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, Spring & Fall 2016 
Spring Residency Dates: March 18 - June 3, 2016
Fall Residency Dates: September 9 - November 4, 2016
Deadline: October 20, 2015

for the online application form.

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.

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

Upcoming Events

Writers Omi Fall Reading and BBQ

Saturday, September 26, 5 PM

Omi Visitors Center
1405 County Route 22, Ghent, NY 12075

Join distinguished writers, translators, and poets in residence at Writers Omi this fall for a night of one-of-a-kind readings by international voices. Following the event, Omi invites visitors to join the writers for a barbecue feast and reception, for which donations are appreciated. The reading is free and open to the public.

About the Spring 2015 Writers Omi Residents

Writers Omi at Ledig House
Spring Residents – 2015



Justine Dymond (US, Fiction/Poetry), March 20-April 2
Justine is an associate professor of English at Springfield College. Her fiction and poetry have been published in numerous journals, including The Massachusetts Review, Pleiades, Meat for Tea, and The Briar Cliff Review. Her short story "Cherubs" was selected for an O. Henry Prize and also appeared on the list of distinguished stories in the 2006 Best American Short Stories. She co-edited Motherhood Memoirs: Mothers Creating/Writing Lives (Demeter Press, 2013). She lives in western Massachusetts with her family.

Leonora Christina Skov (Denmark, Fiction/Nonfiction), March 20-April 9
Leonora was born in small-town Denmark and lives in Copenhagen. She holds a degree in comparative literature and has published four novels, two children's books, and has worked as a literary critic and commentator for the weekly newspaper Weekendavisen. Her Gothic novel, Silhuet af en synder, has been translated into the Norwegian, Spanish, German, and Greek, and her portrait of a marriage breakdown, Champagnepigen, was a national bestseller in Denmark. She has been a writer-in-residence in Pondicherry, Edinburgh, Damascus, Saint Petersburg, Athens, Paris, Berlin, Lavigny, and Shanghai.

Hanan Elstein (Israel, Translation)
, March 20-April 16
Hanan is an Israeli editor and translator currently living in New York. He studied philosophy, history, literature, cultural studies and law at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Germany. He has been working as an editor of Hebrew and translated world literature, both fiction and non-fiction, since 2001. He translated over 15 titles from German to Hebrew, including works by Walter Benjamin, Immanuel Kant, Jean Améry, Joachim Fest, Heinrich von Kleist, Irmgard Keun, Elfriede Jelinek, Werner Bräunig and Christian Kracht. He works extensively with leading Israeli publishers and theatres, and collaborates on international theatre projects.

Shubnum Khan (South Africa, Fiction)
, March 20-April 16
Shubnum is a South African Indian author who published her debut novel, Onion Tears, with Penguin at 25. The novel was shortlisted for the Penguin Prize for African Writing and the University of Johannesburg Debut Fiction Prize and has been translated into Italian. In 2012 she was selected as the Mail & Guardian's 200 top young South Africans. She lives and works in Durban by the sea.

Jacques Fux (Brazil, Fiction/Nonfiction), March 20-April 16
Jacques lives in Belo Horizonte, where he was born and raised. He earned a Master's in Computer Science, a B.A. in Mathematics, a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (Brazil), and also a doctoral degree in "Littérature Française" (France). He published Literatura e Matemática: Jorge Luis Borges, Georges Perec e o Oulipo (2010), which was awarded the "Capes Prize" for the Best Dissertation in Brazil (2011), and Antiterapias, his latest novel, for which he was awarded the "Prêmio São Paulo de Literatura 2013". He was a visiting scholar at Harvard University from 2012 to 2014.

Okwiri Oduor (Kenya, Fiction),
March 20-April 16
Okwiri was born in Nairobi. Her short story, "My Father's Head," won both the 2013 Short Story Day Africa Feast, Famine and Potluck story contest and the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies in Africa, the United Kingdom and the U.S. She is currently at work on her debut novel.

Marine Petrossian (Armenia, Poetry/Nonfiction), March 20-April 23
Marine is a poet and essayist whose writings and TV appearances have made her a public figure in Armenia. Her first poetry book appeared in 1993, just two years after the Soviet Union collapsed and Armenia became an independent republic. In 1995 Editions Comp'Act published it in France under the title J'apporterai des pierres. Since then, Petrossian has published another five volumes of poetry and a book of essays. Petrossian's essay "Antipoetry, or When the Poet Does Not Seek an Alibi," has aroused intense discussions in Armenian literary circles.

Allison Amend (US, Fiction), March 20-April 30
A Chicago native and a diehard Cubs fan, Allison holds degrees from Stanford University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her books include the Award-winning short story collection, Things That Pass for Love and the novel Station West, which was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award and the Sami Rohr Prize. Her most recent novel, A Nearly Perfect Copy, was published in 2013. Allison teaches at Lehman College and the Red Earth Low-Residency MFA. You can find her online at www.allisonamend.com.

Salma (India, Ficiton/Poetry), April 3-30
Salma was born in Tamil Nadu. Her first poetry collection shocked conservative society where woman are supposed to remain silent. In 2003, Salma and three other Tamil woman poets faced obscenity charges and violent threats. In 2004 Salma published her first novel, The Hour Past Midnight, was translated and published by Zubaan. Salma was head of the panchayat (local level government body) of Thuvarankurichi, near Trichi in Tamil Nadu and chairperson of the Tamil Nadu Welfare Board.

Raad Rahman (Bangladesh/India, Fiction), April 10-May 7
Raad hails from Bangladesh via way of the Indian Himalayas. As a writer, Raad draws on her extensive experience as a human rights and communications expert, having lived and worked in six countries across three continents. Raad's writing regularly appears in international media outlets, including UNICEF, Global Voices Online, and Al Jazeera. Raad is the founder and publisher of popular blog Wonder Sonder, She has authored two novels, Framed Butterflies (2005), and Behind Closed Doors (2002). Her work has been translated into five languages, and in 2013 Harvard's Kennedy School named her as an Emerging Leader, thanks to her innovative approaches to addressing human rights issues worldwide. She is a regular contributor to the Luce Foundation's flagship publication, the Stewardship Report.

Matthias Nawrat (Germany/Poland, Fiction), April 11-May 7
Matthias was born in Opole, Poland. In 1989 he moved with his parents to Bamberg in Germany. He studied Biology in Heidelberg and Freiburg, later Creative Writing in Biel, Switzerland. Matthias has published the novels Wir zwei allein and Unternehmer, as well as several short stories and essays in magazines and newspapers. He lives in Berlin.

Jeremy Tiang (Singapore/ USA, Translation/Fiction), April 12-May 7
Jeremy has translated six books from Chinese, and was recently awarded a PEN/ Heim Translation Grant. He also writes and translates plays, and his short fiction has appeared in Esquire, Meanjin, Ambit, Litro, the Istanbul Review, and Best New Singaporean Short Stories. He lives in Brooklyn. 

Sanja Lovrenčić (Croatia, Fiction/Poetry),
April 17-May 14
Sanja has a degree in art history and lives in Zagreb where she works as a freelance writer and translator. She has published collections of poems, novels and short stories. For the novel Searching for Ivana she was awarded the renowned Croatian Gjalski Prize. Her poetry is published in Croatian and foreign literary magazines and has been translated into German, English, Polish, Hungarian, Slovenian and Russian.

Becca Rose Hall (US, Fiction)
, April 18-May 7
Becca lives in Seattle and is the director of Frog Hollow School, a writing program for homeschoolers. She studied writing at Stanford and the University of Montana, and her work has appeared many places including Contrary Magazine, High Country News, and The Bellingham Review. In her free time, she raises bees and chickens, hikes, makes things, and plays fetch in the vacant lot with her dog.

Justin Go (US, Fiction)
, April 24-May 21
Justin was born in Los Angeles and educated at the University of California, Berkeley and University College London.  His first novel, The Steady Running of the Hour (Simon & Schuster, 2014), is being translated into more than twenty languages.  Justin has lived in Berlin, London and Paris, and he continues to write and travel between the United States and Europe.  

Aai Prins (Holland, Translation)
, May 1-28
Aai studied Slavonic Languages and Literature at the University of Amsterdam. She works as an interpreter for the Dutch courts and as a translator of Russian literature. Her translations include works of Chekhov, Bulgakov, Gogol and Khlebnikov. Currently she is working on the translation of Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago. For her work she was awarded the Aleida Schot Prize (1001) and the Filter Translation Prize (2013).

Megan McDowell (US, Translation),
May 1-June 5
Megan is a literary translator working from Spanish to English. She has translated works by Latin American novelists including Alejandro Zambra, Arturo Fontaine, Carlos Busqued, Juan Emar, and Álvaro Bisama. She is currently working on the English translation of Divorce in the Air, by Spanish writer Gonzalo Torné. She is from Richmond, Kentucky, and lives in Santiago, Chile.

Amy Waldman (USA, Fiction),
May 8-21
Amy Waldman is a novelist and journalist living in Brooklyn. Her first novel, The Submission, was named a New York Times Notable Book and one of National Public Radio's top ten novels for 2011. It won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction, and was shortlisted for the Guardian's First book award. It has been published in more than 20 countries. Waldman also has been a reporter for The New York Times and a professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University.

Sölvi Björn Sigurdsson (Iceland, Fiction/Nonfiction/Poetry),
May 8-June 5
Sölvi's second novel, The Murakami Girlfriend, was listed as one of the novels of the decade by Iceland's biggest newspaper, Frettabladid, and his third novel, The Last Days of My Mother, was translated into English and published this year by Open Letter. His fourth novel, Visitors in Arrowgrass Valley, a historical novel about the first Icelandic potato farmer, was hailed a literary success when published in 2011. In 2013, his epic books on lake and river fishing, Pole Fishing in Iceland and The Icelandic Book of Waters, were nominated for the Icelandic Literary Award and received The 2013 DV Cultural Prize for non-fiction. A translator of classical poetry, Sölvi has also received distinguished nominations for his translations of Rimbaud's A Season in Hell. His Diabolical Comedy, a modern take on The Divine Comedy, has been translated into Finnish, Swedish, and Danish.

Kaj Korkea-aho (Finland, Fiction)
, May 8-June 5
Kaj is from Helsinki and belongs to the Swedish-speaking minority of Finns and writes in Swedish. In addition to two novels, he has written comedy sketches for TV and radio as well as a couple of stage plays. He has also hosted television and radio shows and done work as an actor. His third novel will be published in Finland in August 2015. 

Kirmen Uribe (Spain, Fiction), May 8-June 5
Kirmen won the National Prize of Literature in Spain in 2009 for his first novel, Bilbao–New York–Bilbao. It has been translated into more than fourteen languages, including English, French, and Japanese. His poetry collection Meanwhile Take My Hand was translated into English by Elizabeth Macklin and was shortlisted for the 2008 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. His work has appeared in several European and American publications including The New Yorker and El País. He writes in the Basque language. www.kirmenuribe.com.


Mike Fu (China/US, Translation/Fiction), May 15-June 5
Mike is a Brooklyn-based writer and translator. He has translated screenplays and written material for contemporary Chinese filmmakers including Huang Weikai, Li Ning, and Yang Jin. Born in China, raised in Denmark and the United States, he has studied in Los Angeles, Paris, New York, and Suzhou. His fiction has appeared in Enaegon Magazine. He is an administrator at Parsons The New School for Design.

Tia Clark (US, Fiction) May 15-June 5
Tia is a fiction writer from Elmsford, New York. Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Fourteen Hills, FiveChapters, Epiphany, and elsewhere. She was the recipient of the Indiana University Writer of the World Fellowship and a Ross Lockridige Award for Fiction Writing. She will begin a fiction fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown this fall.

Chris Hosea (US, Poetry), May 22-June 5
Chris is an American poet and the author of Put Your Hands In (LSU Press, 2014), selected by John Ashbery for the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Hosea was educated at Harvard (A.B. 1998) and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (M.F.A. 2006). Hosea's work as an art curator includes Ode to Street Hassle (Bronx Art Space, 2012). He works as an advertising copywriter and lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Emily Raboteau (US, Fiction/Nonfiction), May 28-June 5
Emily is the author of a novel, The Professor's Daughter, and a work of creative nonfiction, Searching for Zion, which was named a best book of 2013 by The Huffington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle, a finalist for the Hurston Wright Legacy Award, grand prize winner of the New York Book Festival, and winner of a 2014 American Book Award.  Her fiction and essays have been widely published and anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Best American Non-required Reading, The New York Times, Tin House, The Guardian, Guernica, VQR, The Believer and elsewhere. Honors include a Pushcart Prize, The Chicago Tribune's Nelson Algren Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the MacDowell Colony. 





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

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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 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

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