The literary studio Plympton, is proud to host Writing Downtown, a residency program in Downtown Las Vegas in partnership with The Writer’s Block bookstore, an anchor in the literary Vegas hub.
The program has included support from Nevada Humanities, Submittable, N2 Communications, the New York Public Library's digital short story collection, as well as private donors.
ABOUT THE RESIDENCY
Residencies are 2–4 weeks in duration. Applications are open to fiction writers, nonfiction writers, poets, screenwriters, playwrights, songwriters, and other creative professionals involved in publishing, such as translators and book designers. Preference is given to applicants working on larger projects that are nearing completion. Residents may have the opportunity to participate in an activity at The Writer’s Block—for example, a workshop or reading; however, this is not a requirement of the residency.
Plympton is a literary studio that innovates in digital publishing. In addition to Writing Downtown, our project have included Recovering the Classics, the Twitter Fiction Festival, the literary CODEX Hackathon, the Lincoln in the Bardo VR experience for the New York Times, and the Subway library project in New York City.
THE WRITERS BLOCK
The Writer’s Block is a bookstore, coffee shop, children’s creative-writing center, and artificial bird sanctuary. It is Southern Nevada’s only independent, general-interest bookstore, and specializes in fiction, current affairs, creative nonfiction, art & design, and children’s books. Its Coffee Shop serves coffee, espresso, and tea—as well as an assortment of snacks and pastries. It’s also home to a Young Writers’ Workshop, featuring free creative-writing classes for students ages 5–18; in the evening, this space hosts all-ages book clubs, writers’ meet-ups, readings, and more NOTE: During the COVID19 restrictions, the coffeeshop and evening activities are on pause.
Housing and utilities are fully covered for the duration of each residency. Variable stipends for food, travel, incidentals, and honoraria are available on a case-by-case basis depending on the needs of the applicant and at the discretion of that residency's financial sponsor. When awarded, stipends are distributed as a flat sum from which residents can deduct their costs as required.
Transportation, including airfare, is not included as part of the residency. Ride share services such as Uber and Lyft allow easy and reasonably-priced transport throughout the Vegas Valley. In addition, downtown Las Vegas hosts a low-cost bike-sharing program. There are a large number of high-quality eateries in the downtown area within a short distance of the residency; for grocery shopping, there are multiple supermarkets within a 1–2 mile radius.
VOLUNTEERING & PERFORMANCE
While not a requirement of the residency program, residents are encouraged to participate in Writer’s Block programming in any number of ways. These include co-teaching writing workshops or field trips for Vegas-area students, classroom visits, participating in a readings, or staging a performance or screening. Depending on the time of year, some of these programming opportunities may be in particularly high demand—or alternately, unavailable. Residents can discuss programming at the start of their visit.
Note: Due to COVID19 restrictions, many of these programming activities are on pause.
Residencies are arranged in collaboration with Plympton partners, so you cannot apply directly to the residency. Partners have included Submittable, The Asian American Writers' Workshop, Electric Lit, A Public Space, Catalyst, Grub Street, Words Without Borders, Catapault and the Writer's Block.
Partners are responsible for implementing their own selection process, ranging from open competitions to privately circulated applications. Some residencies call for special criteria—for example, singling out applicants with specific cultural or professional backgrounds.
Do you run a literary organization? If you’d like to sponsor one of our residencies, please contact us by email.
WHERE INNOVATION X PUBLISHING
Plympton is a literary studio that innovates in digital publishing. Through partnerships, we are behind Recovering the Classics, helped launch the Twitter Fiction Festival, run the literary CODEX Hackathon, created a curated mobile reading service, produced immersive Lincoln in the Bardo VR experience for the New York Times, and are currently in the process of building a permanent library collection of fiction and nonfiction shorts.
You can read about us in The Boston Globe, buy our books at Warby Parker, host your own pop-up gallery of our covers, or check out the immersive Lincoln in the Bardo VR experience at NYTVR.
Our partners span the gamut from large to small, established and emerging. They include the New York Public Library, Nevada Humanities, the White House, Audible, Twitter, Harvard Book Store, HarperCollins, Warby Parker, the Digital Public Library of America, and the Creative Action Network, among many others. Always, our mission is to push the boundaries of great storytelling in the digital age — whether through business model or format.
We passionately believe publishing is a craft — from the design, to the prose, to the reading experience — and are eager to move the needle.