Writers Omi

Fall 2016 Writers Omi Residents

Writers Omi at Ledig House
Fall Residents – 2016


Sarah Ladipo Manyika (Nigeria/U.K./U.S., Fiction)
September 9-22

Sarah was raised in Nigeria and has lived in Kenya, France, and England. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her writing includes essays, academic papers, reviews and short stories. Her second novel, Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun was released in April. Sarah's first novel, In Dependence, was published by Legend Press (London) and Cassava Republic Press (Abuja-London).

Lieke Marsman (The Netherlands, Poetry/Fiction)
September 9-October 6

Lieke has published two books of poetry Wat ik mijzelf graaf voorhoud and De eerste letter for which she has received a.o. de C. Buddingh' prijs and de Van der Hoogtprijs, respectively. She received her MA in Philosophy from the University of Amsterdam and is now working on essays and a novel with poems in it.

Alan Cherchesov (North Ossetia, Russia, Fiction)
September 9-October 6

Alan has published the novels Requiem for Living, Wreath for the Grave of the Wind, Villa Belle-Lettre, and Don Ivan, in addition to numerous short stories. Cherchesov is the founder of the Institute of Civilization, a private educational institute in Vladikavkaz, Russia. The recipient of a number of literary prizes, he was a finalist for the 2001 and 2006 Russian Booker Awards. His novel Don Ivan was nominated for Russia's Big Book Award. His works are translated into English, German, French, Flemish, Chinese, Arabic, and Bulgarian.

Suzanne Ushie (Nigeria, Fiction/Nonfiction)
September 9-October 6

Suzanne grew up in Calabar, Nigeria. Her short stories and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Fiction Fix, Conte Online, The Writing Disorder, Lunch Ticket, Brittle Paper, Saraba and Gambit: Newer African Writing. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia where she received various distinctions including the African Bursary for Creative Writing. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

Lucy Fricke (Germany, Fiction)
September 9-October 7

Lucy was born in Hamburg and studied at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig.
She has published three novels, most recently Takeshis Haut [Takeshis Skin] in 2014.
Since 2010 she has been directing the HAM.LIT festival for young literature in Hamburg. Her literary work has received many awards. In the spring of 2011 she was writer-in-residence at the Villa Kamogawa in Kyoto, Japan. And in 2012 she was invited to the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Lucy lives in Berlin.

Lara Vergnaud (U.S., Translation)
September 12-25

Lara was born in Tunisia and studied literary translation in both France and the United States. She has translated works from the French by authors such as Zahia Rahmani, Mohand Fellag, Joy Sorman, Marie-Monique Robin, and Scholastique Mukasonga. Her translation of The Hospital by Ahmed Bouanani is forthcoming from New Directions in 2017. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Pierre J. Mejlak (Malta, Fiction)
September 16-30

Pierre is a writer from Malta, who has been living in Belgium since 2004. His latest collection of short stories, Having Said Goodnight, won the European Union Prize for Literature in 2014 and is being translated into ten languages. His work, which includes a novel, two short story collections and a number of books for children, earned him the Malta National Book Award and the Sea of Words European Short Story Contest.

Simone Lappert (Switzerland, Poetry/Fiction)
September 16-October 16

Simone was born in Aarau, Switzerland, and lives in Basel. She writes poetry and prose, and her first novel, Wurfschatten, was published in 2014 in Berlin and is being translated into English for publication in December. Simone's work has received numerous awards.

Shara McCallum (Jamaica/U.S., Poetry)
September 23-October 20

Shara's fifth book of poems, Madwoman, is forthcoming in January 2017 from Alice James Books in the U.S. and in the spring of 2017 from Peepal Tree Press in the U.K. Originally from Jamaica, Shara lives in Pennsylvania where she teaches and directs the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University.

Anjali Kumar (India/U.S., Fiction)
September 26-October 2

Anjali is a humorist, author, advisor and attorney. She is at work on her first book, From Google to God, which humorously chronicles her attempts to answer questions she can't Google an answer to for her six-year-old daughter, and co-creator and host of the forthcoming podcast "Unsearchable". Most recently she was the Founding General Counsel and Head of Social Innovation at Warby Parker, a transformative lifestyle brand offering designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially-conscious businesses. Prior to joining Warby Parker, Anjali was Senior Counsel at Google, where she also curated the @Google speaker series, bringing Googlers around the globe face-to-face with some of today's most prominent thinkers. She lives in New York City with her husband, Atul, and daughter, Zia.

Yoss (Cuba, Fiction)
October 1-5
Born José Miguel Sánchez Gómez, Yoss assumed his pen name in 1988, when he won the Premio David in the science-fiction category for his novel Timshel. He has written over twenty novels, two of which, A Planet for Rent and Super Extra Grande, have been translated into English and published by Restless Books. He is the lead singer in the Havana-based heavy-metal band Tenaz.

Tung-Hui Hu (U.S., Nonfiction/Poetry)
October 7-November 4

Tung-Hui is the author of the nonfiction book A Prehistory of the Cloud and three books of poetry, most recently Greenhouses, Lighthouses. The recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the San Francisco Foundation, he is currently assistant professor of English at the University of Michigan.

Annie-France Mistral (France, Translation)
October 7-November 4

Annie-France worked for 25 years as a documentary film director and started translating in 2010. She now gives herself the privilege of only translating texts that interest her and to do so at her own speed. She believes in literature and in humans.

Laksmi Pamuntjak (Indonesia, Fiction/Nonfiction/Poetry)
October 4-November 4

Laksmi is a novelist, poet, food writer, essayist and journalist. The Question of Red, her bestselling first novel, won Germany's LiBeraturpreis 2016 and was named #1 on Germany's Welptempfaenger list of the best works of fiction from the Global South translated into German. The novel has been translated into several languages including German and Dutch. Pamuntjak was the Indonesian representative for Poetry Parnassus at the 2012 London Olympics. She writes opinion articles for the Guardian, and divides her time between Berlin and Jakarta.

Tsering Lama (Tibet, Theater)
October 7-20

Tsering was born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal. She has an MFA in writing from Columbia University, where she was a TOMS Fellow, a Writing Fellow, and a Teaching Fellow. She has received support from The Canada Council for the Arts and The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for Women, and residencies from Catwalk, Playa Summerlake, WildAcres and The Lillian E. Smith Center. Tsering's work has appeared in The Malahat Review, Grain Magazine, Vela Mag, La.Lit, Himal SouthAsian and Brave New Play Rites Anthology.

Alan Harris (U.K., Theater)
October 7-November 4

Alan won a Judges' Award at the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for How My Light Is Spent. His plays include: The Opportunity of Efficiency (New National Theatre Tokyo/National Theatre Wales), A Good Night Out in the Valleys (National Theatre Wales), This Is Not A Banksy, Wolf, The Lighthouse, A Certain Date, Take Me To Victoria Park (BBC Radio 4), The Gold Farmer (BBC Radio 3). He has worked with theatre and opera companies throughout the UK and abroad. Alan is currently under commission to the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester and also Paines Plough with Love, Lies and Taxidermy, which will premiere at the Edinburgh Festival before a national U.K. tour.

Namwali Serpell (Zambia, Fiction)
October 7-November 4

Namwali is an associate professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. She received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award in 2011. She was shortlisted twice for the Caine Prize for African Writing and won in 2015 for her story, "The Sack." You can read her writing in The Believer, n+1, Callaloo, Tin House, McSweeney's, Triple Canopy, Cabinet, and several anthologies including: The Best American Short Stories, The Caine Prize Anthology and Africa39. Her first novel, The Old Drift, will be published in 2018.

Anna Aguilar-Amat (Catalonia, Poetry)
October 11-November 1
Anna was born in Barcelona. She has a PHD from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona where she now teaches Terminology applied to Translation at the Translation Faculty. She published five collections of poems and was awarded several awards for Catalan poetry. Her poetic work is present in several anthologies of Catalan poets and she has been translated into Spanish, English, French, Italian, Sardinian, Macedonian, Finnish, Arabian, Turkish, Greek, German and Slovenian. She was included in the Anthology New European Poets by Wayne Miller & Kevin Prufer, Minnesota 2008.

Juha Itkonen (Finland, Fiction/Nonfiction)
October 14-November 4

Juha is a renowned Finnish author, living in Helsinki and born in Hämeenlinna. He has published seven novels, a collection of short stories and a children's book. He has also worked for theatre. Prior to his career as a novelist, Juha worked as a journalist and still regularly writes non-fiction for Finnish magazines. In Finland, Juha has been awarded numerous literature prizes, including the prestigious State Literature Prize. His books have been published in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Germany.

Diana Evans (U.K., Fiction)
October 21-November 4

Diana's first novel, 26a, was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel and Commonwealth Best First Book awards, and was the inaugural winner of the Orange Award for New Writers. Her second novel, The Wonder, a dance mystery set in Jamaica and sixties London, has been optioned for television adaptation. She has written extensively for the U.K. press, she holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, and is writer-in-residence at the University of Kent. She lives in London.

Laura Maylene Walter (U.S., Fiction)
October 21-November 4

Laura is the author of the short story collection Living Arrangements, and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the Kenyon Review, The Sun, Poets & Writers, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She was a Tin House Scholar, the recipient of the Ohioana Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant, and served as a past fiction editor of Mid-American Review. She currently teaches writing workshops at Literary Cleveland and Cuyahoga County Public Library and blogs for the Kenyon Review.

Allison Amend (USA, Alumni-in-Residence)
Allison Amend is a graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writer's Workshop. She is the author of the novels Enchanted Islands, A Nearly Perfect Copy and Stations West, which was a finalist for the 2011 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and the Oklahoma Book Award. She is also the author of the Independent Publisher's Award-winning short story collection Things That Pass for Love. She lives in New York City where she teaches creative writing at Lehman College and the Red Earth MFA.

Fall 2016 Translation Lab Residents

Translation Lab at Ledig House
Fall Residents – 2016

Kannada to English

Srinath Perur is the author of the travelogue If It's Monday It Must Be Madurai (Penguin India, 2013) and the English translator of Ghachar Ghochar. He writeson travel, science, cities, books and most things in between for various publications. He lives in Bangalore, India.

Vivek Shanbhag is from India and writes in Kannada, a South Indian language. He has published five short story collections, three novels and two plays, and has edited two anthologies, one of them in English. His writing has appeared in Granta, Seminar, Out of Print and Indian Literature. He founded and edited the pioneering Kannada literary journal Desha Kaala for seven years. His critically acclaimed novel, Ghachar Ghochar is published by HarperCollins India in an English translation. An engineer by training, Vivek currently lives in Bangalore, India.


French to English

Allison M. Charette translates literature from French into English. She received a 2015 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant for Naivo's Beyond the Rice Fields, the first novel to be translated from Madagascar, forthcoming from Restless Books in 2017. She founded the Emerging Literary Translators' Network in America (ELTNA.org), a networking and support group for early-career translators, and currently serves as the Program Committee Chair for the American Literary Translators Association. Allison has published two book-length translations, in addition to short translated fiction that has appeared in Words Without Borders, The Other Stories, Tupelo Quarterly, the SAND Journal, and others. Find her online at charettetranslations.com.

Naivo was born in Antananarivo, Madagascar, and studied at Université de Paris 6 (France) and York University (Canada). He writes about Malagasy past and present societies and is interested in the intermingling of cultures. He is the author of a work of historical fiction, Beyond the Rice Fields, and a short stories collection, Madagascar entre poivre et vanille. He is working on his second novel and a series of essays on contemporary Madagascar.


German to English

Tess Lewis is a writer and translator from French and German. Her translations include works by Peter Handke, Anselm Kiefer, and Philippe Jaccottet. She has won a number of awards including the 2015 ACFNY Translation Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is an Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review and writes essays on European Literature for a number of journals and newspapers including The Hudson Review, The New Criterion, The American Scholar, The Wall Street Journal, and Bookforum. www.tesslewis.org

Alois Hotschnig was born in 1959 in Carinthia, Austria, and lives in Innsbruck. His fiction and his plays have won major Austrian and international prizes including the Federal Chancellery of Austria's Literature Prize, the Italo Svevo Prize, the Erich Fried Prize, the Anton Wildgans Prize, the 2011 Gert Jonke Prize, and the ORF Radio Play of the Year Award, among others. His novels, Leonardo's Hands and Ludwig's Room, and his short story collection, Maybe This Time have been translated into English.


Spanish to English

Lizzie Davis is a writer, editor, and literary translator from Spanish and Italian to English. Her translations from the Spanish include works by Ezio Neyra, Pilar Fraile Amador, Daniel Saldaña París, and others, as well as Elena Medel's My First Bikini (Jai-Alai Books, 2015) and the prose for Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda (Copper Canyon, 2016). She acquires Spanish-language texts and edits works both in their original English and in translation at Coffee House Press.

Pilar Fraile Amador is a Spanish poet and fiction writer. She has published five collections of poems and a collection of short stories. She is considered by the critics as one of the most disturbing voices of Spanish literary scene. Her work has been translated into Norwegian, Portuguese, Catalonian and English. Some of her poems were translated and anthologized by Forrest Gander in «Panic Cure: poetry from Spain for the XXI century», that was published in UK and USA. She is currently revising her first novel.

About Writers Omi and 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 for Writers Omi 2018

Please check back on August 15, 2017, for instructions on applying for a 2018 residency.


Apply for Translation Lab 2017

Translation Lab, Fall 2017 
Residency Dates: November 8-19, 2017*
Deadline: July 15, 2017

Writers Omi at Ledig House, a part of Omi International Arts Center, has been awarded a grant from Amazon.com to fund Translation Lab 2017, a 12-day special, intensive residency for four collaborating writer-translator teams in the fall of 2017.

Writers Omi will host four English language translators at the Omi International Arts Center for 12 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 English-language readers.

The dates for Translation Lab 2017 are November 8-19, 2017.
Writers Omi will be accepting proposals for participation until July 15, 2017.

*Please note: accepted applicants must be available for the duration of the Translation Lab (November 8-19, 2017). 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.

All residencies are fully funded, including airfare and local transport from New York City to the Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, NY.

How to Apply
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

Sponsors & Endowments


Dutch Foundation for Literature
Francis Greenburger Fellowship on Mitigating Religious and Ethnic Conflict
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
Whiting Foundation


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.

Program Board Committee

Program Board:

Esther Allen
Dorthe Binkert
Dominique Bourgois
Bill Clegg
Chandler Crawford
Nayana Currimbhoy
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, Program Director

DW Gibson is the author of The Edge Becomes the Center: An Oral History of Gentrification in the Twenty-First Century (winner of the 2015 Brooklyn Eagle Literary Prize) and Not Working: People Talk About Losing a Job and Finding Their Way in Today's Changing Economy. He shared a National Magazine Award for his work on "This Is the Story of One Block in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn" (New York Magazine.) His work has also appeared in Harper's, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The Village Voice, The Caravan, and he has been a contributor to NPR's All Things Considered.

Copyright ©1992-2015 Omi International Arts Center. Text and images are the exclusive property of their authors or Omi International Arts Center. Reproduction or distribution of any images on this website without written permission from the author and/or Omi is strictly prohibited.