photo by Adam Karsten
photo by Adam Karsten

Residency Dates: 02/18/2018 - 03/10/2018
Application Deadline: Sunday 09/17/2017

Pam Houston is a Pabst Endowed Chair for Master Writers.

Pam Houston is the author of two collections of linked short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness (1994), which was the winner of the 1993 Western States Book Award and has been translated into nine languages, and Waltzing the Cat (1999, reissued 2013), which won the Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction; two novels, Contents May Have Shifted (2012); and Sight Hound (2006), all published by W.W. Norton & Co.; and two collections of autobiographical essays, A Rough Guide to the Heart (Virago, 2001) and A Little More About Me (Norton, 1999, reissued 2013). Houston has also edited a collection of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry entitled Women on Hunting: Essays, Fiction, and Poetry (Ecco Press). She is the author of a stage play called Tracking the Pleiades; and she has written the text for Men Before Ten A.M., a book of photographs by the French photographer Veronique Vialle.

Richard Ford selected How to Talk to a Hunter for the 1990 Best American Short Stories; a decade later, Houston’s The Best Girlfriend You Never Had was John Updike’s only addition to the 1999 Best American Short Stories of the Century. Her stories have also been selected for The O. Henry Awards and The Pushcart Prize. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA Award for contemporary fiction, and The Evil Companions Literary Award. She is a regular contributor to O, the Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, and many other periodicals. Her essays and stories have been widely anthologized, and in 2012 she contributed the prologue to Metawritings: Toward a Theory of Nonfiction (University of Iowa Press).

Houston is a Professor of English at UC Davis, directs the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers and teaches in The Pacific University low residency MFA program and at writer’s conferences around the country and the world. She divides her time between Davis and southwestern Colorado at 9,000 feet above sea level near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.

Residency Statement

The keyword for our time together at ACA will be openheartedness and the class is open to writers of prose—from fiction to memoir/personal essay and all the material that exists in between. We will be making new work every day, first to directed writing prompts, then to more open-ended writing prompts, and, in week three, it is my hope that stories will rise (or combine or diffuse or any other verb you like) out of those exercises.  We will be attentive to the world we live in, attentive to the selves we are now and the selves we used to be.  We will discuss all the elements of prose craft: metaphor, dialogue, character, point of view, form and structure, beginnings and endings, and the writing prompts will grow naturally out of those discussions.  We will read two books together prior to coming to the residency: Night at the Fiestas, by Kirsten Valdez Quade, and The Narrow Door, by Paul Lisicky.

Application Requirements

Please send me between 5-10 pages of prose as well as a 1-2 paragraph statement of intent. (.doc, .docx, .pdf)

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

Click here to Apply!

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