Call for Proposals: Urban Wild Writer Residency

Photo: Michael McWeeney.

Applications are due May 1, 2018 at 11:59 PM. For full details and instructions, visit the Urban Omnibus page.

Urban Omnibus announces a new opportunity for an Urban Wild Writer in partnership with NYC Parks and the Freshkills Park Alliance. Thoreau explored wilderness in earshot of a commuter train and walking distance from his mother’s house. Rachel Carson plumbed the biodiversity of suburbia. We seek a writer to explore and interpret the contemporary urban landscape where highways meet gas wells, herons, and kayakers.

This new and unique experience for one writer-in-residence will take place at the 2,200 acre closed landfill on Staten Island that will become the second-largest public park in New York City. This writing residency seeks to bring a first-hand perspective to topics that include the environment, technology, urban life, nature, and waste. One writer will gain personal access to the diverse ecosystems present in the unopened park in late summer, 2018. The writer will produce a work of creative nonfiction engaging with the contemporary metropolitan landscape to be published online by Urban Omnibus in the fall of 2018. The residency is designed to be short, flexible, and out of doors.

About the Hosts: Freshkills Park and Urban Omnibus

Freshkills Park represents the transformation of Fresh Kills Landfill into an extraordinary 2,200-acre urban park that will be a model for sustainable waterfront land reclamation, a source of pride for Staten Island and New York City, and a gift of open space for generations to come.

Urban Omnibus is The Architectural League of New York’s online publication dedicated to observing, understanding, and shaping the city. We raise new questions, illuminate diverse perspectives, and document creative projects to advance the collective work of citymaking.

Compensation and Logistics

The five day residency may take place continuously over the course of a week, or over multiple weekends or days from August to September 2018. The resident will receive a stipend of $1,000 USD. The residency will additionally reimburse up to $500 in travel and accommodation expenses as necessary; hotel accommodation is available near the Park and local transportation can be arranged. Freshkills Park will provide transportation from the Staten Island Ferry or Lower Manhattan to and around the interior of the Park.

At Freshkills, the writer-in-residence will have accompanied access to various parts of the site and the ability to observe and interview engineers, ecologists, researchers, groundskeepers, and others engaged in the work of making the Park. In preparing their proposal, applicants are encouraged to think creatively about how they would engage the landscape, including the people who work within it. The writer will also have access to the indoors Freshkills Park Studio + Gallery space for writing during agreed upon hours.

The Park is wheelchair accessible on paved roads, although there may be limited access to facilities and shade. We do not discriminate based on race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.



Nonfiction writers at any stage of their careers are welcome to apply. A completed application includes:

1. A completed application form.

2. A CV or resumé.

3. A writing sample not to exceed 10 pages of writing. The sample may be one piece or selections from multiple pieces of work.

Applications are due May 1, 2018 at 11:59pm and should be sent as a single PDF to

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

For full details and more information about the site, applicants should consult the resources compiled on the Urban Omnibus page. With any questions that are not answered by the resources provided, including questions about what will be possible on site during the residency, please contact

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