BR Whiting Studio residency

A residency opportunity for Australian writers in Rome

Image: Northern part of Trastevere in Rione XIII, Trastevere, Rome. Seen from Via Garibaldi below the monastery San Pietro in Montorio. Credit: Joadl.

About the residency

The BR Whiting Studio residency is an opportunity for writers to direct their own program of activity and expand their practice and networks. There are 3 residencies on offer of varying duration: 1-month (with $5,000 support), 3-months (with $10,000 support), and 6-months (with $20,000 support).

The Studio is an apartment in the Roman neighbourhood of Trastevere. It was given to the Australia Council by Lorri Whiting, an Australian abstract painter who was embraced by the Italian art scene. She spent many years living  in Rome and exhibited in prestigious galleries across Italy, the UK and New York.  She established the BR Whiting Studio as a gift to the Australia Council in honour of her late husband,  the writer B.R ‘Bertie’ Whiting. The residency was originally established for the benefit of Australian poets and poets are encouraged to apply for the residency.

Rome is a city rich in history, culture and religion. There are many opportunities for a writer to connect with bookshops, literary societies, universities, academics and translators. Residents are encouraged to make contacts prior to the commencement of their residency. Several previous residents have organised readings through universities and institutions such as the Keats Shelley House.

Resources to help strengthen your application and maximise your residency experience can be found here.

Information pack: Download PDF.

Who can apply

  • Only individuals may apply to this category.
  • You must be a practicing artist or arts worker and an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident.

Who cannot apply

You cannot apply if:

  • You received a grant, or administered a grant, from the Australia Council in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted
  • You owe money to the Australia Council
  • We will not accept applications from legally constituted organisations.

Australia Council staff will consider applications according to the assessment criteria and will seek recommendations by industry advisors as needed. Successful applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by mid December 2022.

Applicants must address the following assessment criteria:

  1. Artistic merit
  • suitability of your practice to the residency program and its artistic environment/offer
  • quality of work previously produced, and public and peer response to your work
  1. Viability
  • suitability of your proposal to the residency program
  • the skills and artistic ability of your collaborators and their relevance to the proposed activity
  • realistic and achievable planning, resource use and evaluation.
  1. Impact on career
  • how the proposed activity strengthens your artistic practice
  • the relevance and timeliness of the proposed activity
  • how the proposed activity strengthens your capacity as an arts professional, particularly in relation to international development and collaboration.

You should submit support material with your application. Assessors may review this support material to help them gain a better sense of your project.

What you should provide

We do not accept application-related support material submitted via post. Application-related material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your support material online, or need advice on what type of material to submit, please contact Ellen Dwyer, International Engagement Adviser, Europe on +61 02 9215 9051 or e.dwyer@australiacouncil.gov.au.

There are three types of support material you may submit:

1. Artistic support material

This should include relevant, recent examples of your artistic or cultural work.

Types of support material we accept

Our preferred method of receiving support material is via URLs (weblinks).

You can provide up to three URLs (weblinks) that link to content that is relevant to your proposal. This may include video, audio, images, or written material.

These URLs can include a total of:

  • 10 minutes of video and/or audio recording
  • 10 images
  • 10 pages of written material (for example, excerpts of literary writing).

Please note: Our assessors will not access any URLs that require them to log in or sign up to a platform. Please do not provide links to Spotify or other applications that require users to log in or pay for access.

If you are linking to media files that are private or password protected like Vimeo, please provide the password in the password field on the application form.

Other accepted file formats

If you cannot supply support material via URLs, you may upload support material to your application in the following formats:

  • video (MP4, QuickTime, and Windows Media)
  • audio (MP3 and Windows Media)
  • images (JPEG and PowerPoint)
  • written material (Word and PDF).

2. Biographies and CVs

You can include a brief bio or curriculum vitae (CV) for key artists, personnel or other collaborators involved in your project.

Brief bios or CV information should be presented as a single document no longer than two A4 pages in total.

3. Letters of support

Individuals, groups, or organisations can write letters in support of your project. A support letter should explain how the project or activity will benefit you, other artists or arts professionals, participants, or the broader community. It can also detail the support or involvement of key project partners, or evidence of consultation.

If relevant to your activity, letters of support must provide evidence of appropriate permissions and support from First Nations organisations, communities, and Elders. Please refer to the First Nations Protocols for more information.

You can include up to five letters of support, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page.

The apartment is in a security building within walking distance from Roma Trastevere train station, and close to the River Tiber. A short distance away is the old district of Trastevere, which alongside its historic significance, boasts some of the best pizzerias and bars in Rome.

The apartment consists of a spacious multi-purpose room, a bedroom, bathroom, and library annexe. It contains a collection of more than 2,000 books that previous residents have added to over the years. A door from the main room leads onto a leafy terrace that overlooks the rooftops of Rome and its surrounding hills. The main room contains the kitchen and dining area, a desk, sofa, sofa bed, storage cupboard (containing vacuum cleaner, ironing board etc.), coffee table, electric heater and wood stove. There is also a printer and a television. The bedroom contains a clothes cupboard and a double bed. Bed linen, towels and blankets are supplied. There is a washing machine in the bathroom, a telephone and ADSL internet connection. Residents are responsible for cleaning the apartment and for purchasing cleaning materials.

The BR Whiting studio is not wheelchair accessible and has limited flexibility regarding physical access needs. A guide dog, and/or a carer could accompany the artist for the residency, as the living quarters can accommodate two people.

While the studio would accommodate a couple and a small child over five, it is not recommended for families. There are no parks or facilities in the area and the apartment is quite old.

Your application must comply with the following Protocols. We may contact you to request further information during the assessment process, or if successful, as a condition of your funding.

Protocols for using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts

All applications involving First Nations artists, communities or subject matter must adhere to these Protocols, provide evidence of this in their application and support material. More information on the First Nations Protocols is available here.

Commonwealth Child Safe Framework

All successful applicants are required to comply with all Australian law relating to employing or engaging people who work or volunteer with children, including working with children checks and mandatory reporting. Successful organisations who provide services directly to children, or whose funded activities involve contact with children, will additionally be required to implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

2020-2021

  • Lisa Gorton
  • Fiona McGregor
  • Robert Lukins
  • Sandra Thibodeaux

2019-2020

  • Gabriella Coslovich
  • Stuart Cooke

2018-2019

  • Fiona McFarlane
  • Emily Bitto

2017-2018

  • Kristel Thornell
  • Josephine Rowe

Frequently Asked Questions

Unless stated otherwise in the program description, all residencies are offered for fixed dates and periods of time.

Yes, but this will be at your own cost and the Australia Council will not be able to provide additional funds towards the extension.

No. You are not required to provide a budget with your application.

There is no requirement for you to provide a timetable of your activities, unless stated otherwise in the individual residency program guidelines.

Yes. If successful, you are required to take out travel insurance for the duration of your residency. It is recommended you pay for this from your grant.

The capacity to accommodate children and partners varies for different residencies. Please check the program descriptions for specific requirements. Please note that the programs are limited to the participating artist only and have various limitations e.g. communal living and/or working space or modest living quarters.

Yes, the grant to an individual that accompanies a residency is considered income and taxable. Please visit the Australian Taxation Office website for more information.

The International Residencies Program is dynamic and responsive and the programs on offer may vary from year to year.

Yes. If you are looking for some tips on organising your residency or programs in the region you’re interested in, check out the resources on our International Residencies Program web page.

There is no limit to the number of applications you can submit to the International Residencies Program. However, you will need to consider how the assessors will perceive your commitment to a particular residency program and/or market if you have applied for multiple residencies. Each residency requires you to submit a separate application form. Please note, applications to International Development funding opportunities do not count as an application to the Australia Council Grants Program.

Yes, as long as you have satisfactorily acquitted the previous residency grant.

The grant is not intended to cover lost income or rent at home and applicants will need to consider their capacity to undertake the residency prior to applying.

The Australia Council partners with established and reputable residency providers and each program is unique. Successful applicants will be provided with detailed information about each residency and introductions to the residency providers who will assist artists with making local connections. Australia Council staff are able to provide further advice and contacts, as requested. Australia Council’s International Development Consultants, across Asia, Europe, and North America, are also available as an additional resource. Artists are also expected to have their own resources, contacts and project plans for the residency.

The grant is a contribution from the Australia Council toward your travel (including airfares and travel insurance) and living costs during the residency period. Applicants are expected to research the cost of living in the residency location they are travelling to. You may need to supplement the grant with your own funds depending on your projected costs for the residency period.

No. The Australia Council cannot provide any advice on visa or immigration matters. You must contact the relevant country’s visa service to get current information. We suggest you allow plenty of time to apply for all international visas.

Accessibility varies for different residencies. Please check the program descriptions for specific requirements. Please contact the relevant adviser listed in the guidelines to discuss your access needs for these and other programs available through the International Residencies Program.