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COVID-19 UPDATE (12 March 2020): While we are living in a time of great uncertainty, City Books will be accepting applications as planned for the time being. Because the next residency isn’t scheduled to begin until July 1, we are hoping to proceed as scheduled. We will make the decision to postpone or cancel  later this spring, if necessary. In the meantime, please contact us at with any questions.

About the Residency:

The City Books Writer’s Residency offers flexible access to a comfortable, creative space within Pittsburgh’s oldest bookstore for adult writers to develop new writing or to advance existing work-in-progress. The opportunity allows writers to pursue individual writing goals or projects without the expectation of a page count or publication. The CBWR is intended for local/regional writers within driving distance of the bookstore. Applicants are encouraged to secure funding from 3rd party sources for transportation, family/childcare, meals, etc.

About City Books:

A community-oriented, independent bookstore located in the Allegheny West neighborhood of the Northside, City Books serves greater Pittsburgh, as well as the tri-state and neighboring Appalachian region. Our mission is to promote artistic and written expression in relation to experience and narrative; to foster dialogue among artists, writers and audiences across race, gender, sexual orientation, geographic, and socio-economic boundaries; and to reinforce the vital bond between literature and art as part of the region’s cultural heritage.


  • 40% Discount on books and merchandise
  • A City Books Reader’s Journal
  • The opportunity to curate a Resident’s Choice book shelf, if desired
  • Either a reading at City Books or an interview on Shelf Life (depending on scheduling)
  • Work space with free WiFi and gender-neutral bathroom facilities


  • Minimum of 3-5 hours per week in store during regular business hours
  • Attend at least 1 scheduled author event at the store
  • Availability for Independent Bookstore Day or Small Business Saturday (depending on term)
  • Permission to use likeness in marketing campaigns/accessibility for media requests

Spring term: Feb 1-June 30 (deadline Nov. 30)

Fall term: July 1-Nov 30 (deadline Apr. 30)

A signed contract is required before the start of the residency.

At its discretion, City Books may select more than one Resident per term.


All writers, 18+, at any stage in their careers, writing in any genre, who are residents of the Pittsburgh/tri-state/neighboring Appalachian region, who do not work for City Books, are eligible. Emerging, marginalized, and under-represented writers are encouraged to apply. Accessibility details will be provided upon request. City Books volunteers, as well as family members of current and former volunteers, are not eligible.

 Application process:

Applicants should send an email or letter of introduction that addresses why they are applying for the residency, a CV or resume (if available), a 3-5 page writing sample (any genre), and a brief proposal indicating the nature of the planned work. Please include all relevant contact information and dates of preferred term. Prior to final acceptance, City Books may require personal or professional references and an interview. Preference will be given to applicants for whom the residency will have the greatest possible impact.

Materials should be e/addressed to: (RE: Writer’s Residency) or to City Books Writer’s Residency, 908 Galveston Ave., Pittsburgh PA 15233. No phone calls will be accepted.

Deadline for fall residency: Apr. 30

Deadline for spring residency: Nov. 30

Notification will be made prior to public announcement.

Early termination/Right of refusal:

City Books reserves the right to refuse to host an event or to interview the Resident on Shelf Life for any reason. Similarly, the City Books reserves the right to terminate the residency early if the Resident is not fulfilling the above-listed responsibilities or is at all preventing the bookstore’s ability to fulfill its mission.

All City Books decisions are final.