Check out this incredible creative writing opportunity

You could earn a writer’s residency in Fayetteville, America’s “Coolest Small Town!” The Lafayette Flats’ New River Gorge Winter Writer’s Residency program is your ticket to a free boutique hideaway, inspiring scenery and warm Appalachian hospitality.

Write West Virginia’s next chapter

The New River Gorge

Creative spirit, charm and colorful characters— that’s the Mountain State. And the founders of the writer’s residency, Amy McLaughlin and Shawn Means, know that’s solid writing material right there.

Each year, they look for someone who can write West Virginia’s “alternative narrative.” If that’s you, apply to stay 3 months at their luxurious historic bank-turned-vacation getaway, Lafayette Flats! Tranquility and romantic wilderness landscapes are just what your novel, articles or poems need.

So far, the residency has seen the likes of Eric Shonkwiler, 2015 winner of the Luminaire Award for Best Prose, and Mary Ann Henry, winner of Women’s Fiction/Short Story Collections by Chanticleer Reviews.

Your home away from home

As a resident writer, you’ll get to stay in “Corten,” one of the boutique apartments at Lafayette Flats. Named after the steel that gives the iconic New River Gorge Bridge its distinctive look and color, this stylish retreat is completely furnished. You’ll have a queen-size bed, shower, complete kitchen, and access to laundry facilities.

Corten also has a living space with cable TV and a sofa bed. Feel free to bring a laptop or tablet for online research and writing, too.

Just outside Lafayette Flats is Fayetteville proper, a small town crowded with one-of-a-kind cafes, restaurants and shops. Dine on farm-fresh, creative dishes at popular eateries like Pies & Pints, Secret Sandwich Society and Gumbo’s. For crafted espresso drinks and snacks, head to Cathedral Cafe, Vandal’s Kitchen and Kool Beanz.

And for meditation and brainstorming, there’s always the New River Gorge itself. Miles of wilderness trails and state park rivers are just a walk or drive away. A little adventure can really get those creative juices flowing, too.

Life at the residency

The Lafayette Flats writing program happens only once a year, from January 1 to March 31— a $6,500 deal! You’ll stay during the winter, so plan accordingly.

There are some requirements to meet, too:

  • The residency is a retreat. Make Corten your address for the next 3 months and try not to stray from “home.”
  • Write at least 1 blog post each month. Share your experiences with readers. Tell them how you plan to shape West Virginia’s narrative.
  • You’re responsible for your own meals and living costs.

Start that application!

Lafayette Flats’ owners want to select someone who is curious about Appalachian culture. If you’re eager to learn more about West Virginia and its people, make sure that enthusiasm leaps off your application.

You’ll also need to provide:

  • a cover letter
  • 2 letters of recommendation (including contact information)
  • a statement describing your interest in the residency
  • a resume
  • a writing sample
  • a plan that details how you’ll spend your time in Fayetteville

You have until Oct. 15 to apply, so get started today!

How will you write West Virginia’s narrative?