Call for Applications: Writer’s Residence 2020-2021

Under the patronage of novelist, filmmaker and academic Philippe Claudel, the International Writer’s Residence based at Université de Lorraine (Nancy, France) is launching a call for applications for its third year that will run from 1 Oct. 2020 to Jan. 31. 2021.

ARIEL (Author in International Residence in Lorraine) has set up a yearly program (autumn semester) of associated author for a period of 3 to 4 months between Université de Lorraine (host institution), and more specifically UFR ALL-Nancy (School of Arts and Modern Languages) and IUT (University Institute of Technology) Nancy-Charlemagne, and a foreign author. ARIEL would ideally alternate between an English-speaking writer (every two years) and a non-English-speaking writer whose writing language is taught at Université de Lorraine and likely to be translated by the students and the academic staff (i.e. German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Arabic).

ARIEL relies on the knowledge and know-how of Université de Lorraine (in particular in the fields of Arts, Literature and Languages, Information and Communication and Book Trade & Publishing) to participate in the dissemination of international culture in eastern France and the whole country through the publication of a French translation of the author’s text by a French publishing house and the implementation of various projects around the author’s presence for students, pupils and the wider public.

The writer’s residence is based in Nancy. However, it also aims at the whole of the Lorraine territory, with interventions (in 2018-2019) in Meuse (Bar-le-Duc; Commercy), in the Vosges (St-Dié and Épinal) and in Moselle (Metz and Fameck). Some mediation actions in the “Grand Est” region (Strasbourg, like at the Italian Institute of Culture in 2019-2020) and neighboring countries (Brussels; Luxembourg) were also on the agenda and could be renewed in 2020-2021.

In 2018-2019 ARIEL invited self-taught American author Mark SaFranko who enjoys particular success in Europe, particularly in France, Belgium and the United Kingdom. On top of having written 90 short stories, 8 novels and numerous essays and plays, he is also a painter, a musician (his 10th album has just been released) and an actor (in plays, films or series as well as commercials).

In 2019-2020 ARIEL invited poet and stage manager Laura Fusco. Passionate about literature, music and dance, she tries to combine these different artistic forms during readings and performances. Considered as one of the most original and visionary voices of oral poetry, she has been writing since the age of 13. She is very much interested in the issue of women and she is committed to the defense of women’s rights in the world, as well as to the protection of the environment and especially the preservation of water. Among her most recent publications are La pesatrice di perle (2015)and Fiori di garza (2018).

In the past two years ARIEL has received the support of the University of Lorraine but also the “Grand Est” region and the “DRAC Grand-Est”, the Consulate of the United States, the metropolis of Greater Nancy and the Friends of the American Library of Nancy, the settimana della lingua italiana nel mondo, the Strasbourg Italian Institute of culture, and the theatre company “Bel Teatro”.

Why an International Writer’s Residence at the Université de Lorraine, Nancy?

Université de Lorraine offers a wide range of degrees in foreign languages and cultures (German, English, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, and Russian) as well as introductory courses in several other foreign languages (Chinese, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, and Czech). Because of its geographical position in the Grand Est region, it is particularly sensitive to questions of interculturality. ARIEL is one of the showcases of the importance that the Lorraine territory and more widely the Grand Est region give to the questions of interculturality and the mixing of cultures, but also to the links between education and culture.

ARIEL is part of a very favorable literary environment and reinforces the status of Nancy as a great literary and intercultural capital at the crossroads of Europe (“Livre sur la Place”, among others).

The Organization of the residence

The author will dedicate 30% of his/her time to the service of the residence. The latter hinges around three sections:

Creativity and Reflection on Creativity

The writer’s residence will be an opportunity to develop several projects aimed at any potentially interested public who can materially invest in or participate in it. This first section will include the following:

1. The author will devote 70% of his/her time to his/her personal creative work and the production of a short text (short story, poem, essay …) about Nancy or the Lorraine territory. After a few years, the texts produced in this context will be published in a bilingual book exploring the perspectives of international artists on our territory.

2. The organization – by the Université de Lorraine research centres involved in the project –of one or two days of transdisciplinary research around the author and his work.

3. The possible setting up of a CREM (Research Center on Mediations) seminar around the writer in residence that will reflect on the narrative forms used and will lead to reading sessions in bookstores and a creative writing workshop with the students from the Metz campus (workshop on cultural practices).

4. The staging or reading of a French text by the author in collaboration with academics.

5. The possible setting up of a drawing or comic book competition illustrating the author’s  literary world.


Translation workshops around one of the author’s texts that has not yet been translated into French. They will be led by academics with an experience in literary translation. These translation workshops will be a starting point for the full translation of the text in question, supervised by academics and translators. A “classe préparatoire littéraire” at Lycée Poincaré in Nancy was also involved in the 2018-2019 project. The French translation of Mark SaFranko’s Suicide was thus published in June 2019 (éditions Inculte,, for the 2018-19 ARIEL residence), ahead of the literary festival “Le Livre sur la Place” to which he participated to present and sell his latest novel in French. In the 2019-2020 project, students from the Italian department are working together with students from the “classe préparatoire littéraire” at Lycée Georges de La Tour in Metz, in order to translate into French Laura Fusco’s collection of poems Il blu degli alberi which will be published at the end of the residence. Some of the poems translated into French will be integrated to the Cerco Ophelia show to be performed in January 2020.

Cultural Mediations (with pupils, students and the wider general public)

1. English creative writing workshops led by the author at Université de Lorraine (Nancy and Metz), with the participation in short story competitions in English (“Write a Story” in Strasbourg + ORION at Université de Lorraine).

2. The organization of conferences-debates or discussions hinging around one of the author’s texts or around one of the themes developed in his/her work on the university campus (University Library, Language Centre, Student House…), including literary and musical performances, if the author is also a songwriter and musician. Students will take charge of the practical organization of these events within the framework of their undergraduate and graduate collective projects, and under the supervision of an academic.

3. The organization of discussions / conferences-debates with high school pupils, in agreement with the DAAC which will promote these actions, trying to target both a high school in the centre of Nancy/ Metz (Lycée Jeanne d’Arc and Lycée Chopin in Nancy; Lycée Georges de la Tour in Metz) and a high school located in a less favored area and seeking to develop this type of initiative (Lycée St Exupéry in Fameck and Lycée Jean Moulin in Forbach, both located in the Moselle territory).

4. The writing (by university students) of articles in French and English to feed the website dedicated to the writer’s residence, and various projects covering the events in the form of documentaries, press or blog articles in French and in English. (see

5. The production of documentaries or short films around the writer’s residence and the writer’s artistic world (especially for Info Com students or possibly students from the European Film and Audiovisual Institute)

6. The interventions of the author in Lorraine bookshops (Atoutlire and Autour du Monde in Metz, La Taverne du Livre in Nancy, Laxou Municipal Library, Le Neuf in St Dié, the Quai des mots in Epinal, La Fabrique in Bar-le-Duc), the Grand Est region (Librairie Gallimard du Monde Entier in Strasbourg and the cultural centre Muntpunt in Brussels). The interventions could be of different nature depending on the bookstores: a debate, the presentation of a book, a musical performance around a book, or a free hand…

7. The staging or reading of a play or a novel in French by the author in collaboration with academics.

8. The exhibition of the author’s paintings if the latter is also an artist.

9. A possible “crossover” meeting between the French writer invited by the CROUS each year and the writer invited by ARIEL could be organized: meeting and exchanges on their respective practices from an intercultural perspective.

10. A Translation Masterclass could be considered, in collaboration with Philippe Claudel, depending on the latter’s availability.

11. The author’s participation in a musical and literary event as part of the events organized around the Nancy Jazz Pulsations Festival could be discussed if the author is also a musician.

12. At the end of the residence, an afternoon or a day devoted to the projects developed by the author and around the author will be organized (with the staging of a play based on the author’s work, the screening of a short film shot during the residence, the reading of excerpts from the author’s essay/short story/ poem on Nancy or the Lorraine territory, the reading of excerpts from the blog written by students, the exhibition of students’ drawings).

Benefits for the author in residence

In addition to the benefits of the pedagogical and intercultural exchange with students and high school pupils, the writer would be:

• given a gateway into the French-speaking world (or he would be able to develop his/her French-speaking readership if he/she is already published in France), with the possibility for the author to make his/her work better known in the Grand Est region, including outside Nancy and Metz, but also in bordering regions and, eventually on a national level.

• able to make contact with publishing houses likely to publish one of his/her works translated into French jointly by a professional translator and students of the University of Lorraine.

• studied. The residence would encourage academic research on his/her work through the organization of symposiums by IDEA (Interdisciplinarity in Anglophone Studies) and CREM/LIS (Center for Research on Mediations/Literatures, Imaginary Worlds, Societies) research centres.

• able to present his/her work thus translated and published in French during the following residence (one or two years after his own residence) at the literary festival “Le Livre sur la Place”.

• accompanied by “interpreters” (advanced students from Université de Lorraine) to carry out his projects, especially if he/she does not speak French fluently.

Criteria to apply:

-already be a writer published in his/her native language (German, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian or Arabic) AND have already had a book published with a publisher who has published more than 3 different authors. The book must have been printed with an edition of at least 500 copies (at least 300 copies for poetical works) in the past 5 years

-preferably in 2020-2021, be an English-speaking writer, or at least a writer whose writing language is taught at Université de Lorraine (Nancy) and likely to be translated by the students and their teaching staff: German, Spanish, Italian, Russian or Arabic

– have other proven artistic talents (in music, theatre, painting etc.) would be a plus, but is in no way compulsory and a selection criterion

Your application must include:

• A cover letter in French or English explaining your interest in the Writer’s Residence, your objective, your artistic project with proposals for educational activities and cultural mediations to the general public, as well as your interest in Nancy and the Grand Est region.

• A detailed CV in French or English of your career and published works.

• A sample of your publications (2 texts of different types and lengths), including the text you would like to have translated into French and published in France.

Please see the application dossier to be filled in attached to this call.

Please send your potential questions and your application (cover letter, CV and a sample of your writings) to the following email address before January 13, 2020.

For more information on this year’s Residence, please visit our ARIEL website:

The jury will be composed of academics from Université de Lorraine, (IUT Charlemagne and UFR ALL-Nancy), writers (including Philippe Claudel, Mark SaFranko and Laura Fusco), booksellers and librarians, publishers (likely to publish the author’s text in French), local and regional representatives, as well as students.

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