Awards and fellowships

The Clearman Cottage Writer's Residency

Hosted by Buzz Bissinger and Lisa Smith at their five-acre waterfront property in the Pacific Northwest.

March 7–March 15, 2020 (Penn's spring break)

Buzz Bissinger and Lisa Smith, in collaboration with the Kelly Writers House, are sponsoring a writer's residency at their guest cottage on the Long Beach Peninsula in the southwest corner of Washington State. Recipients of the Clearman Cottage Residency will reside at a fully appointed cottage (with kitchen, room to write, wifi connection, etc.) on magnificent Willapa Bay, minutes from the Pacific Ocean. The residency provides young writers with continuous writing time and space in an idyllic setting in order that they may make substantial progress on a significant writing project—a novel, short stories, literary nonfiction, journalism, play, memoir, screenplay, song lyrics, etc.

Domestic round-trip airfare, ground transportation, lodging, and a stipend for meals are provided.

How to Apply

Applications are due January 10, 2020. The application consists of (1) a cover letter not to exceed two pages describing your experience and interests as a writer, your affiliation with the Kelly Writers House and/or one of Penn's writing programs, and what you hope to accomplish through the Clearman Cottage Residency; (2) a one-page description of your writing project, its scope, its likely state as of the start of the residency; (3) a short (1-5 page) writing sample, and (4) a resume, including a list of all writing courses taken at Penn (with names of instructors). Please submit application materials via email to RJ Bernocco.

You are eligible to apply if you are a currently matriculated undergraduate at Penn.

About the Sponsors

Buzz Bissinger is a Penn graduate and the author of various books, including Friday Night Lights and A Prayer for the City. He was a Kelly Writers House Fellow in the spring of 2014 and during his extended visit came to realize the strength of the writers' community formed in and around a home, and recognized once again the importance of supporting young writers. Lisa Smith has spent most of her career in public-interest communications, including writing and producing for public television and public radio. Like her husband, she is committed to supporting talented and creative young writers as they hone their skills. Both will be happily available during the residency for informal discussions of the creative process. The people of the Writers House are grateful to Buzz and Lisa for their willingness to create this opportunity.

Past Winners