Hosking Houses Trust logo
Founder/Secretary: Sarah Hosking
Registered Charity No: 1076713 


The Hosking Houses Trust was registered as a charity in 1999, with the aim of founding residential fellowships for older women writers and (eventually) artists and composers of achievement and merit. Fund raising was initiated and our first property, Church Cottage (suitable for writers) was acquired by the Trust in 2001.

Our first residence was in 2002/4, which was funded on housing benefit. Since then we have offered bursaries to our resident writers, gradually increasing in amount as we became more successful in raising funds, and it is now £750pcm. We aim to increase this until it is comparable with the major, literary prizes.

By January 2013, we shall have hosted twenty-seven writers and held over thirty residencies (some people return once, twice or even three times). Therefore (like Dracula) we are seeking new blood.

From Autumn 2012 we are advertising again for six new writers to take up residencies from March/April 2013, usually for two months but sometimes from three weeks to three months. For full details, see our 'Advertisement' link, but briefly our requirements are-
Women over the age of forty, with the legal right to be in the UK or Ireland-
With a contract for original work to be published, broadcast or performed-

We give a monthly bursary and pay all costs for Church Cottage. There are no imposed duties.
Closing date for applications: 25th February 2013

These are the people we have so far hosted or have appointed, sometimes in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company or the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Teresa Howard, playwright January - March 2013
Kitty Fitzgerald, novelist September - December 2012
Val Horsler, historian September 2012
Helen Stanton, theologian August 2012
Kapka Kassabova, poet, writer June - August 2012
Natasha Davis, performance artist May - June 2012
Mary Jane Baxter, fashion writer January - April 2012
Val Horsler, historian December 2011
Elizabeth Speller, poet/novelist/writer November 2011
Helen Stanton, theologian September - October 2011
Anita Mason, novelist July - September 2011
Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, yoga writer/teacher three short residencies, July
November, December 2011
Gill Plain, literary historian March-April-May 2011
Jan Dunn, film script writer January - February 2011
Jane Brown, biographer/historian November - December 2010
Lara Platman, photo journalist September - October 2010
Anjum Malik, TV script writer July - August 2010
Anna Shevchenko, novelist May - June 2010
Ruth Thomas, novelist April 2010
September 2009 - April 2010 Church Cottage empty for renovation
Val Horsler, historian August 2009
Performance artists,
RSC appointment
June 2011
Curious Leslie Hill/Helen Paris June - July 2009
RSC appointment September 2009
Geraldine Pilgrim, performance artist January - March 2009
Sarah Burton, novelist September - December 2008
Jane Hill, art historian August - September 2008
Louise Foxcroft, medical/social writer July 2008
Frances Donnelly, broadcaster/novelist April - June 2008
Elizabeth Speller, poet, novelist, writer January - March 2008
Elspeth Sandys, novelist June 2005 - June 2006
Jessica Berens, novelist/journalist June 2002 - June 2004


About The Hosking Houses Trust

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own Penguin Classics 1928

We would add to this…'if she is to write anything' for while the circumstances of women have changed dramatically since 1928, it is still the case that women are still usually unequal in gender opportunity. We have therefore given bricks, mortar and a credited bank account to this ideal and we are able to offer a period of financially protected domestic peace to women whom we believe deserve it.

Registered as a charity in 1995 and active since 2001, we appoint women over the age of forty who have achieved a substantial body of work on any subject whatsoever but who need a period of personal time in which to start, continue or complete interesting or innovative work. We expect our residents to have a contract for publication, broadcast or performance, as we cannot subsidise work (however brilliant) that is destined to sit unseen in a bottom drawer. We appoint according to professionalism (originality, ability, ambition and experience) and need (whether financial, political or medical need, or simply the weariness of middle age).

Writers can be in residence from between two weeks to six months, but usually for two to three months. We offer Church Cottage, which is beside the Church in Clifford Chambers, a village within two miles of Stratford-upon-Avon. It is small, a lower and upper room each fifteen feet square, but it is comfortable and well appointed with a tiny private garden, access to another garden and a rowing boat on the nearby River Stour. We pay all the running costs and also a personal bursary, currently £750pcm. "I was thinking of the safety and prosperity of one sex and the poverty and insecurity of the other" (Virginia Woolf) and it is this despair, even after eighty years, that has encouraged us to make our residencies as safe and prosperous as possible.

All we ask in return is that residents acknowledge us in all published or performed work and give us a copy of the resulting book, film or recording. There are no duties whatsoever, privacy is assured and pets are welcome.

* Quotations from A Room of One’s Own are by permission of the Society of Authors as the literary representatives of the estate of Virginia Woolf.

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