7 Writing Residencies That Are Family-Friendly

These retreats welcome writers who are also parents, by offering child care funding or letting you bring your kids along

Door of Elsewhere Studios
Photo by Larry Lamsa
If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.

After a year of lockdown, writing residencies are back. Residencies are a good way to dedicate time to your craft or make connections with those who share your passion, but it’s hard to clear your schedule to go off to some remote location for a week when you have a kid. Here we’ve compiled a short list of short-term, family-friendly residencies where you can receive support for both your writing and the particular struggles of being a parent. 

Two Cape Cod buildings
Image from the MVICW website.

Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing

MVICW offers a writing program that focuses on fostering community and artistic bonds between writers in the idyllic scenery Martha’s Vineyard. In 2021, the MVICW Summer Writers’ Conference will be virtual. Interested participants can register online. There is a Parent Writer Fellowship awarded to two fiction writers and two poets, which covers tuition and lodging for the week-long retreat. While applications are currently closed, the regular deadline to apply is January 31st. 

A cute cabin with diamond-paned windows
Image from the Hewnoaks website.

Hewnoaks

Hewnoaks is a residency for writers, visual artists, and performing artists in rural Maine that offers two $500 childcare stipends for parents who are in residence without their children. Residencies last from one to two weeks for those who are early to mid-career. Applications will open in February of 2022. 

A long building with a wraparound porch and three chimneys
Image taken from Cuttyhunk Island Writer’s Residency’s website.

Cuttyhunk Island Writer’s Residency

Fourteen writers are accepted for this seven-day retreat off the coast of Cape Cod on Cuttyhunk Island. There are two full-ride fellowships offered to parents, one for any parent writer and the other for a poet who works full- or part-time. Applications open in December 2021 and close on March 1st, 2022.

A house made of white stone
Image from Marble House Project website.

Marble House Project 

Marble House Project hosts a 17-day family residency in Vermont during the summer where artists can bring a partner and children. There is daycare available for children between the ages of four to fourteen on weekdays until 3:30 PM. Applications open in January 2022 for the 2023 season. 

A snow-covered porch and trees
Image from Unruly Retreat website.

The Unruly Retreat 

This retreat in Virginia is for women who are parents or primary caregivers of any kind — be it for foster kids or elderly parents. The Unruly Retreat offers three free six-day writing retreats, as well as a 50% discounted rate for longer stays of two to four weeks. Childcare is not provided, but children and partners can be brought along. Applications are currently open.  

A green building that says "Elsewhere" over the door
Image from Elsewhere Studios website.

Elsewhere Studios

Artists of any kind are welcome at Elsewhere Studies in Colorado, which chooses four parent creatives to host for a ten-day period. Attendees are given the choice of whether to bring their families and awarded a $1000 stipend they can spend on anything related to the retreat, including childcare. Application information will be available online in the fall.

A barn
Image from Millay Colony Residency website.

The Virtual Artist Residency at Millay Colony Residency

The Millay Colony welcomes six to seven visual artists, writers and composers a month between April and November. Each year, four applicants who have children at home under the age of 18 receive the Parent/Creator Fellowship; the Millay Colony may also create a residency period devoted to a parent/artist cohort. The Millay Colony for the Arts does not include/invite children to their residencies. The next deadline is October 1st.

Additional research by Sophie Stein

More Like This

7 Solitary Residencies for Writers Who Are Hermits

If you do your best work alone, these retreats are for you

Mar 10 - Vanessa Blakeslee

The 11 Coolest Writer’s Residencies

If you’re having trouble getting work done at home, why not try writing in a boat, castle, vineyard, or fish factory?

Mar 29 - Jo Lou

7 Books About Different Writing Lives

Whether in search of a single room or displaced in their native country, authors continue to ask what a writing life looks like

Mar 23 - Alice Lesperance
Thank You!