New Program Offers Free Houses to Writers

  • Justin Stephani
  • December 19, 2013

Detroit-based Write A House calls itself a “new type of residency program,” one where writers get to live in their prize forever.

New Program Offers Free Houses to Writers



Good news, writers! If you’re willing to move to Detroit—or already live there—you’re eligible to enter the new Write A House contest. The prize? A free house.

And fear not: The fine print isn’t as scary as you’d think.

To apply, writers must submit a three-page writing sample, a résumé, and a couple paragraphs about why they deserve a free home. Once selected, the winner must undergo—remember, free property is involved here—a financial background check. Then for two years, the author-in-residence agrees to pay all property taxes and insurance costs. At the end of that period, if certain conditions have been met, the deed to the property will be handed over to the writer. (During those 24 months, the winning writer will also be required to give back to the program by contributing blog posts, making public appearances, etc.)

The project isn’t aiming to be a one-off venture, either. It sells itself as a win-win, philanthropic approach to revitalizing the city. The houses are rebuilt through educational programs that teach practical skills and are then given to a chronically underpaid professional: the writer.

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