Boston Public Library
Children's Writer-in-Residence Program

Associates of the Boston Public Library

Writer-in-Residence Program

The Associates of the Boston Public Library sponsors a Children's Writer-in-Residence program annually. The program is intended to:

We are now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 Writer-in-Residence program. Applications are due on April 1, 2014. The Children’s Writer-in-Residence receives a $20,000 stipend and office space at the BPL's Central Library in Copley Square. He or she must work a minimum of 19 hours per week at the BPL during the nine-month residency (September 2014 through May 2015). Projects eligible for this program are fiction, non-fiction, a script, or poetry, intended for children or young adults. Illustrations may be combined with any of these formats, but are not required. To be eligible, the applicant must be a US citizen and cannot have published more than three books to date. 

For further details or to apply, please download and submit the program guidelines and application form (PDF).

Prior Winners

The Associates of the Boston Public Library is pleased to announce that Annie Hartnett of Newton, Massachusetts is the tenth Children’s Writer-in-Residence. The selection panel chose Hartnett as the 2013–2014 recipient in a blind competition after reading an excerpt from her proposed novel. They cited her writing for its distinctive voice and unusually compelling narrative.

Upon her selection, Hartnett said, “I can't tell you how much it means to have the Associates of the BPL's support behind my novel. What a magnificent opportunity! And what a wonderful world we live in that there is still strong support for working writers. I just feel so unbelievably lucky that my character's voice resonated with you all, and I can't wait to share more of her story with you.”

During her residency, Hartnett plans to write Rabbit Cake. In her novel the main characters are learning to cope with their mother’s strange and tragic death: drowning while sleepwalking. The narrator, Elvis, struggles to stay awake at night to protect her slumbering older sister—another sleepwalker— from harming herself or others. During the day, Elvis attempts to navigate fifth grade before escaping to her volunteer job at the zoo.

A 2008 graduate of Hamilton College, Hartnett holds an M.A. degree from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English, and received an MFA in Fiction from the University of Alabama in 2013. While she was at the University of Alabama, Hartnett also taught undergraduate creative writing and composition courses. Her short stories have been published in various literary magazines and new stories are forthcoming in Unstuck magazine and Indiana Review.

(Read about the program's nine prior residents.)

Program News

Two of the program’s prior residents have recently published books. In March 2012, the Associates’ very first Children’s Writer-in-Residence, Hannah (Rodgers) Barnaby, published the book that she wrote during her BPL residency, Wonder Show. In addition, Anna Staniszewski’s debut novel, My Very UnFairy Tale Life, was published in November 2011, followed by My Epic Fairy Tale Fail (published in March 2013) and My Sort of Fairy Tale Ending (Nov 5, 2013). In 2014, Ms. Staniszewski plans to publish The Dirt Diary and its sequel, The Prank List.

For further information about the Children's Writer-in-Residence Program, the 2013-14 recipient, or about the Associates of the Boston Public Library, please contact the Associates' Office at 617-536-3886 or

Associates of the Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
Phone: 617-536-3886