Writer-in-Residence Program
The Associates of the Boston Public Library Writer-in-Residence program is intended to:

Provide

Provide an emerging children’s writer with the financial support and office space needed to complete one literary work for children or young adults.

Encourage

Encourage the imagination of young readers, and in so doing draw attention to the importance of authors and the essential role they perform in nurturing developing minds and furthering our culture.

Promote

Promote the awareness of the Boston Public Library and its resources, by establishing a living link between Library and the community.

Check back here in early 2019!

Next year we’ll post the application and guidelines for the 2019–2020 Writer-in-Residence program

What do fellowship recipients get?

  • $20,000 stipend
  • Private office space at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square.
  • Completed manuscript is added to the BPL’s collection.
  • Opportunity to publicly present your manuscript at a fall reading.

What are the requirements?

  • The recipient must work for a minimum of 19 hours per week during the nine-month residency, which runs from September through May.
  • Eligible projects may be fiction, non-fiction, a graphic novel, script, or poetry intended for children or young adults.
  • Applicants must be US citizens
  • Since this is intended for emerging authors, applicants should not have already published any books.

 
2018–2019 Writer-in-Residence

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“I’m still absorbing the reality that I’ve been given the opportunity, space and financial backing to tell a story that’s very close to my heart.”Jorge Vega

Jorge Vega

Fifteenth Writer-in-Residence

We are pleased to announce that Jorge Vega, of Brockton, Massachusetts, will be the fifteenth Associates of the Boston Public Library Writer-in-Residence. He was selected as the 2018–19 winner by a panel of judges—including authors, young-adult editors, literary agents, booksellers and librarians—in a blind judging process, based on the strength of his submission Bottled.

Bottled is a fast paced adventure that follows Olivia Chance, a lonely, middle school girl who finally makes a friend only to discover that her new BFF, Amani, is a fugitive genie on the run from an ancient cabal of sorcerers who are hellbent on putting Amani back in a bottle. “At its core,” Jorge says when describing his project, “Bottled explores the challenges of coping with anxiety and discovering your identity. All while, ya know, fighting off terrifying monsters.”

“Honestly, I didn’t expect to be selected for the residency,” Jorge said when asked how he responded to the news. “I’m still absorbing the reality that I’ve been given the opportunity, space and financial backing to tell a story that's very close to my heart. Bottled is about wonder, fear, and laughter and two girls of color who happen to look and sound a lot like the girls I grew up with-- a lot like the ones who are growing up in my home right now. These are voices and characters that are rarely seen outside of books about oppression or racial strife and I’m so very thankful to the Associates of the Boston Public Library for giving me the chance to share them with readers.”

Born and raised in Queens, NY, Jorge graduated from Connecticut College with degrees in Theater and Education. After teaching theater for several years in Long Island, NY, he and his wife moved to Massachusetts to be closer to family and begin raising their three children. Since moving, Jorge has remained an educator, transitioning from theater to technology. “It’s not as big of a jump as people think,” Jorge says. “They’re both focused on discovering human connections within artificial settings.” He currently serves as the Director of Information & Instructional Technology at Prospect Hill Academy. Over the years, Jorge has also self-published several graphic novels and taught courses in writing comic books at Grub Street, one of the premiere writing centers in Boston.

Program News


The residency has enabled several talented children’s authors to launch their literary careers. Program alumni have published (or are in the process of publishing) thirty-three titles!

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  • In 2012, the Associates’ very first Writer-in-Residence, Hannah Barnaby, published the book that she wrote during her 2004–2005 residency, Wonder Show.
  • Elaine Dimopoulos published the book she wrote during her 2010–2011 residency, Material Girls, in May 2015.
  • Two debut novels written at the BPL were published last year: Annie Hartnett’s Rabbit Cake (March 2017), and Natalie Coward Anderson's City of Saints and Thieves (January 2017). The latter title has also been optioned for a movie.
  • 2006-2007 alum Anna Staniszewski has published multiple books, including the Unfairy Tale Life series. Forthcoming in January 2019 is Secondhand Wishes, from Scholastic.
  • 2015–2016 alum Jennifer De Leon recently sold her debut novel, written during her residency, Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From to Atheneum, for publication in January 2020.

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Previous Writers-In-Residence


The Associates of the Boston Public Library Writer-in-Residence program is now in its fifteenth year.

To read about the previous fourteen talented authors click below.