Writers' Residency Application ButtonThe world has changed a lot since the late 1800’s when Theodora Colt reclaimed and rebranded her childhood home “Linden Place.” Where her father had once hosted slave traders and corrupt politicians, Theodora gathered abolitionist writers here in literary salons that included the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and John Greenleaf Whittier.

Now, we want you to be part of our literary lineage by bringing a creative point of view to our history. The Linden Place Writers’ Residency is a no-cost, daytime only residency program that gives creative writers the tools to discover, engage, examine, and interpret Linden Place’s people, events, setting, and artifacts through a contemporary lens.


RISCA Art in the AnchorLinden Place is a nonprofit museum with a potent place in American history. Built in 1810 by slave trader George DeWolf, the house serves as a place of education and catalyst for discussion about the transatlantic slave trade and Northern complicity in the same. Occupants and guests of the house have included Presidents, enslaved Africans, famous writers, servants, freed slaves, business magnates, Hollywood actors, abolitionists, and philanthropists. The museum’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, furniture, and rare items, such as a horse-drawn coach from the 1820’s. The house has notable architectural details and sits on 1.8 acres of land that are part of the Wampanoag/Pokanoket ancestral homelands.

The stories of those who lived and worked here speak to issues of enslavement, colonialism, early industry, class divides, philanthropy, and the agency of women. In all, it is fertile ground for creative writers to re-interpret, re-examine, and expound on history through contemporary viewpoints.

Could you imagine Linden Place as the backdrop of a LGBTQ+ historic romance? Could you envision a superhero narrative with a freed African as the central figure? Could you see a Young Adult novel where the teen protagonist discovers a portal to the past through one of the museum’s paintings? Could you pen a classic mystery where Ethel Barrymore, one of our former occupants and most popular actresses of her day, goes missing while visiting here? Could you write a narrative essay about your life that draws parallels to the lives of the widowed women who’ve resided here? Could you create an anti-racist rock opera that sheds light on the DeWolf slave traders? Could you conceive of a screenplay with a pivotal scene taking place in our gardens?

These ideas represent the kind of varied, thought-provoking, contemporary works that we aim to foster through the writers’ residency. We believe the work that comes out of the program will be a gateway for an expanded understanding and re-examination of our complex history.

Above: Our 2022 Writers-in-Residence: Ben Jolivet, Mia Manzotti, Rebecca Siemering, Curtis Perdue, Rochelle Leach, Kate Lane, Genesis Barrera, Elizabeth Maligranda


The Linden Place Writers’ Residency (LPWR) is a free, month-long, daytime-only residency for creative writers wishing to interpret the museum's complicated history through a creative lens.

Three esteemed judges will select 8 residents to join us for the residency month of April. Each writer receives:

  • A free audio tour
  • On-site workspace through the month of April
  • Research support from museum professionals
  • A $100 travel stipend
  • ½ hour one-on-one consults with sensitivity reader Renee Harleston of Writing Diversely
  • Press and publicity
  • An audience to hear works in progress
  • 50% off accommodations at the Bradford-Dimond-Norris House B&B next door for the month of April


LPWR is open to all levels of creative writer including beginner, mid-career, hobbyist, or seasoned writers. They must be at least 18 years old and meet one of the following criteria: Have Rhode Island as a primary residence at least 9 months of the year, or live along the Massachusetts border within 25 miles of Linden Place, or attend Roger Williams University as an enrolled undergraduate student.

Former writers’ in residence must wait 3 years to apply to the program again.


For application writing samples and proposed works while in residence we accept fiction (all genres), narrative non-fiction, poetry, screenplays, and plays.


Writers will be expected to start a new writing project while in residence and work on site at Linden Place for a minimum of 12 hours during the month of April, with no more than 6 visits. Writers are also required to attend the reading of their works in progress and community discussion in mid-June. Vaccination is required. Covid-19 safety guidelines are below.

Applications are due on March 7, 2023 by 8:00 p.m. ET. We highly recommend you download and read this Linden Place factsheet before applying.

Writers' Residency Application Button

Our 2023 Judges
Adam McNeil Headshot
Jennifer Lighty

Jennifer Lighty is a writer, teacher, and mentor whose work aims to bridge the gap between imagination and logic through myth, traditional oral stories, and poetry. Author of three books of poetry, Siren, Bluebell: The Apocalypse Diary and Breaking Up With the Moon (Finishing Line Press, 2017), her poems and essays have appeared in numerous publications including Earthlines, The Island Review, Poetry Lore, The North American Review, The Providence Journal, and Thrush Poetry Journal. Her poem "That Which There Are No Words For" was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and she received a fellowship grant in poetry from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Piko: A Return to the Dreaming, her nonfiction account of a 21-day ceremony enacted on Hawai'i Island telling stories to a body of water will be published by Whale Road Press in 2023. She writes weekly on the intersection of myth, ecology, current events, and daily life at The Corpus Callosum Chronicles. For more information on Jennifer's multidimensional work see

Adam McNeil Headshot
Adam McNeil

Adam McNeil is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at Rutgers University. His scholarship focuses on how enslaved women were key contributors to the Chesapeake’s culture of rebelliousness during the Age of Revolutions. His secondary focus is on histories of Appalachian mountain slavery and labor histories in the 18th and 19th centuries. His research has been supported by fellowships from the University of Michigan’s Clements Library, the David Center for the American Revolution at the American Philosophical Society, and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture (OI). In addition to academic writing, he regularly contributes to academic blogs Black Perspectives and The Junto, along with interviewing nearly 100 scholars on the New Books in African American Studies podcast. Follow him on Twitter.

Padma Venkatraman Headshot
Padma Venkatraman

Padma Venkatraman is the author of Born Behind Bars as well as The Bridge Home, A Time to Dance, Island’s End and Climbing the Stairs. She is the winner of a WNDB Walter Dean Myers Award, Golden Kite Award, Crystal Kite Award, two Nerdy Book Awards, two Paterson Prizes, three South Asia Book Awards and many other awards and honors. Her novels have been shortlisted for over 20 state awards, received over 20 starred reviews, appeared on numerous best book lists, such as the ALA Notable, NYPL Best Book, Kirkus Best Book, Booklist editor's Choice and Junior Library Guild selection. Her poetry has been published in Poetry magazine and elsewhere. Before becoming an American author, Dr. Venkatraman spent time under the ocean and in rainforests, served as chief scientist on oceanographic research vessels where she was the only BIPOC female, and worked as a teacher and diversity director. Learn more at, or find her on Twitter and Facebook.



The residency is open to writers of all genres of fiction and narrative non-fiction, poets, screenwriters, and playwrights 18 and older who primarily reside in Rhode Island, or live within 25 miles of Linden Place, or attend Roger Williams University as an enrolled undergrad. Beginner, mid-career, hobbyist, and established writers are welcome to apply.

Writers will primarily be judged on the merit of their writing and Statement of Intent. However, we will also look at individuals within the context of the larger whole in order to ensure our 8 residents represent a diversity of viewpoints, life experiences, and genres.

In addition to the residency application, writers must submit one of the following for consideration: 5 consecutive pages of fiction or narrative nonfiction, or 7-10 pages of poetry, or 10-15 consecutive pages of a screenplay or play.


January 30th – Applications open

February 20th – Early bird deadline

March 7th – Applications due by 8:00 p.m. ET

March 25th – Residents announced

March 26th – April 1st – Residents schedule tour & visits

Month of April – Residency at Linden Place

April 25th – Progress report due

May – Writers continue to work from home

May 26th – Residents submit works-in-progress for excerpt selection

Mid-June (weeknight) – Community reading and discussion of works in progress


This is a no-cost residency. All writers will receive a $100 stipend to cover travel and related expenses.

The residency application requires a fee to help cover the project administrator’s stipend and judges’ honorariums. Applications received by early bird deadline of February 20th will receive discounted fee of $10. After that date the application fee will be $15. There is an additional $3 processing fee if using a credit card. If you’d like to avoid a processing fee you may pay by check or cash. To do so please contact us at Applicants with financial hardship for whom the fee is a barrier are asked to email us at for fee reduction or waiver.

In line with our mission to serve the community, the reading and discussion event will be free of charge.


Writers-in-Residence will be vaccinated, as is Linden Place staff. They will be able to take the self-guided tour and work in our spaces at times that are convenient to them and allow the ability to control the amount of people they interface with. They will be provided with masks, if necessary, and hand sanitizer, as well as with access to clean restroom facilities. The mansion where they will be working has many spaces, allowing for ample distancing from others. If working during our visitor hours or interfacing with staff, they will be required to wear a mask. The community reading and discussion event will be held in our spacious ballroom with social distancing and windows open for airflow. If a resident or attendee has additional concerns, we will find suitable adaptations. Judging of the entrants’ applications will take place online and over Zoom and, thus, pose no risk to jurors.


Linden Place Writers’ Residency is committed to fostering accessibility in all aspects of the program in order to ensure that all writers in our community have the accommodations and support necessary for a successful writing experience. At present, Linden Place’s self-guided tour is available in both audio and text formats for anyone with visual or hearing impairment. We have wheelchair-accessible bathrooms and our museum’s first floor is accessible via wheelchair ramp. Tours and research related to the 2nd floor will be done via video livestream with the program administrator. Quiet spaces are available for people with anxiety or overstimulation issues. For the community reading event, accommodations can be made for anyone with disabilities that may impede or prevent public speaking, such as anxiety disorders or speech language impairment. Our goal is to remove all barriers to entry and participation in the program.


The residency program is administered by Leigh Medeiros, an award-winning screenwriter, two-time RISCA Screenwriting Merit Fellow, and author of The 1-Minute Writer: 396 Microprompts to Spark Creativity and Recharge Your Writing. She has worked in the arts for nearly 30 years. For the past 16 years she has been a writing mentor, coach, and developmental editor for screenwriters and non-fiction authors. Her creative work has been featured in SPIN, The Boston Globe, Outside, Food Network magazine, Uppercase, and Rhode Island Monthly. 


Our 2023 partners are helping us create a month-long celebration of writers and writing to run in tandem with the residency. Throughout the month of April, we’ll present online and in person public programming for adults and teens. Please join our mailing list here for forthcoming updates.


 What Cheer Writers Club supports Rhode Island's creators of the written, spoken and illustrated word through community events, free and low-cost business services and coworking space.

The School One Literary Center serves adult writers and young authors, from beginners to professionals. Known for Write Rhode Island, a creative writing program for teens, our Center offers an annual creative writing contest, after-school classes, an intensive summer program and other opportunities for students to find their voice and explore their creativity.

The mission of the Bristol Historical & Preservation Society is to stimulate interest in the history of Bristol, Rhode Island, through education, research, and the collection and preservation of historic objects.

Writing Diversely is dedicated to helping writers create diverse and inclusive stories. Their team of editors and readers offers a full range of editing, writing, and consulting services.

Roger Williams University Department of English and Creative Writing is committed to providing students with a dynamic, hands-on education that focuses on project-based learning experiences that prepare students for a wide variety of professional careers in areas including publishing, journalism, public relations, advocacy, and marketing.


April 1st: Bristol Bookfest

Week of April 2nd: Research webinar with Bristol Historical & Preservation Society

Week of April 9th: Teen writing workshops with School One’s Literary Center

April 20th: "Writing Early Black History with Authenticity & Sensitivity" Webinar with Renee Harleson of Writing Diversely

April 23rd: Community Write-In with What Cheer Writers Club

Week of April 24th: Student Event with Roger Williams University Department of English & Creative Writing


This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

We are also sponsored by the following individuals and businesses:

Bradford-Dimond-Norris House

Bradford-Dimond-Norris House B&B in Bristol, Rhode Island


Contact us at


To apply for the Linden Place Writers’ Residency please complete the following three steps. All three steps must be complete in order for your application to be considered. If you have any questions, please contact Leigh at

STEP 1: Pay $15 application fee HERE.

STEP 2: Fill out personal information below. All fields are required.

Submissions are currently closed. Thank you for your interest in the Linden Place Writers' Residency.