Starting in May, applications will be open for our Resident Fellows Program. For our 2015-2016 cycle of residencies we are inviting applications from writers who are interested in pursuing an individual writing project for a month in Sitka. We are also interested in applications from writers or artists of other disciplines whose work relates to climate change, which is a thematic focus of Institute programming for the next year. Residents will be provided accommodations (including a kitchen) and a stipend for groceries. Community activities will be an integral part of each residency and may include public readings/performances, workshops, visits to school classes, a radio interview, and a community discussion on the collaborative project. Feel free to contact us with questions.


"The residency gave me the much needed time and space to complete the first draft of my novel. That in itself was significant. But in addition I had the opportunity to be a guest of the community – to meet new people and a new culture and to enjoy the hospitality of my hosts and their friends and people I met… I also loved the experience of being in such an extraordinary natural environment and one that is so different to where I come from… It was a completely unforgettable and wonderful experience that I will always treasure."      ---Jesse Blackadder, September 2007 Resident, Fiction, Australia


Our Resident Fellows program was initiated in 1989 to encourage the work of both promising and published writers who share the Island Institute’s interest in fostering a language of community and place, and to create a link between the literary arts and the community of Sitka. Since then, the Institute has hosted over sixty-five residents for month-long stays, typically three or four a year. Those who have come—poets, essayists, novelists, short story and screen-writers—reflect the wealth of expression in the literary arts, and a wide range of accomplishment from established authors to gifted aspiring writers. In November 2004 we began a collaboration with the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program that has allowed us to host residents each year from around the world. So far, they have come from Ireland, Slovenia, Denmark, Russia, Australia, South Africa, and Mauritius.

Petrova reading

Our Resident Fellows program is structured to allow writers time to pursue their own work while getting to know our unique island community in the forested coastal mountains of Southeast Alaska. Because the Institute’s central interest is the nature of vital communities, we select residents who share that interest and will enjoy engaging with Sitkans during their stay. In return, we believe that the gift of Sitka’s spectacular landscape and the congenial character of the community are likely, in inestimable ways, to inform the residents’ work. Sitkans, in turn, enjoy the opportunities to meet and get acquainted with Institute residents, and have come to anticipate with interest and pleasure the time these people spend in our community—a reciprocal relationship that benefits all involved.

thuy le classroom vist

For our 2015-2016 cycle of residencies we are inviting applications from writers who are interested in pursuing an individual writing project for a month in Sitka. We are also interested in applications from writers or artists of other disciplines whose work relates to climate change, which is a thematic focus of Institute programming for the next year. Residents will be provided accommodations (including a kitchen) and a stipend for groceries. Community activities will be an integral part of each residency and may include public readings/performances, workshops, visits to school classes, a radio interview, and a community discussion on the collaborative project. Feel free to contact us with questions.


“A gift of uninterrupted working time is immeasurably valuable to any creative endeavor. There are three ways, however, in which the Island Institute’s gift differs from other residency programs—
. . . the astonishing landscape of the southeast Alaska panhandle 
. . . the community involvement which the Institute fosters 
. . . the interdisciplinary nature of the residency program.” 
     --- Alison Deming, April 1992 Resident, Poetry/Non-fiction, Univ. of Arizona Faculty

****Applications are now closed for the four 2015-2016 Resident Fellow opportunities which will take place between November 2015 and May 2016. Deadline for applications was August 30th.****

Click through to pay the application fee and work on your form. 

Since the program began in 1990, we have welcomed dozens of writers and other artists to spend a month or two in Sitka. Click on resident names for more information about them, and use the filter on the right to see residents from certain disciplines or programs. 

Click through to learn more about our alumni. 

Current, Recent, and Upcoming Artist Residents

November, 2016

Courtney Sina Meredith (1986–) is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and musician. Her play Rushing Dolls (2010) won a number of awards and was published by Playmarket in 2012.

September, 2016

Nikki Zielinski joins us in Sitka as the 2016 Rasmuson Foundation Artist in Residence at the Island Institute. Nikki's poetry explores the ways in which experiences of violence, both overt and institutional, shape one’s perception of and interaction with their communities and environments.

April, 2016

Allison Warden is an Iñupiaq interdisciplinary artist born in Fairbanks, Alaska with close ties to Kaktovik, Alaska.  She is also known by her rap persona, AKU-MATU.  Her most recent show, “Let Glow” debuted at the Bunnell Street Art Center as part of an artistic residency in March 2014.