Prospect Street Writers House
Prospect Street Writers House’s philosophy is embodied in poet Donald Hall’s maxim – “The friendship of writers is the history of literature.” Situated in the Vermont village of North Bennington, Prospect Street celebrates written language and fosters literary discourse. Peace and quiet, time to think and write, and good company form the fundamentals that this writers residency has to offer.
The Writers House is an Open House. Applications are strictly noncompetitive, open to all no matter your genre or where you might be in your writing life. Your submission will be reviewed simply so we have a better understanding your work and you.
Applications for Fall 2023 and calendar year 2024 are currently being accepted. In 2024, in addition to individual one- and two-week residencies, shorter residencies can be designed for groups in February, March, and April.
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A Prospect Street residency can open the gate to creativity, jumpstart a stalled project, renew lagging confidence, add finishing touches to a manuscript, and restore the solitary writer’s sense of community. The place and the time are yours to do with as you will.
Prospect Street brings together writers regardless of genre or experience. What the Writers House provides is tranquility and geniality in one of Vermont’s most comfortable villages. Because the population at Prospect Street is unlikely to exceed ten writers, our residency format supports interpersonal give-and-take by providing the opportunity for conversations between peers deeply interested in the same thing, making better sentences. A writer’s greatest resource being other writers, the congenial atmosphere at Prospect Street can be conducive to making lifelong friendships as well as professional contacts.
Everyone gathers for the evening’s home-cooked meal, breakfast and lunch are up to the individual. This meal brings the day to a convivial, communal close, though the conversation can continue in the sitting rooms of the suites. The Writers House’s terrace and porch are perfect places to read or chat, particularly during Vermont’s glorious warm seasons.
Prospect Street has twelve, dorm-style bedrooms configured in three suites of four bedrooms, each with kitchenette and sitting room. The bedrooms of Grey and Blue Suites include private baths, while the Orange Suite contains four bedrooms, but shares two bathrooms. Small groups applying together can request a suite. The entire first floor is on grade, including a handicap-accessible bedroom in the Grey Suite. A Library, a full Kitchen, a Dining Room, and a Hall for readings and events comprise the first-floor common areas. A strong Wi-Fi signal encompassed the whole building and most of the grounds.
A wrap-around porch with rockers invites one to contemplate the passing parade. A large garden terrace encourages alfresco dining or outdoor conversation while offering a quiet place to read or write. The grounds harbor a half dozen secluded areas with seating, perfect for creativity or contemplation.
The Writers House’s floorplan flows easily from private to public. Our rooms are comfortable and quiet. Focus on your writing in any number of private places in addition to your room. Enjoy the company of writers only to the extent your creative process can accommodate.
The Village of North Bennington is a short walk down Prospect Street. One of Shirley Jackson’s North Bennington houses, the one with the columns, sits on the righthand side of the street. At the bottom of the hill, Prospect Coffee is a haven for a flat white or espresso and next door, the Pangaea Lounge offers terrace dining overlooking one of Paran Creek’s millponds. Also on the fountain square are the friendly John G. McCullough Free Library and Powers Market, a splendid grocery store and butcher.
Crossing Main Street and heading up the opposite hill, one arrives at the Park-McCullough House, a mid-nineteenth century mansion, home to two Vermont governors. Beyond the House winds a network of bridle paths, Mile-Around Woods, where, in early spring, the forest floor is carpeted with ephemeral wildflowers.
Across Prospect Street from the Writers House a path leads to the Bennington College campus. The College’s white Georgian buildings frame a breathtaking vista of Mount Anthony. The quad opens and seems to drop away: no wonder it’s called The End of the World. Bennington’s evening literary programming is open to the public.