Valerie Vande Panne, editor-in-chief, Metro Times
Write A House
, an non-profit organization established to refurbish and fill three houses in a neighborhood north of Hamtramck with writers, announced today ten finalists for its residency program — including Valerie Vande Panne, Metro Times
The organization says it received roughly 350 applications in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from across the globe, with a number of Detroiters submitting applications. The inaugural winner of the residency will be announced September 19 at an event featuring author Lauren Beukes at the Public Pool Gallery in Hamtramck, the organization said in a press release today.
The winner would be welcomed into their new digs at The Peach house soon afterward, the organization says. Sarah Cox, Write A House co-president, says the home is still being renovated, but should be completed by the time the winner is announced. The house, the first of three that will be donated by the organization to a writer, is located in Detroit's NoHam neighborhood, an area wedged between the Davison Freeway and the north border of Hamtramck. The Peach was purchased in a foreclosure auction for $1,000
The homes are being renovated through a partnership with Young Builders Detroit, a nonprofit that offers a 10-month training program for 18-24 year old students working on their GED.
The finalists were selected by a number of judges including Toby Barlow, Billy Collins, dream hamptom, Major Jackson, Sean MacDonald, Michael Stone Richards, and Tamara Warren. Finalists participated in additional interviews with Barlow and Cox.
Writing in her citation of Vande Panne's work, dream hampton wrote
: "I very much enjoyed following this writer's curiosities."
Write A House says it expects to open applications for the organization's next home early next year. Donations are still being accepted for future renovations on is website
. Interested writers can find more info on the application process here