HBKU Press will once again work in collaboration with the esteemed Art Omi to hone the literary skills of writers from across the Middle East this fall. This partnership has been successfully renewed annually since 2019 as a consistent demonstration of the shared understanding of the importance of literary education, collaboration, and nurturing the creative spirit. As in years past, this programme will fully sponsor one Arab writer to attend the annual Art Omi: Writers residency in Ghent, New York. HBKU Press has worked with Art Omi in the previous years to platform unique talents and voices from the region, who have each begun their journeys as aspiring writers and have since gone on to become accomplished, prolific authors.
Executive Director of HBKU Press Bachar Chebaro said: "We not only prioritise cross-cultural exchange as strategic practice here at HBKU Press, but as a way to empower Arab authors to use their voices and tell unique stories from our region to the rest of the world."
During the residency, writers from around the world are invited to attend a month-long retreat and take advantage of the opportunity to focus on their craft in a quiet, conducive environment away from the stressors of everyday life. Writers will be able to engage and connect with literary talents such as other writers, publishers, editors, and industry professionals in the picturesque farmland with inspiring views of the Hudson River Valley.
"The community at Art Omi is richer because of our partnership with HBKU Press," said Art Omi Director, DW Gibson. "Our collaborative work to support a promising writer from the Middle East helps us fulfill our mission to encourage the development of contemporary literature across languages and cultures."
Lilas Taha was the first author selected by the programme in 2019 to attend the residency. Writer Layanne Malluhi was selected in 2020.
HBKU Press is accepting applications to the residency programme on its website. This opportunity is open to all writers, although preference is given to mid-career writers. Applicants must have an intermediate grasp of the English language as the residency and its workshops are all in English. A full application package includes the application (found on hbkupress.com), a statement of purpose (1000 words), a writer's CV to be submitted in English, and a writing sample (5000 words) that can be in English or in Arabic. Only completed applications will be considered.
The deadline for the application is April 1, 2023, and all applicants must submit a complete application in order to qualify for consideration.