Photo by Alain Francois
Photo by Alain Francois

Residency Dates: 10/16/2016 - 11/05/2016
Application Deadline: Tuesday 05/17/2016

Cartoonist and writer Jessica Abel is the author of the graphic novel La Perdida (winner of the the 2002 “Best New Series” Harvey Award) as well as two collections of stories from her omnibus comic book Artbabe. She and her husband, the cartoonist Matt Madden, were series editors for The Best American Comics from 2007 to 2013 and teach at various institutions. Together they’ve authored two textbooks about making comics, Drawing Words & Writing Pictures and Mastering Comics. Jessica collaborated with Ira Glass on Radio: An Illustrated Guide, a non-fiction comic about how the radio show This American Life is made. Her new book (and podcast), Out on the Wire, is about how the best radio producers in the world use story to keep us listening.

Jessica works with narrative artists with big ideas that have led them deep into overwhelming projects. Together, they create a map to guide them out of the forest and to a brighter, better, stronger story. Find Jessica’s free tool that will give you a new point of view on your writing here.

Jessica lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and their two children, but is currently on a residency at the Maison des Auteurs in Angoulême, France. Her latest science fiction comics series, Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars debuted in January 2015.

For more information please visit >

Residency Statement

My recent work with producers of narrative journalistic audio, combined with observations from many years of teaching and from my own practice, have led me to become more and more interested in fomenting collaboration as a tool for stronger storytelling. In this residency, I will work with makers of narrative art (comics, audio, prose, video), in both fiction and nonfiction, on building new approaches to developing stories that involve others: brainstorms, critique, and cross-disciplinary projects. You can find more on this subject here:

Ideally, I look forward to starting new projects from scratch, together, rather than jumping in at the middle with long-established projects.

We’ll spend part of our time in the studio, developing ideas and materials for short narratives, and then part of the day in collaborative critique and development sessions. Part of the goal will be to develop the best work possible, but part of the goal will also be to develop our own abilities as editors and collaborators, to try to help others make the best work they’re capable of.

Application Requirements

  1. a bio (.doc, .docx, .pdf)
  2. A letter of intent of a two pages or less, describing what you hope to work on during the residency, as well as a bit about your thoughts on and experience with collaboration and editing. (.doc, .docx, .pdf)
  3. A short sample of your work. Format will vary according to your medium, but ideally it will be a complete story of 10 pages/5 minutes or less. (.jpg, .pdf, doc, .docx, – no more than 5 mb each)

Residency Fee: $900

Includes a $100 administration fee, weekday meals and housing; does not include artist materials, transportation, or weekend meals.

Scholarships / Financial Assistance

Only accepted Associate Artists may apply for financial assistance. For details, please visit the master artist details page.

Application fee: $25 

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