HBKU renews accord with Art Omi for writers’ event
November 01 2020 01:17 AM
One Arabic writer will be selected to participate in the annual residency held in Ghent, New York.

Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) has renewed its partnership with Art Omi (New York) to sponsor one aspiring Arabic writer to participate in the HBKU Press & Art Omi: 2021 Writer’s Residency.
One Arabic writer will be selected to participate in the annual residency held in Ghent, New York. The retreat will provide the chosen writer with the space and time away from daily pressures to write and create at the Art Omi residences amidst the backdrop of 300 acres of rolling farmland with spectacular views of the Catskills and Hudson River Valley. There will also be opportunities to connect with other literary talents from around the world as well as publishers from the United States, who participate in the retreat as visiting experts.
“Despite the current global challenges, HBKU Press is committed to serving the wider community by continuing to provide sponsorship opportunities like the HBKU Press & Art Omi: 2021 Writer’s Residency,” Bachar Chebaro, executive director of Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press, said.
“This is the perfect platform for Arabic writers to highlight their work in a global context by engaging in a programme that aims to support and promote literary talents from the region.”
The deadline for the application is December 15. HBKU Press will announce the shortlist of finalists on December 25, and one finalist who will attend the retreat will be announced on January 15.
During the retreat, residents are encouraged to select one written piece to focus on for the duration of the residency. Daytime is reserved for writing and quiet activities, while evenings are more communal. Noted editors, agents and book scouts are invited to share dinner and conversation on both creative and practical subjects, offering insight into the workings of the publishing industry, and introductions to some of its key professionals.
“Art Omi is honoured to renew its collaboration with HBKU Press. Particularly in these uncertain times of a global pandemic, we believe it is increasingly important to find more ways to support artistic expression across borders,” D W Gibson, director of Art Omi: Writers, said.
This coming year’s edition has been modified to take into consideration all travel and safety precautions as set out by the State of New York.
“Our organisation will remain fluid to the requirements of our local, state and federal government with regards to safety protocols,” Gibson said of the precautions in place to ensure  residents’ safety. “In fact, our safety requirements were designed in collaboration with our county health officials and we have refitted all of our indoor common areas to adapt to them and to ensure the safety of all participating residents.”
HBKU Press has opened its application for the residency programme on its website. This opportunity is open to all writers, though 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), statement of purpose (1,000 words) and CV to be submitted in English; and a writing sample (5,000 words) that can be in Arabic. Only completed applications will be considered.

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