She was a photographer who served as a producer on films for several local competitions including The Knoxville 24-Hour Film Festival and the Grindhouse Grind-out. For many years she served as a coordinator for the Knoxville Girls Rock Camp, an organization dedicated to fostering inclusivity and creativity. For her, the arts were a natural venue for pursuing the aims of social justice. 

This fellowship will be awarded to a writer who has shown exceptional service to their own community through any of the following: volunteering, organizing, fundraising, board membership, etThis fellowship will be awarded to a writer who has shown exceptional service to their own community through any of the following: volunteering, organizing, fundraising, board membership, etc. Fellowship winners will receive a one-week fully-funded residency the Sundress Academy for the Arts at Firefly Farms in Knoxville, TN for either the spring or fall of 2020. The spring residency period runs from January 3 to May 16, 2021, and the fall period runs from August 22-January 2, 2022.

Fellowships for Marginalized Writers (Spring 2021) – Deadline September 15, 2020: Thanks to an anonymous donor, we are able to offer two 100% scholarships to marginalized individuals who struggle with mental illness. For this application, please briefly note in your personal statement how you define yourself as a marginalized writer.

Please note in your application if you are applying for one of these fellowships. For all fellowship or scholarship applications, the application fee will be waived for all BIPOC writers and also those who demonstrate financial need. Please state this in your application under the financial need section. Limited partial scholarships are also available to any applicant with financial need.

The application deadline for the spring residency period is September 15, 2020. Find out more about the application process at


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