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HBKU Press Partners with Art OMI to Sponsor Month-Long Writers’ Residency for Arabic Writer

For the very first time, Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (Doha, Qatar) has partnered with Art Omi (NY, USA) to sponsor one aspiring Arabic writer to participate in the 2020 Art Omi Writers’ Residency Program.

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This annual residency provides writers with the space and time away from daily pressures to create, and to bring experts in the field to dialogue with the residents.

The retreat is held over four weeks in either the spring or fall seasons at the Art Omi residences located in Ghent, New York on 300 acres of rolling farmland with spectacular views of the Catskills and the Hudson River Valley. 

 “HBKU Press is committed to serving the wider community by sponsoring opportunities like the 2020 Art Omi Writers’ Residency Programthat allow for the exposure of local literary voices on a global stage,” explains Rima Ismail, Outreach and Special Project Manager at HBKU Press. “This inaugural event reflects the spirit of cultural exchange that is essential to both HBKU Press’s and Art Omi’s mission.”

Residents are encouraged to select one written piece to focus on during the residency. Daytime is reserved for writing and quiet activities, while evenings are more communal. Noted editors, agents and book scouts are invited to share dinner and conversation on both creative and practical subjects, offering insight into the workings of the publishing industry, and introductions to some of its key professionals.

“Art Omi is thrilled to be working with HBKU Press to bring an Arab writer to our beautiful campus in the Hudson Valley,” explains DW Gibson, Director of Art Omi: Writers. “With our primary goal of supporting the work of writers working outside the U.S. this partnership helps us ensure that we will be able to include this important region of the world in our international cohort. HBKU Press is the ideal partner for helping us identify some of the most exciting writers and we look forward to welcoming them to New York and promoting their work in the U.S.”

 “This may very well be once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to writers in Qatar and the Middle East,” continues Ismail. “Not only are all of the living expenses for the selected resident covered for a month, but the chosen resident will receive invaluable guidance and feedback on their work from noted American publishing industry professionals.”

HBKU Press has opened its application for the residency program online on its website. This opportunity is open to all writers, though preference is given to mid-career writers. Applicants must have an intermediate grasp of the English language as the residency and its workshops are all in English. A full application package includes the application (found on hbkupress.com), statement of purpose (1000 words), and CV to be submitted in English; and a writing sample (5000 words) that can be in Arabic. Only completed applications emailed to hbkupcomms@hbku.edu.qa will be considered.

For more details on the requirements, terms and conditions, and to apply for the residency, please visit hbkupress.com. The deadline for the application is 30 September 2019. HBKU Press will announce the shortlist of finalists on 15 October 2019, and one finalist who will attend the retreat will be announced on 25 November 2019.