Writers Omi

About Writers Omi & the Translation Lab

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.

Translation Lab

In early November, Writers Omi hosts an annual Translation Lab, in which 4 English language translators are invited to a fully funded residency to work alongside the writers whose work they translate.

The focused residency provides an integral stage of refinement, allowing translators to dialogue with the writers about text-specific questions. Following in the tradition of the Writers Omi residency as started by Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt, the Translation Lab emphasizes translation as a means towards cultural exchange. It serves as an essential community builder for English language translators who are working to increase the amount of international literature available to American readers, as it is currently estimated that less than three percent of all books published in the United States are translated works.

The residency is a rare and unique opportunity for writers and their translators to work together, considering that most writers never meet their translators in person. All text-based projects -- fiction, nonfiction, theater, film, poetry, etc. -- are eligible. The residencies are fully funded, including travel, room and board, meals, and workspaces and are made possible in part by Amazon.com.



Apply Now for Writers Omi 2016

Writers Omi, Fall 2016 

The submission window for 2016 is now closed. Please check back in January of 2016 for details regarding 2017 applications.

Residency Dates: September 9 - November 4, 2016

Deadline: October 20, 2015

All applications must be submitted electronically. Instructions and forms can be found in the application
. All notifications will be provided electronically by February 1, 2016. (Due to construction that will take place on our campus, we are not accepting applications for the spring 2016 session.)

Questions may be directed to DW Gibson, director of Writers Omi at Ledig House at: dwgibson@artomi.org. 

About the Fall 2015 Writers Omi Residents

Writers Omi at Ledig House
Fall Residents – 2015



Sayuri Okamoto (Japan, Translation) September 11 - October 8
Sayuri is a translator, writer, and curator who holds degrees in Japanese Literature and Art History. Her writings and translations have appeared in several literary journals such as Tosho Shimbun, Gendaishi Techo, and ASYMPTOTE, where she contributes as Japanese Senior Editor. In 2014, she received a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant for Dear Monster: The Naked Poetry of Gozo Yoshimasu. She works from Padua, Italy, and Shizuoka, Japan, where she was born.


Jennifer Acker (U.S., Fiction) September 11 - October 8
Jennifer is founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Common. Her short stories, essays, and reviews have been published in n+1, Guernica, Slate, Harper's, Ploughshares, and The Millions, among other places. She has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and teaches at Amherst College. Photo credit Paul Frenz.


Tal Nitzán (Israel, Poetry/Fiction/Translation) September 14 - October 8
Tal is an award-winning Israeli poet, writer and a translator of Hispanic literature. She has published six poetry collections, and edited the anthology With an Iron Pen and Twenty Years of Hebrew Protest Poetry. Ten collections of her poetry were published in translation, among them "At the End of Sleep" (Restless Books, USA, 2014). Her debut novel Each and every child was published earlier this year. Photo credit Iris Nesher.


Marina Espasa (Barcelona, Nonfiction/Fiction) September 11 - October 8
After attending the University of Barcelona, where she studied Romance Philology, Marina's been a cultural journalist for years, doing book shows on TV and the radio and she is now a literary critic at the ARA journal (www.ara.cat). Marina is the author of one novel published in 2012, La dona que es va perdre (The woman who got lost) and she teaches creative writing at the Writing School of Ateneu Barcelonès. (www.marinaespasa.wordpress.com) @marina_espasa.


Merritt Tierce (U.S., Fiction) September 11 - October 8
Merritt is the author of the novel Love Me Back, which won the Texas Institute of Letters' Steven Turner Award for Best Book of First Fiction, and was shortlisted for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. Merritt is a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award and was named a 2013 "5 Under 35" author by the National Book Foundation. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times,
Oxford American, New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, and numerous other publications. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she lives near Dallas with her husband and children.


Mostafa Younesie (Iran, Nonfiction/Translation) September 11 - October 8
Mostafa is an Assistant Professor of classical Greek Ethical & Political Philosophy at Tarbiat Modares University. He studies, teaches and researches in the field of comparative ancient Iranian and Greek intellectual history. To do so, he reads in English, French, German, and ancient Greek. He is widely published in Farsi and English academic journals and books. He believes that real progress can be achieved by simultaneously investigating the questions of how Iliad and Odyssey are composed and how we should read them.


Ángela Pradelli (Argentina, Fiction/Nonfiction/Poetry) September 11 - October 14
Ángela is a writer and literature professor. Her poetry and fiction have earned many awards. Her nonfiction book, In Search of the Language, was recognized by La Fundación El Libro in Buenos Aires as a best book on education. Ángela was a writer-in-residence at Atlantic Center for the Arts and she was selected by the Fundación Pro-Helvetica of Switzerland as a writer-in-residence in Geneve. In 2014, she was select by Akrai Residency in Sicily.

Vasyl Lozynskyi (Ukraine, Poetry/Nonfiction) September 16 - November 4

Vasyl is a poet, essayist, translator, literary critic and curator. His translations include Tadeusz Dąbrowski's Black Square and Franz Kafka Meditation. His poetry has been translated into English, German, Swedish, Italian, Polish and Russian. His latest publication was a book of poems, Feast after Debauchery. He lives and woks in Kyiv.


Annelies Verbeke (Belgium, Fiction/Poetry/Theater/Film) September 18 - October 14
Since 2003, Annelies has written four novels (Sleep!, Giant, Saving Fish, Thirty Days), two collections of short stories (Greener Grass, Assumptions), a collection of journalistic stories (Awake, with photographer Charlie De Keersmaecker) and the "graphic poem" Tirol Inferno, with illustrator Klaas Verplancke. Her work has been translated into 22 languages and won multiple prizes. Annelies has also written several plays and film scripts. Verbeke's last novel, Thirty Days, appeared in 2015. Assumptions will appear in English in October 2015. Verbeke is a board member of PEN Belgium, and she lives in Ghent, Belgium. www.anneliesverbeke.be. Photo credit Alex Salinas TerVerzending.


Nadia Davids (South Africa/U.K., Fiction/Theater/Film) September 26 - October 3
Nadia is an award-winning South Africa writer who works across a range of forms: short stories, plays, novels, and screenplays. Her debut novel, An Imperfect Blessing, was long-listed for the South African Sunday Times Fiction Award and shortlisted for the UJ Prize and the Pan African Etisalat Prize for Literature. She is currently a fulltime lecturer at Queen Mary University of London and is a 2013 recipient of the Philip Leverhulme Prize for her research. Photo credit John Gutierrez.


Thomas Lang (Germany, Fiction) October 9 - November 6
Thomas was born at Nümbrecht. He studied German Literature at Frankfurt/Main. Now he lives in Munich and works primarily on novels. In 2005 he won the Austrian writers' competition "Ingeborg Bachmann Prize". His last novel, Jim, published in 2012, deals with a couple hosting an ape in their garden.


Müesser Yenîay (Turkey, Poetry) October 9 - November 6
Müesser was born in İzmir and graduated from Ege University with a degree in English Language and Literature. Her books are Darkness also falls its ground (2009), I drew the sky again (2011), The Other Consciousness: Surrealism and The Second New (2013), Before Me There Were Deserts (2014). Her poems have been translated into various languages. Müesser is the editor of the literature magazine Şiirden (of Poetry). She is currently pursuing a PhD in Turkish literature at Bilkent University.


Maja Šoljan (Croatia, Translation) October 9 - November 6
Since 1980, Maja has translated R.L. Stevenson, Jack London, George Orwell, Philip Roth, WB Yeats, Haruki Murakami, Anita Desai, Alexander McCall Smith, Jeffrey Eugenides and Alice Munro, among others. Twice she has been the winner of the Kiklop Prize for best translation, in 2009 for Murakami's After Dark and in 2011 for Alice Munro's Hateship, Friendship. In June of 2009 she was a resident at the Banff International Translation Centre program.


Panagiotis Gavriiloglou (Greece, Fiction) October 9 - November 6
Panagiotis studied Psychology at the University of Crete and at Panteion University. His reviews, articles, and photography regularly appear in magazines and newspapers. In 2016, Antipodes will publish his debut in Greek, a short story collection, A Summary of the Complete Works. He is the co-founder of independent English-language micropress Pilotless Press, which publishes original fiction by Greek authors writing in English.


David Van Reybrouck (Belgium, Nonfiction/Theater/Poetry) Oct 9 - November 6
David is an award-winning author, acclaimed playwright, reporter, poet and democracy activist who studied in Leuven and Cambridge and holds a doctorate from Leiden University. Based in Brussels, he writes non-fiction, fiction, poetry and theatre. His book Congo: The Epic History of A People became an international bestseller. He is the founder of the Brussels Poetry Collective and the G1000 Citizens' Summit. He is honorary president of PEN Vlaanderen. Photo credit Stephan Vanfleteren.


Elisa Wouk Almino (U.S./Brazil, Translation) October 9 - November 6
Elisa is a Brooklyn-based writer and translates poetry and fiction from Portuguese. She holds a B.A. in English and Art History from Barnard College and an M.A. in Cultural Reporting and Criticism from New York University. She is currently working on an English translation of Paulo Leminski's poetry and is an editor and critic at the arts blog Hyperallergic. She is Brazilian, and she has lived in Brasilia, as well as various cities throughout Europe and the United States.


Kai Weyand (Germany, Fiction) October 14 - November 6
Kai was born in Freiburg and studied German, Geography and Politics. He worked as a teacher in prison, ran "Literaturbuero" for five years in Freiburg and now works as an undertaker. He has published a collection of short stories and the novels Schiefer eröffnet spanisch and Applaus für Bronikowski, which was published in 2015. He still lives in Freiburg. Photo credit Timna Koerber.


N. N. Ndjekery (Chad/Switzerland, Poetry/Fiction/Theater) October 17 - November 6
Emerging from a childhood rooted in sub-Saharan orality, N.N. discovered writing and devoted his passion to it. Since then, he has published social frescoes steeped in poetry and humor. He is the author of six books (all written in French), including four novels, a play and, the last one, a collection of short stories. His next novel will be published in 2016.

Upcoming Events

Translation Lab: Authors and Translators Discuss Their Collaborations

Thursday, November 12, 6:30 PM
The Center for the Humanities at CUNY Graduate Center
(Room C204, 365 5th Ave, New York, NY)

Four pairs of authors and translators from the Fall 2015 Ledig House Translation Lab—working in languages ranging from Spanish and Syrian to Bulgarian and Basque—come together to discuss their latest work together, providing insight into the complex operations involved in translating literature. A co-presentation of the Center for the Humanities, Writers Omi at Ledig House, and Words without Borders.

This event is free and open to the public. Seats are limited and an RSVP is required. For more information on our Translation Lab 2015 Residents, click here.

About the Translation Lab 2015 Residents

In early November, Writers Omi hosts an annual Translation Lab, in which 4 English language translators are invited to a fully funded residency to work alongside the writers whose work they translate.

Arabic to English

Alice Guthrie has been studying Arabic formally and informally since 1997, most notably at Exeter University and l'Institut Français d'Etudes Arabes de Damas (now IFPO). She has been publishing translations of media, academic and literary Arabic texts since 2008 with a range of US and UK presses and venues. Her translations of contemporary Syrian and Palestinian fiction often focus on work written in spoken dialect – a radical anti-hegemonic art form.

Rasha Abbas is a Syrian journalist and writer of short stories. In 2008, she published her first short story collection, Adam Hates the Television, and was awarded a prize for young writers during the Damascus Capital of Arab Culture festival. In 2014 she contributed, both as a writer and as a translator, to Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline. Last year she completed a Jean-Jacques Rousseau Fellowship, supported by Solitude Schloss Akademie, in Stuttgart, Germany, where she was working on her second short story collection, tentatively entitled The Gist of It. Rasha is currently based in Berlin, Germany.

Bulgarian to English

Izidora Angel is a Bulgarian-born writer, translator and curator living in Chicago. She has written essays and critique in English and Bulgarian for the Chicago Reader, Publishing Perspectives, Banitza, Egoist, and others. She is currently translating the multiple award-winning The Same Night Awaits Us All: Diary of a Novel by Hristo Karastoyanov. For her excerpts of the novel she was awarded a three-week literary residency at Open Letter Books, as well as an English PEN Grant. Izidora holds a BA in Politics and Sociology of Contemporary Culture from the University of East Anglia and an MBA from the American University in Bulgaria.

Hristo Karastoyanov is a multi-award winning contemporary Bulgarian novelist, playwright, and political essayist whose work has been translated into English, Turkish, and German. The author of 30 books of fiction, political commentary, and poetry, Karastoyanov has been shortlisted for the Helikon award for best novel of the year numerous times, winning the award in 2012 and again in 2014 for his latest, The Same Night Awaits Us All: Diary of a Novel. The novel has been made into a play, Geo, premiering in November 2015, in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Spanish to English

Christina MacSweeney lives in Norwich, UK. Her translations of Valeria Luiselli's Faces in the Crowd, Sidewalks and The Story of My Teeth have been published by Granta and Coffee House Press. Her work has also appeared on a variety of print and on-line platforms. Christina's translation of Daniel Saldaña París's Among Strange Victims is forthcoming from Coffee House Press in 2016.

Daniel Saldaña París is an essayist, poet and novelist whose work has been translated into English, French, and Swedish, and anthologized, most recently in Mexico20: New Voices, Old Traditions, published in the UK by Pushkin Press. Among Strange Victims is his first novel to appear in the US. He lives in Montreal.

Basque to English

Amaia Gabantxo is a writer, a flamenco singer and literary translator specialized in Basque literature. She has translated works by every canonical Basque author, and published and performed on both sides of the Atlantic. At present, she is developing two hybrid literary/musical/performance art projects in Chicago. Palo a Palo, which combines flamenco and Butoh and Soniché, which fuses flamenco with classical music.

Miren Agur Meabe received the Critics' Award in 2001 and 2011 for her poem collections Azalaren kodea (The Code of the Skin) and Bitsa eskuetan (Spume), and the Euskadi Award on three occasions for three of her books for young adults. Mila magnolia-lore, one of her books for children, was included in the IBBY Honours List 2012. She has performed and lectured in universities in Europe and the US, and participated in literary festivals all over the world – such as Dublin, Vjlenca, Edinburgh, Vienna, Frankfurt, Pau, Verines and Cordoba.




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

Sponsors & Endowments


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


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


Amazon Translator Fellowships
Siegfried Lenz Fellowship
Translation and Interpreting Institute at Doha 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 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
Karin Graf
Francis Greenburger, 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 The Edge Becomes the Center: And Oral History of Gentrification in the Twenty-First Century and Not Working: People Talk About Losing a Job and Finding Their Way in Today's Changing Economy. His work has appeared in publications such as Harper's, The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Daily Beast, Salon, and The Caravan. He is current working on a podcast for WNYC on gentrification in Brooklyn, and he is a regular contributor to The Nation. Gibson is the co-director of Sangam House, a writers residency program in India, which he founded with Arshia Sattar.

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