Writing Residency

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Lemon Hut arthouse by Chelsea Thew and Derek Weston

Lemon Hut arthouse by Chelsea Thew and Derek Weston


An Immersive Pop-up Writer’s Community September 7-15, 2019


Five days of writing in a pop-up writers’ community.

No workshops, no distractions, just writing.

Five days. That’s it. That’s all we ask.

Commit yourself to five days of the most intensive writing you’ve ever done.


How it works

Two days to land and get acclimated and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, five days of intensive writing among a small group of other dedicated writers, and two days to recover, read your work to the community, and head home.

Simple, right? We think so, and we’d love to have you join us.

Who can apply

The SAW Five Days Writing Retreat is open to writers of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and provides private and shared writing spaces, abundant time, and a supportive atmosphere for both established and emerging writers.



Each writer is given his or her own Art House living and writing quarters. These are rustic ‘tiny house’ sleeping rooms with a bed and a desk, overlooking the pond and backed by a gentle stream. Shared bathroom and shower facilities are at the opposite side of the pond, with the rest of the artists’ community campus just a short walk away.


The week-long residency provides ample opportunity for spontaneous gatherings. Meals will be provided under the large open-air community tent, and coffee will be available in the Carey House, which will be set up as a writers’ lounge during the residency—feel free to gather here to discuss the art, craft, and business of writing, or gather inspiration from fellow writers.


SAW also boasts one of the most beautiful arts campuses around. The Carey Hill Sculpture Park is set on 120 acres of rolling landscape and hosts a rotating roster of sculptures by regional, national, and international artists. The view from the top of the hill is breathtaking, offering panoramic views of beautiful Upstate New York and Vermont. Residents are encouraged to walk the property’s extensive wooded trails, sit and write where they like, and interact with other artists if they wish.


Unique Features

  • Open to writers of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction at all stages of their career

  • Individual Art House living quarters, a unique living experience

  • 24-hour access to private writing studios and group space

  • A warm, supportive, and welcoming atmosphere amidst a creative arts environment

  • A breathtaking landscape to inspire your creativity

  • An opportunity to read your work to the community at the end the residency

  • The option to add on one of two introductory visual art workshops



Plan to arrive at SAW on Saturday, September 7th, between noon and 6PM. If flying in, Albany Airport is your best bet. A shuttle will pick up residents at 5PM and drop them off at SAW by 6:30PM. There will be a welcoming reception at 7PM in the Carey House, followed by a group dinner at 7:30PM under the big tent. Weather permitting, we’ll have a bonfire at the top of Carey Hill starting at 9PM.

Brunch will be served at 11AM on Sunday, September 8th. Coffee will be available in the Carey House Lounge starting at 9AM. The day is reserved for you to settle into your work space, explore the grounds, walk through the open galleries, and draw your inspiration. You’re also welcome to explore the town—everything is walking distance from campus.

Five Days of Work

Each day will start with breakfast at 8AM under the big tent with fellow writers and other artists in residence. Coffee will be available throughout the day in the Carey House Lounge. A buffet style lunch will be provided at noon, followed by a group dinner at 7:30PM each night.

The rest of the days and nights are reserved for your writing time. Make the most of it!

If you have any questions about where you can find spots to write outside your Art House desk, don’t hesitate to ask—we’re happy to point out the many hidden nooks to sit and work quietly.

Optional Add-on Workshops

At the end of an intensive week of writing, why not experience a bit more of what SAW has to offer by doing something completely different?

Have you ever wanted to learn glass blowing? How about trying your hand at blacksmithing?

We’d be delighted to give you that experience. Just choose which class interests you most and add that to your selection when you register for the retreat. Workshops are $80 per person (minimum of 3 people, maximum of 6 people).

06_Glass Shop.jpg

Glass Blowing

Saturday September 14, 2019
2pm to 4pm

This is an introduction to what glass is and how to work with solid forms and color. Paperweights and flower forms are a great place to discover this fascinating material. Each student will make something to keep in this fun and informative class. After a brief safety talk and an introduction to the tools and equipment, each student will be able to work the Gaffer’s bench and experiment with the glass.



Saturday September 14, 2019
2pm to 4pm

Students will learn safety practices, proper working temperature, and hammer control. Tapering, twisting, and curling will be introduced. These techniques will be used to produce a hand forged hook and/or heart.

Final Day and Departure

Saturday, September 14th is our wrap-up day, with optional workshops or a group tour of the local area, including a possible trip to the Northshire Bookstore in nearby Saratoga Springs.

Saturday evening is reserved for a public reading of your work. Each writer will be given the opportunity to read for five minutes: a scene from your novel-in-progress, three poems, or a short piece of fiction or non-fiction. Following the reading, we’ll have a closing party to celebrate the week and all the work that was done.

Departure is by noon on Sunday, September 14th. Coffee and pastries will be available. A shuttle for the airport will leave SAW at noon.



The retreat fee includes accommodations for eight nights in one of SAW’s Art House tiny homes as well as meals throughout your stay.

  • Retreat Fee: $850.00

  • Round-trip Airport Shuttle Fee: $50

  • Non-refundable deposit, due at time of registration: $200.00

  • Optional two-hour glass blowing or blacksmithing workshop: $80

Balance of payment due September 3rd, 2019.


Writers may enroll for the retreat as of May 15th, 2019. Space is limited to 10 residents and will be filled on a first come/first serve basis once your application is accepted.

To register, please submit an artist’s bio and a one-page description of your work and proposed project plan for your time at SAW.

After review, applicants will be notified via email of their application status. Once accepted, you’ll be sent another email with a link for payment. Please let us know of any allergies or food restrictions.