am i eligible to apply to write a house?

We are interested in making this program available to a diverse network of writers, including both Detroiters and those who live far beyond, and those who are writing in a wide range of styles. That said, please be sure that you meet all the eligibility requirements detailed below. Applications that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified.

    • While the Detroit area is one of the most international regions in the world, applicants to this program must be a United States citizen or a Permanent Resident with a valid Green Card. We are afraid that we do not currently have the capacity to accept non-U.S. citizens. We apologize!
    • You must not be a family member of any Write A House board members or judges.
    • You must be 18 years old or older.
    • You must be a working writer with some history of publication. You do not necessarily need to be a full-time writer.
    • You must be a low or moderate-income writer. This means that you and your family should fall into one of the following categories:
      • Family of 1 with income of $0-$39,750
      • Family of 2 with income of $0-$45,450
      • Family of 3 with income of $0-$51,100
      • Family of 4 with income of $0-$56,800
      • Family of 5 with income of $0-$61,350
      • Family of 6 with income of $0-$65,900

o   You must be willing to engage with the literary community of Detroit. We are aware that different personalities are inclined to do this in different ways: Whether you want to lead a literary salon, start a magazine, teach a neighborhood writing workshop, tutor kids, or quietly edit a great book blog from your home, we hope your unique gifts will flourish here and grow our community.

if i am awarded a house, what are my obligations?

Most of all, we want you to thrive as a writer: Our hope is that this gift will make it possible for you to devote more time and thought to your work. That’s why we have intentionally kept this residency as obligation-free as possible. There are a few basic standards, however.

  • You must live in the house at least 75 percent of time. This is must be your primary residence.
  • You must keep up with both taxes and insurance for the house. Taxes are estimated at $2000 or less per year. Insurance is estimated at $2500 per year. (We will explore the feasibility of making insurance more affordable with a group policy.)
  • You must be a responsible homeowner and neighbor by maintaining your property.
  • There will be a two-year probationary period for both you and Write A House to make sure that this is a good match. If all goes well, we will hand over the house title to you, free and clear.
  • If you wish to sell the house within the first five years of living here, Write A House will get the first opportunity to buy it from you. We will pay the greater of its independently appraised value, or the amount of cash out-of-pocket the awardee has invested in the house.

APPLICATIONS: Please contact the director of applications at
GENERAL: If you have another sort of query, please contact the team at or fill out our handy form.