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 individual writers or in creative groups of up to three (for separate bedrooms) or five (with shared bedrooms). Successful applicants are provided with at-cost residence: $500 per week + $100 per week for each additional resident.

Group applications for Self-Directed Residencies are open to groups of writers working on separate projects; to groups that include some non-literary artists; and to groups working on collaborative projects that include literary elements. Organizing a group residency can significantly reduce the cost for each resident—from $500/week for an individual writer down to $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.

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.

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

  • You must be 19 years of age of older by the current application deadline.
  • You must not have already accepted / undertaken a Self-Directed Residency during the same calendar year as the week(s) for which you are applying. This criterion applies to both individual and group Self-Directed Residencies. (I.e., if you’ve accepted / undertaken an individual Self-Directed Residency at Jampolis Cottage during this calendar year, you are not an eligible to apply as part of a group Self-Directed Residency—and vice versa.)

Eligible group applications receive scheduling priority. If applying as a group (of two to five) for a Self-Directed Residency, please familiarize yourself with Jampolis Cottage’s accommodation capacity, restrictions on mixed-use and collaborative residencies, and group application specifications, as described below.

Jampolis Cottage has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. In a resident 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. More specifically, a group may include artists who will be working on non-literary artistic projects, but 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, all materials used must be low-impact, suitable for use within a shared domestic space and for clean-up by the writer(s)/artist(s) 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 and one letter of intent per applicant into a single document (see the tab “3. Application Package” for details) and must submit the 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 CV/resume of 1 to 2 pages in length (single-spaced; in 12-pt Times New Roman or Arial font).

  • All applicants should 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.
  • Emerging writer applicants may supplement a 1-page CV with a 1-page letter of support from an established writer or professional author, such as a past mentor.

B. Letter of intent of 1 to 2 pages in length (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.
  • All applicants are invited to identify any barriers to literary creation they have faced (personal, social, political, financial, etc.) and/or to explain the unique benefits a Jampolis Cottage residency would provide for them.

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

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

Application packages are assessed by Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia staff to ensure that applicants will use Jampolis Cottage for its intended purpose. Applications are deemed ‘successful’ or ‘unsuccessful’; they are not ranked.

Due to the high volume of interest in Self-Directed Residencies, scheduling is determined by lottery. First, group applications are drawn at random from the pool of successful applications; if any of the group’s selected weeks is still available, the group is offered a residency. Second, individual applications are drawn at random from the pool of successful applications; if any of the individual’s preferred weeks is still available, the individual is offered a residency. Selected applicants have one week from the date of notification to confirm their residency dates and pay their deposits.

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 begins.

Number of residents *One-week residency depositOne-week residency balanceTwo-week residency depositTwo-week residency balance
1$125$375$250$750
2$150$225/writer$300$450/writer
3$175$175/writer$350$350/writer
4$200$150/writer$400$300/writer
5$225$135/writer$450$270/writer
* There is no additional charge for personal attendants, service animals, or dependants or domestic pets who require care.

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

To fee pay 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

Dates from June to December of 2024 will be opened for application on April 11, 2024.

Dates from January to May of 2025 will be opened for application on October 17, 2024.

Applications Currently Open for the following weeks:

Jan 28 – Feb 3, 2024
Feb 25 – Mar 2, 2024
Apr 21 – Apr 27, 2024
May 5 – May 12, 2024
May 12 – May 18, 2024
May 19 – May 25, 2024
May 26 – June 1, 2024

Applications will be accepted from Thursday, Nov 30 (9am Atlantic), to Thursday, Dec 7 (9pm Atlantic).

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 individual 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 successfully booking 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."
- use 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).
Any incomplete, misnamed, or file-unreadable application package will be 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 section "5. How to Apply." 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 each workshop’s participants share a level or range of writing / publication experience. This is to ensure that each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their current writing priorities.

To this end, the “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions developed by WFNS:

  • New writers: those with no professional publications (yet!) or a few short professional publications (i.e., poems, stories, or essays in literary magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks).
  • Emerging writers: those with numerous professional publications and/or one book-length publication.
  • Established writers/authors: those with two book-length publications or the equivalent in book-length and short publications.
  • Professional authors: those with more than two book-length publications.

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

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 communications@writers.ns.ca