Self-Directed Residency

Self-Directed Residencies (one or two weeks in length) are open to Nova Scotian, Canadian, and international writers. Applicants may apply as solo writers or in creative groups of two or three (for separate bedrooms) or four or five (with shared bedrooms). Successful applicants are provided with at-cost residence: $500 per week + $100 per week for each additional creative resident.

Self-Directed Residency applications are assessed by WFNS staff, with results returned within two weeks of application. Upon confirming dates for a Self-Directed Residency, the resident(s) must pay a non-refundable deposit of 25% of the total residency cost, with the balance due 30 days before the residency start date. All application and residency fees support the continued operation of the Jampolis Cottage Residency Program.

All residencies begin on Sunday afternoon (at 2 pm) and end on Saturday afternoon (at 2 pm). A one-week residency runs 7 days and 6 nights, while a two-week residency runs 14 days and 13 nights.

Our selection process prioritizes group applications, which are open to groups of writers working on separate literary projects; to groups that include some non-literary artists and non-literary projects; and to groups working on collaborative projects that include literary elements. Group residencies are over 8 times likelier to be selected for a residency week than solo-writer applications.

Organizing a group residency can also significantly reduce the cost for each resident—from a total of $500/week for an solo writer down to a total of $180/week each for five creative residents. There is no additional charge for personal attendants, service animals, or dependants or domestic pets who require care.

To be considered for a Self-directed Residency, the applicant(s) must meet the following criteria.

  • You must be 19 years of age of older by the current application deadline.
  • You must propose a literary project, be part of a group that includes a writer proposing a literary project, or be part of a group proposing a collaborative project that includes literary elements.
  • You must not have already accepted or undertaken any Sponsored Residency or any Self-Directed Residency, whether as a solo writer or as part of a group, during the same calendar year as the week(s) for which you are applying.

Our selection process prioritizes successful group applications (including two to five residents). When applying on behalf of a group for a Self-Directed Residency, please familiarize yourself with the below accommodation capacities, restrictions on mixed-use and collaborative residencies, and group application specifications.

Jampolis Cottage has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, including one bedroom and one bathroom on the ground floor. In a group of five, two residents would need to share the upstairs Blomidon Room (sharing its queen bed or sleeping in the queen bed and on the provided rollaway cot) and two residents would need to share the upstairs Cowslip Room (sleeping in the queen bed and on the single daybed). The ground-floor Thomas Raddall Room is single-occupancy and (upon the completion of accessibility renovations) will be the only physically accessible bedroom for users of wheelchairs, scooters, and most other mobility aids. This accommodation capacity is an important consideration should any residents be accompanied by personal attendants, service animals, or dependants or domestic pets who require care.

A group application may include non-literary artists or non-literary projects. However, the group must include at least one writer who will be working on a literary project during the proposed Self-Directed Residency. If the group will be working collaboratively on a single project, that project must include literary elements. Regardless of project discipline, all artistic materials used must be low-impact, suitable for use within a shared domestic space and for clean-up by the writers/artists without damage to Jampolis Cottage, its fixtures, or its furniture.

A group application must be submitted by a single member of the group, who must compile one CV/resume per applicant and one letter of intent per applicant into a single document (see the tab “3. Application Package” for details) and must submit that single document using a single application form and paying a single application fee.

Self-Directed Residency application packages must contain all components listed below. Each application package must be submitted as a single digital document (in .doc or .pdf format) with a file name as follows: FirstName LastName – Self-Directed Residency (where “FirstName” is your given name and “LastName” is your family name or chosen surname). Incomplete, late, non-digital, or misnamed application packages are ineligible.

A. Literary or creative CV/resume of 1 to 2 pages in length per applicant (single-spaced; in 12-pt Times New Roman or Arial font).

  • Applicants may include relevant education (degrees, literary workshops, mentorships, etc.); publications & accomplishments (awards, previous residencies, etc.); public presentation experience (readings, performances, panels, exhibitions, etc.); and teaching/instruction experience.
  • Applicants who are new or emerging writers may submit a 1-page CV supplemented by a 1-page letter of support from a more established writer or literary mentor.

B. Letter of intent of 1 page in length per applicant (single-spaced; in 12-pt Times New Roman or Arial font).

  • All applicants should describe the project(s) to be worked on; the goals to be accomplished; and a detailed work plan for the residency period.

If you require assistance in completing or submitting a Self-Directed Residency application (whether technical, accessibility-related, or otherwise), please contact before the application deadline.

When new available weeks are announced, Self-Directed Residency applications will open for a period of at least one week. All applicants will be notified of results within two weeks of the application deadline.

As described below, our selection process both prioritizes group applications and is determined by lottery. This departure from the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia’s standard peer-assessment model substantially reduces application fees and wait time for results while also reflecting our efforts to share Jampolis Cottage with as many writers as possible each year.

  1. Application packages are assessed by Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia staff and deemed eligible or ineligible, with eligible applications divided into two pools: group applications, and solo-writer applications. Applications are not otherwise ranked.
  2. For each available week, a recipient is randomly selected from the pool of eligible group applications declaring interest in that week. Larger groups (e.g., of four or five) are not prioritized over smaller groups (e.g., of two or three).
  3. If no group applications declare interest in an available week, a recipient is randomly selected from the pool of eligible solo-writer applications declaring interest in that week.

For additional details or clarification of the above selection process, please contact

Upon offer of a Self-Directed Residency, selected applicants have one week to confirm dates and pay a non-refundable deposit of 25% of the total residency fee. The balance of the fee is due 30 days before the residency begins.

1 resident*2 residents*3 residents*4 residents*5 residents*
* There is no additional charge for personal attendants, service animals, or dependants or domestic pets who require care. As such, we do not consider these companions when calculating your Self-Directed Residency fee; you should consider these companions, however, with respect to the sleeping capacity of Jampolis Cottage.

Applications are accepted only through the form at the bottom of this page. Please note that completing the application form is the final step in our recommended application checklist:

Ensure your eligibility.

Ensure your application package is complete and correct. In the event of an error, please contact our office to explain the issue before submitting a revised application package.

Pay the $10 Self-Directed Residency application fee. This fee cannot be refunded, including in cases of incomplete, ineligible, unsuccessful, or unselected applications. Self-directed Residency applications are free for WFNS members; if you are a member in good standing (even if applying on behalf of a group that includes non-members), please skip payment altogether. WFNS General Membership is open to anyone who writes, regardless of writing experience or place of residence.

To pay fee by phone, call us between 9am and 4pm on weekdays at 902 423 8116 with your credit card details.

To pay fee by mail, send a cheque (payable to “Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia”) post-dated for no later than the application deadline.

Complete and submit the online application form, visible at the bottom of this page when applications are being accepted. After clicking the “Submit application” button, please wait until the green confirmation message appears (confirming that your form has been successfully submitted) before exiting this page.

Applications are currently closed

Applications for January through May of 2025 will open on or before October 17, 2024, and closed on October 24.

Applications currently open for the following weeks:

January 5 through May 24, 2025

Applications for the above dates will be accepted until 11:59pm (Atlantic) on October 24.

Applications for late May through early December, 2025, will open on or before April 10, 2025, and closed on April 17.

Application form

If applying on behalf of a group (of two to five) for a Self-Directed Residency, these declarations must be true for each group member. If it is discovered that this declaration is false for any group member, your application will be ineligible.
All group applications (regardless of group size) receive scheduling priority over solo-writer applications.
If you apply for a two-week residency but only one week remains available when your application is selected, we will offer you a one-week residency.
Please select all that apply, keeping in mind that a greater flexibility in your schedule will increase your chance of being randomly selected for a Self-Directed Residency.
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
• Your application package must be a single digital file (.doc or .pdf format) containing all components identified in the above section "2. Application Package."
• Your application package must use a file name as follows: [Your Name] – Self-Directed Residency.
• Any incomplete, misnamed, or file-unreadable application package may be deemed ineligible.

If applying on behalf of a group (of two to five) for a self-directed residency, compile all application components into a single document and name the file according to the group member submitting the application.
Indicate the method by which you paid the Self-Directed Residency application fee (if applicable), details of which are given in the above tab "5. Application Checklist & Fee." Any fee payment must be sent before you submit your application.
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Subscribe to receive an email notification whenever new Self-Directed Residency weeks become available. This will typically occur two to three times per year.

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Recommended Experience Levels

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) recommends that participants in any given workshop have similar levels of creative writing and / or publication experience. This ensures that each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their career stage. The “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions used by WFNS.

  • New writers: those with less than two years’ creative writing experience and/or no short-form publications (e.g., short stories, personal essays, or poems in literary magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks).
  • Emerging writers: those with more than two years’ creative writing experience and/or numerous short-form publications.
  • Early-career authors: those with 1 or 2 book-length publications or the equivalent in book-length and short-form publications.
  • Established authors: those with 3 or 4 book-length publications.
  • Professional authors: those with 5 or more book-length publications.

Please keep in mind that each form of creative writing (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and writing for children and young adults) provides you with a unique set of experiences and skills, so you might consider yourself an ‘established author’ in one form but a ‘new writer’ in another.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” creative writing workshops, which provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback, the recommended experience level should be followed closely.

For all other workshops, the recommended experience level is just that—a recommendation—and we encourage potential participants to follow their own judgment when registering.

If you’re uncertain of your experience level with regard to any particular workshop, please feel free to contact us at