The Woodland Words Writing Residency

Wytham Woods at sunset

The Wytham Woods Writer in Residence is a relatively new role, with the inaugural residency starting in 2019. The role is intended to grow and develop to match each individual who holds it, and as such, the following is only a loose description of what would be involved.
In 2019-20 our Woodland Words residency was centred on poetry, and therefore the prescribed anthology (see ‘Duties’ below) refers to poems, but applications are welcome from writers of all kinds, and we expect new creative outlooks to have an impact upon the residency. We welcome applications from writers at all stages of their writing careers.
Please read the list of duties, provisions, expected outcomes and the note on fees carefully. Any further questions should be directed to:
For further information on the 2019-20 residency, click here.

Duration: One year: 1 May to 30 April.


  • To actively engage with the local community (defined as all site users, including all visitors, walkers, and local schools) and to develop ideas for, and implement, workshops/competitions in conjunction with the Conservator and Administrative Officer.*
  • Attendance at a quarterly meeting with the Conservator and Administrative Officer to set objectives and to ensure the Woods team provide the necessary support.
  • To provide text for and arrange editing of an anthology of at least 20 “pieces” of poetry*. The funding of the publication will be supported by the Woods up to a sum of £1000. The design of the publication will be specified by Wytham Woods.
  • To provide content for the Woodland Words area of the Wytham Woods website, in the style of a blog. Support will be provided by the Administrative Officer.
  • To assist with the recruitment of the subsequent Writer in Residence.

* See ‘Fees’.
**If a non-poet, alternative anthology requirements to be agreed upon.

The University will provide:

  • A bursary of £1000 for the year –year – to be paid quarterly.
  • 10 days of lodging at the Chalet (use of private bedroom, shared kitchen and wash facilities, and seminar room.)
  • A University email account.
  • Insurance cover for any workshops involving the public.
  • Publicity for events and other public outputs, including costs incurred.

Expected outcomes:

  • To increase the public awareness of Wytham Woods and its research community.
  • To raise the profile of the Writer in Residence, and the Woodland Words Residency.
  • To engage with new groups and grow new audiences both for the Woods and the Writer in Residence.
  • Fees:
  • The bursary is simply to assist with day-to-day expenses. Any further input to workshops or training events would be at a jointly agreed daily fee.
  • Any events organised under the auspices of the Writer in Residence for which the post-holder is paid a fee and/or charges for attendance would need to be confirmed with the Conservator of Wytham Woods.

How to apply:
To apply for the Woodland Words residency please submit a proposal of what you would wish to achieve during the year, both in terms of workshop ideas, creative output, and awareness. (Maximum 1 A4 page, font size 12.) Please also submit an extract of your work, no more than 5,000 words of prose or 4 poems. Please make sure that your full name is included on each document. Documents should be either in Microsoft Word or PDF format, or as scanned images. (.Pages files cannot be opened).
Applications and queries should be sent to: The Administrator,
The deadline for applications is 9 March 2020.

About Wytham Woods
Wytham Woods is an ancient semi-natural woodland, which has been owned and maintained by the University of Oxford since 1942. It is internationally renowned for its scientific research, with its 1000 acres being a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, and one of the most researched pieces of woodland in the world. Wytham is exceptionally rich in flora and fauna, with over 500 species of plants, a wealth of woodland habitats, and 800 species of butterflies and moths. The Woods are enjoyed by walkers, wildlife enthusiasts, and school children, in addition to the researchers both from the University and around the world.
However the Woods are not famous for science alone, and have also inspired many people from across the divide between Arts and Science, perhaps most famously in Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse novel, The Way Through The Woods. The Wytham team are keen to expand its involvement with the arts, and in recent years have hosted music performances, art installations, and photographic exhibitions, in addition to the work of the artists at the Wytham Studio.
Click here for further information on Wytham Woods. For insight into research projects carried out, there is a series of short films available on YouTube.