TORCH-St Edmund Hall Writer in Residence 2020

torch seh writer in residence

The TORCH-St Edmund Hall Writer in Residence scheme for 2020 is designed to bring a BAME writer to the University of Oxford for the eight weeks of Hilary Term (January 19th through to March 14th 2020). St Edmund Hall, a small and beautiful college in the city centre, will host the writer within its academic community, and TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) will provide a travel bursary, and logistical support for events. The scheme is open to BAME practitioners of any of the literary arts and at any stage in their career; the Writer in Residence will join a community of poets, writers, and playwrights within the rich creative culture of St Edmund Hall and across the university.

Known affectionately as ‘Teddy Hall’, St Edmund Hall is one of the oldest academic institutions in the University, though it only officially became one of the university’s colleges in 1957. This dualism is reflected within its culture, which is both historic and forward-thinking. Creative writing is a particular strength at Teddy Hall, and regular creative writing workshops and events are a part of College life. There an online forum for writers associated with the College (The Hall Writers Forum), a termly poetry reading series (Meet the Poet), a weekly workshop run by undergraduates (The Wednesday Workshop), and an annual student-produced arts and literary magazine (A Gallery). Creative members of the College—students, staff, and Fellows—regularly contribute to the cultural life of the University and the city of Oxford.

The Writer in Residence will spend the eight weeks of Hilary term living at Teddy Hall working on a personal project of their choosing. The College will provide the Writer with accommodation, food, and membership of the College’s Senior Common Room. In return, the Writer will contribute to the College’s cultural life through engagement with members of the College community. The Writer in Residence will serve as a role model to budding writers among the college’s students and increase awareness around diversity and inclusivity across the wider University. While at Oxford, the Writer in Residence will also have the opportunity to engage with the networks and community of TORCH.

TORCH supports interdisciplinary work and fosters public engagement with both research and creative work. TORCH works with academics at all career stages and promotes collaborations with public and private institutions and partners. Under its broad umbrella, TORCH brings together academic research, diverse industries, and the performing arts. The TORCH Headline Series for 2018/19 is ‘Humanities and Performance,’ and the residency will build on the strong programme of cultural and artistic events taking place within this series. TORCH will assist the Writer in Residence in bringing their work to academic and public audiences through logistical support and access to its networks. TORCH will also sponsor the writer’s University card for one year, allowing the writer access to Oxford’s vast libraries, and will provide a bursary of £2,500 to cover travel and expenses to and from Oxford and during the residency itself.

Details, Eligibility, and Application Procedure

The residency is open to BAME writers above 18 years of age at any stage in their career. The scheme welcomes applications from writers of any of the literary arts including (but not limited to) poetry, plays, novels, short stories, and creative nonfiction.

The Humanities Division of the University of Oxford is committed to increasing the portfolio of opportunities available to researchers and performers to attract the best, irrespective of background. The underrepresentation of UK-BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) students suggests that more can be done to increase opportunities for students from these backgrounds to pursue opportunities in the Humanities.

This Visiting Fellowship, made available by the Humanities Division in association with St Edmund Hall, will offer financial support to talented writers from a BAME background. Funding for this is partly through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, through the ‘Humanities & Identities’ grant, specifically to support research and activity related to areas of diversity.


The Writer in Residence will undertake a self-defined artist project and will engage with the creative community of the College and wider University. The Writer in Residence will not deliver teaching but will be encouraged to connect with the college and TORCH to plan and deliver events, workshops, or colloquia for students, researchers, staff, and occasionally public audiences. The writer will be supported to consider ways in which to engage the creative community of the wider city of Oxford.

Duration and Expenses

The residency will take place for one term in Hilary 2020. St Edmund Hall will provide accommodation (a single-occupancy en-suite flat within the college), all meals, and Senior Common Room membership for the duration of the residency. TORCH will provide a bursary of £2,500 to cover the writer’s travel costs and expenses during the residency and will sponsor their University card for the period of one academic year.

Application Process

Applications should include:

· A 1-2 page cover letter describing previous and current creative work and publications, how they plan to use the time towards their own creative work, and one or two ways they envision contributing to the college and TORCH-Humanities communities

· A brief CV (roughly 2 sides of A4)

· A PDF sample of writing (~10 pages of poetry or prose, or the rough equivalent in the writer’s chosen genre)

· Links to any relevant online material

The deadline for applications is midnight 14 October. Applications should be submitted to TORCH Operations Manager, Dr Justine Shaw:

If you are unable to submit an electronic application, please send the required application documents to Dr Justine Shaw (to arrive by the closing date) at:

TORCH, Humanities Division, University of Oxford, 3rd Floor, Radcliffe Humanities, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG