Willa Cather, Rinehart-Marsden Studios, Omaha, NE, 1921
Willa Cather, Rinehart-Marsden Studios, Omaha, NE, 1921

Willa Cather Residency for Writers

October 13–27, 2024

About the Program

The Willa Cather Residency for Writers was created in 2023 to commemorate the 150th year of Cather’s birth and to provide a unique opportunity for a small cohort of writers—and eventually artists of all media—to reside and create in Red Cloud, Nebraska for two weeks. A new initiative of the National Willa Cather Center, the program reflects the life-long reverence that world-renowned author Willa Cather had for art, storytelling, and her hometown—an inspirational setting amidst the Great Plains of Nebraska—from which she created the communities in half of her novels.

In a nod to the long road that Willa Cather traveled before she became free to focus on her own writing—a road that included freelancing, teaching, editing, and managing a national magazine—the Willa Cather Residency for Writers welcomes writers who are struggling to transition from a hectic career to a life in art. While open to all, our purpose is to assist such artists.


Our select cohort of writers will live and work in Red Cloud over a two-week period from October 13-27, 2024. Each resident will be provided a private furnished room in the Cather Second Home Guest House—with its comfortable communal kitchen, dining, and living spaces—and a separate place to work. Residents will also receive $400 for provisions while in Red Cloud.

While knowledge of Cather’s work and personal connection to Nebraska is not essential, it is important that applicants—and selected artists—embrace and appreciate the relative isolation of Red Cloud and seek a quiet place to do their work. In addition to a $35 application fee, residents are expected to provide their own transportation to and from Red Cloud. Airport pickups may be arranged.

To Apply


Residency Application Timeline

  • March 1, 2024: Application opens
  • April 15, 2024: Application deadline
  • Mid May 2024: Announce cohort
  • October 13-27, 2024: Residency in Red Cloud