In Sunday's post, Carol 'fessed up to her dream job -- being a writer-in-residence. It sounded so sweet that I did a little looking around. St. Peter's College, Oxford has selected Joanna Kavenna (photo below) for a two-year stint as its first WIR. Previously, she held writing fellowships at St Antony's College, Oxford and St John's College, Cambridge. She won the Orange Award (worth 10,000 quid) for emerging writers in 2008. I lived two years in Oxford and would love to try it again.
What Ms. Kavenna has would be tough to beat. How about this though? WIR at the Savoy Hotel in London. Children's book author Michael Morpurgo got three months in a room that cost other guests $1600 a night. Here's what he had to say about it:
"It's like living in another world. I'm a country boy, I've lived on a farm for the last 30 years, and suddenly here I am living in the Savoy, talking to people, meeting people who care about books, and I must say, selfishly, the best thing is I can go to the theater when I feel like it, to the movies, to concerts. It's a prolonged treat."
How did he get that gig? He was chosen by the directors of the Hay Festival held in the book city of Hay-on-Wye.
The UK's Orion Publishers have set up a WIR program with a boutique hotel chain for its authors, but it's only for a two-day stay. Still, a crime fiction writer was slated to be one of the first WIRs under the program. Who? R.J. Ellory.
Is there any hope for us Americans? Maybe. One hotel consulting firm is recommending a WIR program to its clients.