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Wilma Dykeman Writer-In-Residence Program

The Invitation

The University of North Carolina Asheville seeks applicants for the 2024-2025 Academic Year Wilma Dykeman Writer-In-Residence program. This residency offers one recipient two consecutive months between August 1 and November 15, 2024, or between January 15 and April 30, 2025, to write in the quiet comfort of author and activist Wilma Dykeman’s Asheville, North Carolina, home. (The successful applicant will consult with UNC Asheville to determine the exact dates of their residency.) The Writer-in-Residence will receive a stipend of $4,000 to cover transportation costs, food, and other incidentals. 

In the spirit of Dykeman’s work and legacy, the Program welcomes applications from writers whose work demonstrates a commitment to at least one of the following: social, racial, gender, and/or environmental issues. Writers of all genres are invited to apply.

The History

This residency honors author Wilma Dykeman, a trailblazing advocate for social justice who promoted women’s rights, gender and class equity, and racial justice before these endeavors became widely embraced. She exhibited a keen awareness of literary representations of women and drew attention to gender inequity through works such as The Tall Woman and her biography of birth control advocate Edna Rankin McKinnon. With her husband, James Stokely, Dykeman wrote about southern race relations and integration in the wake of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case. As the first woman on the Berea College Board of Trustees, she championed Berea’s policy to maintain affordable tuition, thus continuing her work to advance the economically disadvantaged. For more information about Wilma Dykeman, please visit the Wilma Dykeman Legacy website.


The Home and Residency

The Dykeman residence is comfortably furnished and located in a wooded neighborhood 15 minutes from the UNC Asheville campus and 20 minutes from downtown Asheville. The Writer-in-Residence will occupy the entire home, allowing for a peaceful writing environment. UNC Asheville provides utilities, general property maintenance, and wifi service. Please note that the home is not ADA compliant. No children or pets can be accommodated at the residence. The Writer-in-Residence will collaborate with UNC Asheville to plan an activity that will engage with the campus and Asheville community during their residency. For more information about the home and residency, please visit the Wilma Dykeman Homestead webpage.


To Apply

To apply, please email the following information as PDF attachments to wir@unca.edu with the subject line: Dykeman WIR 2024-25 Application

  • a cover letter describing your current project and how the residency would support your progress on this work and how your project reflects the theme of inclusive excellence
  • an up-to-date curriculum vitae
  • a 10-20 page writing sample
  • two professional references

All applications must be submitted on or before December 15, 2023, and the recipient will be announced no later than February 1, 2024, via a joint press release distributed by UNC Asheville and the Wilma Dykeman Legacy.


Expectations

The Writer-in-Residence will be expected to collaborate with UNC Asheville to engage with the campus and Asheville communities during their residency. Details regarding this engagement will be discussed with the recipient when they are notified, and the University will provide funding for expenses related to this engagement.


Selection Committee

The Writer-in-Residence Selection Committee is composed of the following notable authors and community members:

Wiley Cash – Chair
Susan Andrew
Elizabeth Kostova
John Vercher
Caroline Kennedy