Writers Omi

About Writers Omi at Ledig House

Since its founding in 1992, Writers Omi at Ledig House has hosted hundreds of authors and translators, representing more than fifty countries. We welcome published writers and translators of every type of literature. International, cultural and creative exchange is a foundation of our mission, and a wide distribution of national background is an important part of our selection process. 

Guests may select a residency of one week to two months; about ten at a time gather to live and work in a rural setting overlooking the Catskill Mountains. Ledig House provides all meals, and each night a local chef prepares dinner. Daytime is reserved for writing and quiet activities, while evenings are more communal. A program of weekly visits bring guests from the New York publishing community. Noted editors, agents and book scouts are invited to share dinner and conversation on both creative and practical subjects, offering insight into the workings of the publishing industry, and introductions to some of its key professionals. Click here for a list of former guest speakers.

German publisher, Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt, for whom the program is named, was noted for his passionate commitment to quality in literature. His list of authors included Thomas Wolfe, William Faulkner, Yukio Mishima, Jean-Paul Sartre, Vladimir Nabokov, John Updike, Toni Morrison and Thomas Pynchon.

Writers Omi has hosted hundreds of writers and translators from roughly 50 countries around the world. The colony's strong international emphasis reflects the spirit of cultural exchange that is part of Ledig's enduring legacy.

Notable alumni include:

  • Joseph O'Neill author of Netherland, which won the Pen/Faulkner Award
  • Aleksander Hemon, author of The Question of Bruno, recipient of a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation
  • Gary Shteyngart, bestselling author of The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Absurdistan, and Super Sad True Love Story
  • Susan Choi, bestselling author of American Woman and inaugural recipient of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award.
  • Goce Smilevski, author of Freud's Sister, which one the European Union Prize for Literature
  • Jan Brandt, bestselling author of Gegen Die Welt (Against the World) 
  • Buket Uzuner, international bestselling author of Istanbulians
  • Ned Beauman, author of Boxer, Beetle, and one of Granta's "40 Writers under 40" 
  • Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin which won the National Book Award
  • Kiran Desai, bestselling author of Inheritance of Loss, which won the Man Booker Prize
  • Mikhail Shishkin, bestselling author of The Taking of Izmail, which won the Russian Booker Prize
  • Shehan Karunatilaka, author of Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Matthew, which one the Commonwealth Prize 

Listen to Australian writer Lee Tulloch's radio interview, conducted live from Ledig House on May 5, 2009.


How to Apply

Writers Omi at Ledig House, Spring & Fall 2015

Deadline: October 20, 2014

Spring Session: March 20 - June 5
Fall Session: September 11 - November 13

How to Apply: All applications must be submitted electronically. Instructions and forms can be found here.
Applications for 2015 must be recieved by October 20, 2014. All notifications will be provided electronically by February 1, 2014.

Questions may be directed to dwgibson@artomi.org

Writers Omi Translation Lab, Fall 2014

Deadline: July 15, 2014
Session: November 5-14, 2014

About the Translation Lab:
Writers Omi at Ledig House, a part of Omi International Arts Center, has been awarded a grant from Amazon.com to fund Translation Lab 2014, a 10-day special, intensive residency for four collaborating writer-translator teams in the fall of 2014.

Writers Omi will host four English language translators at the Omi International Arts Center for 10 days. These translators will be invited along with the writers whose work is being translated. All text-based projects—fiction, nonfiction, theater, film, poetry, etc.—are eligible.

This focused residency will provide an integral stage of refinement, allowing translators to dialogue with the writers about text-specific questions. It will also serve as an essential community-builder for English-language translators who are working to increase the amount of international literature available to American readers.

How to Apply:

The dates for Translation Lab 2014 are November 5-14, 2014. All residencies are fully funded, including airfare and local transport from New York City to the Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, NY. Please note: accepted applicants must be available for the duration of the Translation Lab (November 5-14, 2014). Late arrivals and early departures are not possible.

Please do not submit a proposal unless both parties involved (translator and writer) are available for all dates. Writers Omi will be accepting proposals for participation until July 15, 2014. Translators, writers, editors, or agents can submit proposals. Each proposal should be no more than three pages in length and provide the following information:

• Brief biographical sketches for the translator and writer associated with each project

• Publishing status for proposed projects (projects that do not yet have a publisher are still eligible)
• A description of the proposed project
• Contact information (physical address, email, and phone)

Proposals should be submitted only once availability for residency participation of the translator and writer has been confirmed. All proposals and inquiries should be sent directly to DW Gibson, director or Writers Omi at Ledig House at: dwgibson@artomi.org.



Omi International Arts Center is located two and a half hours north of New York City in the historic Hudson River Valley. Named for a neighboring village, Omi is close to the small town of Ghent, New York, as well as Albany and Hudson, which offer train connections only thirty minutes away.

The facilities, situated on three hundred acres of open land, include a large two-story barn with indoor studios; contemporary residence buildings designed with a vernacular reference to local barns, surrounded by abundant perennial beds, expansive lawns dotted with fruit trees, adjacent to The Fields Sculpture Park.

A Federal Period farm house serves as a gathering center, providing a full kitchen, television room and library; while the front porch overlooks rolling hills and the majestic outline of the Catskill Range. A swimming pool, bicycles, WiFi access and several state of the art computers are available on the premises.

Columbia County, and the nearby Berkshire Mountains, are popular destinations because of their historical, natural and cultural riches. From bird sanctuaries to modern dance, presidential mansions to farmer’s markets, the environs offer a singular blend of rural quiet and cultural stimulation. Staff and friends in the neighborhood are often available for excursions of interest to residents. The local library has a modest collection, but is a member of the Mid-Hudson group, calling on the resources of libraries within much of eastern New York.

Links to useful websites in the area:

Columbia County Tourism
Discover the Berkshires
Greene County Tourism
Dutchess County Tourism
Rural Intelligence

Spring 2014 Writers and Translators in Residence

Writers Omi at Ledig House
Spring Residents – 2014

Katie Kitamura (US, Fiction/Nonfiction),
March 21-27 & April 18-24

Katie is a critic and novelist. She is the author of The Longshot and Gone to the Forest, both of which were finalists for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award. The Longshot is currently being developed into a feature film. She has written for publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, Wired and is a regular contributor to Frieze.

Anna Moschovakis (US, Poetry/Translation)
, March 21-April 3

Anna is the author of two books of poems, most recently You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake, and the translator of several novels, most recently Commentary by Marcelle Sauvageot (co-translated with Christine Schwartz Hartley). She teaches at Pratt Institute and at Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, and is an editor at Ugly Duckling Presse.

Irene Zabytko  (US, Fiction/Film),
March 21-April 10
Irene is a writer, filmmaker the author of the novel about Chernobyl, The Sky Unwashed (Algonquin Books) and When Luba Leaves Home, Stories (Algonquin).  In addition to writing her next novel, she is filming a documentary about Chernobyl and Fukushima called One Sky (oneskythemovie.com)

Catherine Dana (US/France, Fiction)
, March 21-April 10
Stories of immigration and ruptured transmission between generations have become Catherine's primary themes, constantly informing her practice as a novelist.  In 2004, she published her first novel, En attendant l'Amérique (Editions Maurice Nadeau). Her second novel, Première suée de sel, came out in September 2006 (Editions Fayard). Currently she is working on a novel called All Kinds of Jews. She teaches at Emory University and received a grant for a spring sabbatical.

Josephine Rowe (Australia, Fiction/Poetry/Nonfiction), March 21-April 10
Josephine is an Australian writer of fiction, poetry and essays. She is the author of the short story collections How a Moth Becomes a Boat (2010), and Tarcutta Wake (2012), which was long-listed for the 2013 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. In 2011 she was the Australian representative at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. She currently lives in Montreal, and is working on a third collection of stories and a novella.

Bettina Abarbanell (Germany, Translation)
, March 21-April 17
Bettina has been translating American and English fiction for about 15 years. Her authors include Denis Johnson, Jonathan Franzen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Téa Obreht, Elizabeth Taylor, Charles Jackson, and soon Rachel Kushner. She has been awarded a number of fellowships by the German translator's foundation as well as a few prizes (Jugendliteraturpreis, Brandenburger Kunst-Förderpreis). Bettina was born in Hamburg. She is married and has three grown children.

Hassan Blasim (Iraq/Finland, Fiction/Film), March 21-April 17
Hassan is the author of The Madman of Freedom Square, which was long-listed for Finland's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2010, and has since been translated into five languages. A heavily edited version of the book was finally published in Arabic in 2012 and immediately banned in many Arab countries. His next novel, The Iraqi Christ, was published in 2013. Blasim has won the English PEN Writers in Translation award twice. Penguin is publishing The Corpse Exhibition: And Other Stories of Iraq in 2014. Blasim was described by The Guardian as "perhaps the greatest writer of Arabic fiction alive." He has lived in Finland since 2004.

Reinhard Kaiser-Mühlecker (Austria, Fiction/Theater),
March 21-April 17
Reinhard was born in Kirchdorf an der Krems. He studied Agriculture and History at the University of Vienna. His first novel was published in 2008 by Hoffmann und Campe. He has published five novels and one play.

Maxim Loskutoff (US, Fiction), March 21-April 24
Maxim grew up in Missoula, Montana. After graduating from Pomona College, he worked in hospitals in Dallas and Chicago, on campaign trails, and in the Middle East. He's received fellowships from the Jentel Arts Colony, Caldera Art Center, the Brush Creek Foundation, NYU, and NYU Abu Dhabi. His stories have appeared in Narrative, Witness, Hobart, Slice, and Willow Springs among other publications. Follow his work at maximtloskutoff.com

Anne Landsman (US/South Africa, Fiction),
March 29-April 17
Anne is the author of the novels, The Rowing Lesson and The Devil's Chimney. The Rowing Lesson was awarded South Africa's two top literary awards - the 2009 Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the M-Net Literary Award for English fiction; it was also shortlisted for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and the Harold U. Ribalow Prize in the U.S. Award nominations for The Devil's Chimney include the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Born in South Africa, she lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Hans-Olav Thyvold  (Norway, Nonfiction),
April 4-May 8
Hans has had a long career as an independent journalist in Norway where he is known in a number of capacities – writer, musician, radio/TV host and producer – and, last but not least, as "dad" to a strictly limited number of the country's citizens.

Lucy Renner Jones (UK, Translation),
April 11-April 29

Lucy was born in Welwyn, England, and worked several jobs before she became a translator. She worked in Barcelona, Hamburg and Berlin as a fashion and reportage photographer. Together with Karen Witthuhn, she founded Transfiction, a collective of literary translators. She holds a BA in German Language & Literature and Film (from the University of East Anglia and was taught by W.G. Sebald), and an MA in Applied Linguistics (from the University of Surrey). In recent years, she has started writing reviews of German books in English for CULTurMAG. She has translated two book-length works to date: Lyric Novella and Death in Persia, both published by Seagull Books. She is currently working on the diaries of Brigitte Reimann and her unfinished novel, Franziska Linkerhand. She blogs at www.transfiction.eu/blog

Yardenne Greenspan (US/Israel, Fiction/Translation)
, April 11-May 1

Yardenne has an MFA in Fiction and Literary Translation from Columbia University, where she partook in the publication of Columbia: a Journal. In 2011 she received the American Literary Translators' Association Fellowship. Her past and current translation projects include The Sequoia Children, a fantastical-historical novel by Gon Ben Ari and Tel Aviv Noir, a short story anthology forthcoming from Akashic Books. Her short fiction, translations and essays have been published in Hot Metal Bridge, Two Lines, Words Without Borders, Asymptote, Agave, World Literature Today, Shelf Unbound and Necessary Fiction. Her translation of Some Day, by Shemi Zarhin, was mentioned on World Literature Today's list of notable translations for 2013. Yardenne is writing a novel about fatherhood.

Su-Yee Lin (US, Fiction)
, April 11-May 8

Originally from Long Island, Su-Yee holds an M.F.A. in Fiction from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a B.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University. She was most recently a 2012-2013 Fulbright Fellow in China, researching Chinese folktales for a collection of short stories exploring place and identity. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in A Cappella Zoo, Tor.com, Fairy Tale Review, Interfictions, and elsewhere.

André Naffis-Sahely (Italy/UAE/UK, Poetry/Translation)
, April 18-May 15

André's poetry was most recently featured in the Oxford Poets Anthology 2013. He is also a translator from the French and the Italian. Recent publications include The Bottom of the Jar by Abdellatif Laâbi (Archipelago Books, 2013), The Last Days of Stefan Zweig (Pushkin Press, 2013), and Money by Émile Zola (Penguin Classics, 2014). He is presently at work on Where The Shadow Falls Overseas, an 11-novel cycle by the Italian-Libyan author Alessandro Spina, the first volume of which will appear in November 2014.

Diane Broeckhoven (Belgium, Fiction), April 18-May 15

Diane has published more than 30 books. The first twenty were books for children and young adults. In 1998 she wrote her first novel for adults and since then she only writes for adults. Her short and intimate novel De Buitenkant van Meneer Jules became a worldwide bestseller. The book was translated in 15 languages. Diane lived for thirty years in The Netherlands. She currently lives in Antwerp, where she was born. View more on her website.

Alan Asaid (Russia/Sweden, Translation, Nonfiction)
, April 18-May 15

Alan was born in Moscow but grew up in Stockholm. He has worked as a lecturer at Uppsala University, teaching literary translation and Russian literature. Currently he combines writing for newspapers and magazines with literary translation. His translations include works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Amy Lowell, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Nikolai Gogol, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Anton Chekhov and Mikhail Bulgakov. His own writings have appeared in various periodicals in Sweden.

Jennifer Steil (US/Bolivia, Fiction/Nonfiction)
, April 25-May 15

Jennifer is the author of The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, An American Woman's Adventures in the Oldest City on Earth (2010, Broadway Books), the critically lauded memoir of the year she spent as a newspaper editor in Sana'a, Yemen. It has been published in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, and Poland. Her first novel, The Ambassador's Wife, which just won the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Best Novel award in 2013, will be published by Doubleday in spring 2015. She lives with her husband and daughter in La Paz, Bolivia, where she is working on two more novels.

Abby Aguirre (US, Nonfiction)
, May 2-29

Abby is a freelance writer and editor. She has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Nation, Vogue, W, and other places. She grew up in California and Colorado, studied dance at the Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana, and graduated from Reed College and Columbia University. Before going freelance, Abby worked at The New York Times, on the foreign desk, in the opinion department, and as a features editor at T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Before that, she edited books at The New Press.

Daan Heerma van Voss (Netherlands, Fiction/Nonfiction)
, May 2-29

Daan is a historian, writer and interviewer. Thus far he has written four novels, one novella, and one book containing his journalistic work, consisting mainly of the interviews for which he received the 2011 De Tegel, award for excellence in journalism.

Hadia Hago (Sudan/Qatar, Translation)
, May 8-June 6

Hadia is a Sudanese translator living in Doha, Qatar. She is currently earning her MA in Translation Studies at the Translation and Interpreting Institute at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar. She translates fiction, poetry, and non-fiction from English into Arabic. She is currently translating a collection of writings by the international award-winning fiction writer Leila Aboulela.

Carsten Kluth (Germany, Fiction), May 9-June 6

Carsten studied Political Science in Berlin and Albany. He worked as research assistant for DaimlerChrysler, managed a small Public Affairs agency, and worked as teacher for story development for online games. He still writes studies for the EU Commission. His first novel Wenn das Land still ist was published in 2013 (Piper Verlag) and he is currently working on his next novel, which will be titled SÜDWEST. He is married and the father of three.

Iulia Pană  (Romania, Poetry)
, May 9-June 6

Iulia was born in Constanta, Romania. She studied communication, social relations and visual arts. In 1996 her first volume Imagine Simpla, received the debut prize at the Sighetul Marmatiei International Festival. In 2003, her book Noaptea Scorpion earned the poetry award from the Romanian Writers Union. In 2008 she released Contrasecunde, and her most recent poetry volume, Rigla de aer, was published in 2013. She was an editor for the Tomis, a culture magazine, as well as a university assistant for the journalism faculty at Constanta University. In 2013 she founded a poetic movement called ' Mecanici Poetice'. She also organized an experimental poetry project called 'Future Sound of Poetry', which was held at the 'Spring Poetry Festival'; it combined video poetry with electronic music.

Beatrice Fassbender (Germany, Translation)
, May 16-June 6

Beatrice was born near Hamburg and has lived in Berlin since 1994, where she studied German, English, and Scandinavian literature. At the Berlin International Literary Festival, she was a program manager and editor of the poetry collection Berlin Anthology. She currently works for Berenberg publishers and the Nordic Embassies. Among her poetry translations are Jeffrey Yang's collection An Aquarium (2012) and Altaf Tyrewala's book-length poem Ministry of Hurt Sentiments (2013). Photo credit: Nina Subin

James Hannaham (US, Fiction/Nonfiction
), May 16-June 6

James is the author of God Says No (McSweeney's, 2009) and Delicious Foods, which will appear from Little, Brown in 2015. His stories have been published in BOMB, The Literary Review, Open City, JMWW, One Story, and Fence. His criticism and journalism have appeared in The Village Voice, Spin, and Salon.com, where he was on staff. He teaches creative writing at the Pratt Institute and Columbia University.

Aviya Kushner (US, Fiction/Nonfiction)
, May 16-June 6

Aviya grew up in a Hebrew-speaking home in New York. Her essays have appeared in The Wilson Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Partisan Review, Poets & Writers, and The Jerusalem Post. Her first book, The Grammar of God, about the experience of reading the Bible in English after a lifetime of reading it in Hebrew, is forthcoming from Spiegel & Grau. She teaches at Columbia College in Chicago, and is a contributing editor at A Public Space.

Katie Moulton (US, Fiction), May 16-June 6
Katie's recent fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and music criticism appears in the Village Voice, Quarterly West, Ninth Letter, Post Road, and others. She is the 2013 winner of the Devil's Lake Driftless Prize in Fiction, and a Writer in the World travel fellowship to Nepal. Originally from St. Louis, she lives in Bloomington, Indiana where she edits Indiana Review and deejays for independent community radio.

Kenneth Bonert (Canada, Fiction), May 29-June 6
Kenneth was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and now lives in Toronto, Canada. A former journalist, his novel The Lion Seeker won the National Jewish Book Award for debut fiction, the Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and the Canadian Jewish Book Award. The novel was also shortlisted for the Governor-General's Fiction Award and Amazon Canada's First Novel Award. His novella "Peacekeepers, 1995" was published in McSweeney's, and his short story "Packers and Movers was a finalist for The Journey Prize.

Sponsors & Endowments


Chinua Achebe Center for African Literature
Danish Arts Council
Dutch Foundation for Literature
Greenburger Fellowship
Hoffmann und Campe
Indiana University
Institute for Portuguese Books and Libraries
Ramon Llull Institut
National Foundation for Jewish Culture
Piper Verlag
Portuguese Institute for Books & Libraries

H.M. Ledig Rowohlt Foundation
Rowohlt Verlag
Royal Literary Fund
Turkish Copyright Office

Translation and Interpreting Institute at Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Romanian Cultural Institute New York
Romanian Cultural Institute New York


The Robert Buchbinder Fellowship
The Diane Cleaver Fellowship
Ledig Rowohlt Fellowship
The Jack Weprin Fellowship


Amazon Translator Fellowships
Siegfried Lenz Fellowship

fd logo

Writers Omi at Ledig House is a proud member of the freeDimensional Network. For more information on freeDimensional, click here.

Writers Omi at Ledig House is proud to partner with the Dutch Foundation for Literature in a residency exchange program. For more information about the Dutch Foundation for Literature, please click here.

Writers Omi at Ledig House is also proud to form a exchange partnership with Het Beschrijf in Belgium.

In this exchange, Het Beschrijf will work to bring a Belgian writer to Ledig House and Ledig House will work to bring an American writer to Het Beschrijf's residency program, Passa Porta.

The literary organisation, Het beschrijf, in Brussels, has been a builder of bridges since its inception in 1998– between different languages and literatures, literature and society, and literature and the other arts.In 2004 Het beschrijf launched two new initiatives: the Passa Porta International House of Literature in the heart of Brussels, and a prestigious residency program for writers. Guest writers are able to choose to stay in the centre of the city or in the rural countryside of Brussels. The length of the stay varies between four and eight weeks. Since 2004, Het beschrijf has welcomed some eighty writers from all over the world. More information on the residences program is available here.

Omi's residency programs are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information on the NEA, click here.

Program Board of Directors

Program Board:

Esther Allen
Dorthe Binkert
Dominique Bourgois
Bill Clegg
Chandler Crawford
Nayana Currimbhoy
Kate Darling
Nicholas Ellison
Barbara Epler
Inge Feltrinelli
Alexander Fest
Gary Fisketjon
Carol Frederick
Donald Golden
Karin Graf
Francis Greenberger, Chair & Founder

Nikolaus Hansen, Co-Chair
Beena Kamlani
David Knowles
Agnes Krup
Antje Landshoff-Ellermann
Jeffrey Lependorf
Carol Mann
Viktor Niemann
Marleen Reimer
Daniel Slager
Thomas Überhoff
Barbara Tolley, Co-Chair
Luciana Villas-Boas
Sally Wofford-Girand

Advisory Board:

Edward J. Acton

T.D. Allman
Sara Bershtel
Anna Bourgeois
Oliver Bourgeois
George Cockcroft
Ariane Fink
Chris Loken
Jack Macrae
Emily Mann
Michael Naumann
Nenad Popovich
Ulla Rowohlt
Betsy von Furstenberg Reynolds
Sir George Weidenfeld

DW Gibson, Director

DW Gibson is the author of Not Working: People Talk About Losing a Job and Finding Their Way in Today's Changing Economy (Penguin, 2012). His work has appeared in several publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, and The Village Voice. He has been a contributor to NPR's All Things Considered and worked on documentaries for the A&E Television Network and MSNBC. His credits include "The Hate Network" and "Inside Alcoholics Anonymous." His directorial debut, Pants Down, premiered at Anthology Film Archives in New York. His documentary, Not Working, a companion to the book, is currently available through Films Media Group. He is currently working on an oral history of gentrification which will be published in 2015. For more information please visit: www.dwgibson.net