NILA residencies are an exhilarating experience. Students from across the country bring a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm. The community is diverse and welcoming, offering a unique balance of support and rigor to inspire and sustain your writing career. We look forward to seeing you there!
At residencies, students spend their mornings taking masters-level craft and workshop classes with NILA faculty members; their afternoons in sessions with notable guest faculty members; and their evenings enjoying and participating in literary readings. There’s something of interest for everyone, including fantasy, magical realism, poetry, nonfiction, marketing, pitching, humor, and more. Find out more by reviewing our Residency Handbook. It was created by students and alumni to help new students know what to expect at residency.
Writers come to residency with a variety of goals – from gaining new skills to getting the support of a community of writers. Many do not have any interest in continuing on in a MFA program. But for others, it is the perfect segue. Over the years many students have joined the MFA Program by first trying us out at a residency. It is a wonderful way to get your feet wet and see if the MFA Program will help you meet your goals.
For NILA’s MFA students, ten-day intensive residencies set the foundation for each fourteen-week online semester. Students who have completed their coursework and theses graduate during the August residency, and all are welcome to attend.
Previous Guest Faculty
The afternoons at residency include a variety of sessions on the profession of writing. Every residency features a new group of distinguished writers, editors and publishers from all genres. Some of our outstanding guests include:
Fiction: Elizabeth George, Molly Gloss, Natalie Baszile, Robert Dugoni, Craig Lesley and Ru Freeman
Nonfiction: Phillip Lopate, Brian Doyle, Tim Egan, Elena Passarello and Ryan Van Meter
Poetry: Tess Gallagher, Sam Hamill, Kim Stafford, Melissa Kwasny, Kathleen Flenniken and Elizabeth Austen
Children’s/Young Adult: Gary Schmidt, Linda Urban, Matt de la Peña, Martha Brockenbrough and Kirby Larson
Editors and Agents from: Dutton – Penguin, Tin House, The Normal School, River Teeth, Orion magazine, Sunset magazine, Curtis Brown, Ltd, Sandra Dijkstra Agency, Andrea Brown Literary Agency and Wales Literary Agency
From Residency to MFA
Cost of residency
The cost for a 10-day residency for non-MFA students is $900, or $850 for members of the Whidbey Island Writers Association. Payment is due after you’ve been accepted into the residency.
Meals and lodging costs are not included in the residency fee. We offer rooms at the Captain Whidbey on a first come, first served basis. The typical cost for a room at the Inn is $1225 for the 9 nights of residency ($130 per night). Meals are also available for advance purchase at the Inn. There are various meal plans to choose from for example a full-meal package includes all breakfasts, lunches and dinners for approximately $450. Meals and lodging can also be found in the Coupeville area.