Every year, we offer one talented, emerging middle grade author a month-long residency in the furnished third-floor apartment of Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio. The Children’s Writer-in-Residence has time to focus on his/her own writing project and spends up to ten hours per week teaching children the joys of writing at Thurber House’s Summer Writing Camp as well as at other local community organizations. 

If this sounds like a dream to you, we are now accepting submissions! Below are the guidelines (which you can also download as a PDF) and the application form. The deadline to apply has been extended to Monday, November 26, 2018. If you have any questions, please contact Meg Brown at We hope to see your submission this fall!

Click here for the Children’s Writer-in-Residence guidelines.

Click here for the Children’s Writer-in-Residence application.

Children’s Writer-in-Residence Guidelines


  • have at least one middle grade (roughly 3-6 grade) book published by a traditional trade publishing house

  • no more than five books published (it is awesome if you have more, but this residency is for emerging authors)

  • have one new middle grade book under contract

  • must have experience teaching/working with children in an educational setting

Program: This is a 4-week residency during June, July, or August 2019. The specific time period is negotiated with the selected author. During the stay, the resident will teach writing-based activities to middle grade children for eight to ten hours per week in a variety of community settings, including the Thurber House Summer Writing Camp. The author is encouraged to spend the remaining time focusing on their current project, jumping into a new one, or exploring Columbus. 

Stipend: $4,000

Housing:  A furnished, two-bedroom apartment is provided on the third floor of Thurber House, the college home in Columbus, Ohio of James Thurber. All utilities except telephone are included. Internet access is available. Furnishings include all basic household items. No allowance is offered for travel or moving expenses; employment benefits are not provided. 

Deadline for receipt of application materials is Friday, November 16, 2018. Fill out the application form and send it along with a letter of interest, your curriculum vita, and a copy of your most recent book to CWIR program, Thurber House, 77 Jefferson Ave., Columbus OH 43215. Since the residency includes teaching, evidence addressing this skill is encouraged in the materials. Description of works-in-progress is also advised. The screening committee will carefully consider each application, and those who are not selected for further review will be notified as early as possible. After interviewing select candidates, a decision will be announced by February 2019.



Pablo Cartaya

2018 Children's Writer-in-Residence

Pablo Cartaya was the 2018 Thurber House Children’s Writer-in-Residence. Cartaya, author of The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, enjoyed the haunted third floor apartment of Thurber House for four weeks during the summer where he brought his fun, and often musical, creative writing programs to Columbus. During his stay, he worked with our summer writing camp students, spoke at libraries, and visited other local community organizations while working on his latest novel.

Pablo Cartaya is the author of the acclaimed middle-grade novel, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora and the forthcoming Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish (August, 2018)He is a Publishers Weekly "Flying Start" and has received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly. A few fun facts: Pablo co-starred on NBC’s Will & Grace; guest starred on the Spanish language sitcom Los Beltran; and appeared in various commercials, music videos, and theatrical productions! On the serious side, he has also taught all over ranging from kindergarten all the way through adults and often brings in his theatrical side when working with students. When he is not writing, he currently serves as faculty at Sierra Nevada College's low residency MFA in Lake Tahoe. Visit him at or Twitter @phcartaya.

Past Children's Writers-in-Residence

2018: Pablo Cartaya
2016: Lou Anders
2015: Crystal Allen
2014: Kristen Kittscher
2013: Jane Kelley
2012: Donna Gephart
2011: Alan Gratz
2010: Keith McGowan
2009: Hope Anita Smith
2008: Alan Silberberg
2007: Lisa Yee
2006: Sam Swope
2005: Shelley Pearsall
2004: Laurie Miller Hornik
2003: Natasha Tarpley
2002: Kathryn Hewitt
2001: Deborah Wiles


Pablo Pic 1.jpeg