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The Writer’s Guild of Astoria and 

Astoria Visual Arts (AVA)

are thrilled to announce the

winners of the 2020 North Coast Writer’s Residency. 


Now in its second year, this jointly sponsored residency affords a selected Northwest writer the time, space, and solitude needed to work, uninterrupted, on a literary project of their choosing. 


Details: The chosen writer will have the opportunity to spend one week in meaningful pursuit of creative work in a lovely cottage located on Washington’s magnificent Willapa Bay. Hosted by Buzz Bissinger and Lisa Smith at their five-acre waterfront property, this residency will provide writing time and space in an idyllic setting to make substantial progress on a significant writing project. Writers of novels, short stories, literary nonfiction, plays, memoir, poetry and screenplays will be considered.  


Congratulations to Sarah Buckmaster, and Deborah Williams, recipients of the 2020 North Coast Writer's Residency!


Sarah Buckmaster, a Communications Director for a global nonprofit, is working on a dystopian novel. Deborah Williams, a Literature Professor at NYUAD, is working on a novel set in the Middle East, where she's been based for a number of years.


Both authors gave a reading of their work at the 2020 Literary Masquerade.


Please join us for their AUTHOR READING AND RECEPTION AT AVA GALLERY SPACE - Saturday, June 19th and Wednesday, August 18th!



Buzz Bissinger teaches advanced narrative non-fiction at the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of various books, including Friday Night Lights, Three Nights in August and A Prayer for the City.


Lisa Smith has spent much of her career in public-interest communications, including writing and producing for public television and public radio.  


One or both of the hosts will be on hand, for at least a portion of the residency, for socializing in the evenings. A cocktail hour and reading of a sample of the resident’s work will be open to the public and scheduled at the AVA Gallery near the close of the residency. 

Congratulations to the

Writer-In-Residence Winners


A  40-year resident of Eugene, Oregon, Cecelia Hagen is a much lauded poet who has edited both literary and commercial magazines, taught writing to all ages, hosted a reading series held at the local library, co-founded and worked for a youth-writing organization, and generally done, as she wrote in her application essay, “anything and everything that promotes writers and the written word.”  Hagen’s poems are read daily by Eugene transit users:  Part of a public art project, her work is engraved on the doors of the electrical box at each stop of Lane Transit District’s EmX line. Hagen plans to use the residency to   assemble her most recent poems into a new manuscript. “The one-week time frame [will] supply the freedom and focus I need to complete this work and have a manuscript ready to submit for the fall reading periods of many small presses,” she wrote. Hagen’s residency runs from July 14 through July 21, 2019.

I loved every hour of my residency in Long Beach. Time stretched out like the expansive view of the Willapa Bay—and maybe because of it, as well. Water, water everywhere; it replenished and inspired me. The focus I was able to give to my writing has continued to be a positive force in my creative life.

-Cecelia Hagen, 2019 recipient

Andrew Zingg is an Astoria resident and writer of literary non-fiction, in which he “strives to tell personal stories with larger cultural resonance.” Zingg’s current project is a memoir that centers on his quest to understand the legacy of his grandfather, an American photojournalist who abandoned his wife and three small children in 1964 to move to Brazil, where he eventually became a cultural icon. While a graduate student at Oregon State, Zingg pursued the project as his MFA thesis and completed a first draft of a book, an excerpt from which won the University’s 2018 Creative Writing Award for Nonfiction. Zingg plans to use his time as writer-in-residence at the Spotted Goat Cottage to finalize his book for publication.  His residency runs from July 28 through August 4, 2019.

"I couldn’t have dreamed up a better residency experience than the Astoria Visual Arts/Astoria Writer’s Guild writer-in-residence program at the Spotted Goat Cottage. The setting was idyllic. Everyday I woke up to a stunning view of Willapa Bay outside my cabin window, and that exposure to nature was all the inspiration I needed to get working on my manuscript each morning. Beyond the time and space afforded me during my residency, I am also grateful for the wonderful people I got to meet through the experience. Getting to discuss my work on Coast Community Radio and read from my book at the Astoria Studio Collective was such a special opportunity; the responses I received at both venues felt so affirming. Finally, I’d like to extend my biggest thanks to Buzz Bissinger and Lisa Smith, who were the most generous hosts. Astoria is so lucky to have these two passionate champions of the arts, and I am so happy that I got the chance to meet and learn from them."

-Andrew Zingg, 2019 recipient

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