La Muse offers rooms to artists, writers, composers, screenwriters, musicians, academics, and many other diverse creative individuals and groups at low prices for three-week retreats.
We keep our rates as accessible as possible to be able to accept artists and academics at all stages in their careers. The exchange between established attendees and those who are just starting out is a valuable part of the experience, for both. In order to do so, we accept attendees on a variety of "formulas". They either come on a paid retreat stay (rates range from 700 to 1050 Euro for the retreat), a barter fellowship (please read our barter page) or as recipients of the residencies/fellowships we offer (please read our residencies/fellowships page).
The rooms we offer to those who directly apply to La Muse range from 700 - 1050 Euro per retreat (single occupancy); this includes a three week long stay, use of the La Muse library, Wi-Fi, printer, the shared kitchen, dining room, the art studios, and terrace. We have three double rooms and two suites that offer a bedroom and adjoining study.
Though we recommend an extended stay, we realize that three weeks is a big commitment that's not possible for everyone. We also realize that depending on the project, it is possible to get a great deal done in less time. For this reason, we do welcome people interested in shorter stays. We also often have a space available even at the last minute (though this is less likely during the summer). So, if your life doesn't fit into our calendar, email us anyway. We'll meet you halfway when we can.
In addition, we also manage the rental of neighboring village houses/cottages to accommodate larger groups such as writing programs, artists who'd like to come with family, or those who can only come for shorter stays.
La Muse is our home; we live here with our children in a different wing of the house. During our work hours each of us will be available to attendees.
La Muse is a self-service establishment. The house is informal and comfortable, but a structure exists with the purpose of vigorous work and focus on a creative project. That structure consists of our house guidelines, which we ask each attendee to consult before applying and to consent to before agreeing to attend. The purpose of these guidelines is to support a true retreat from life back home. We are as much a machine-free house as possible to enable you to clear your mental desktops and find peace and inspiration through discipline and some seclusion. The point is to disconnect in order to connect.
The house is located in a secluded, very quiet village with no distractions, save people, nature and the good food you aÂ’re bound to enjoy in France. A stay here feels like a step back in time.
Work at a desk in your room, at a writing table in the library, on the terrace or in the art studio. A private workspace can be arranged depending on availability.
We hope to see you here soon!
HOW TO APPLY:
Your application should include:
- 1. an approximately 250-word description of the work you hope to accomplish at La Muse. 2. an up-to-date CV or resume. 3. a one-page sample or photo of your work. 4. the names and contact information for two references, one personal and one professional.
In your email, please tell us:
- 1. how you heard of us, 2. when you intend to come, and 3. which would be your top two choices of room preferences (not for barter applicants).
La Muse has offered residencies since 2008 and barter residencies since 2001.
Here they are month by month:
JANUARY: The La Muse/Univeristy of Iowa Fellowship, offered to an alum of the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program.
2009: Brendan Wolfe. Brendan is a writer and editor (Kirkus, San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, Colorado Review, et al.) who has edited two alternative weekly newspapers, worked on the copy desk of a daily newspaper, and taught. We were delighted to hear that the book Brendan was working on during his time here at La Muse about the jazz musician Bix Biederbecke will be published next year. You can check out Brendan's cool blog The Beiderbecke Affair which to quote Brendan "concerns itself with things literary while also indulging its proprietor's rather unrelated interests in the early jazz musician Bix Beiderbecke and Korean culture, history, and politics about all things."
2008: Tom Montgomery-Fate. Tom was the first winner of the Iowa Fellowship. Tom was recently on National Public Radio in Chicago, reading the introduction of the book he's writing right now. Here's a link to the audio snippet. It's about Thoreau's Walden, relaxation and seeing things as they really are. Tom is a professor of English at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. You can check out his other books here on Amazon.
JUNE: The La Muse/University of Wisconsin Fellowship, offered to an alum of the University of Wisconsin Creative Writing Department.
2009: Ed Porter. Ed is doing a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Houston, Texas, the degree being expected sometime in May 2012. He will be using his time at La Muse to finish revisions on the short story collection he has been working on over the past three years entitled "The Changing Station." The title story of the collection, published first in the Colorado Review (Spring 2008), has already been selected for the Best New American Voices 2010.
2008: Emma Snyder. Emma spent her month here working on her first novel.
AUGUST: The La Muse/An Foras Feasa fellowship, a summer research fellowship offered through An Foras Feasa in Ireland, a research consortium of four institutions: National University of Ireland Maynooth, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Dublin City University and St Patricks College Drumcondra.
2009: Eibhlis Farrell. Eibhlis is an Irish composer, as well as the Head of Music and Creative Media (Ceannasa’ Roinn Ceoil agus Meain Chruthaitheacha) at the Dundalk Institute of Technology. She attended the August 24 - September 14 retreat.
2008: Tadhg O Dushlaine. Tadhg is an Irish poet who is also the head of the Irish department at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.
NOVEMBER: Wildcard Residency, open to anyone who'd like to apply. Deadline: 31st of July.
2009: Kieran Carroll. Kieran is a playwright and poet from Australia. Kieran's disembodied head performing Philip Larkin's "This Be the Verse" at our book swap was a laugh. You can check it out on Youtube here.
2008: Shahnaz Habib. Shahnaz is a freelance writer and editor, based in Brooklyn, New York. Her writing has been published in the New York Press, Women's ENews, Elan, etc. and has appeared in the anthology, Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers.
We are still exploring through which avenue to offer a residency (although we have hosted many visual artist barters) to a visual arts candidate, and to citizens of the EU and the rest of the world.
In the future:
1. A potential September residency with cultural organizations in Ireland (Foras Feasa), France and Australia.
2. Our "Distinguished Visitor" residency: our way to thank and support artists and writers whose work we admire.
3. "Adopt an Artist": We will present portfolios of writers and artists who are seeking residencies. These are remarkably talented individuals that we would dearly love to see sponsored to do a retreat at La Muse. Many of them are young and emerging artists from developing countries, such as Africa and Eastern Europe. Please email us if you, or someone you know, would be interested in making this happen.
These residencies are not currently underwritten by any foundations; we are simply giving a room to writers and artists who apply. We hope that with our new non-profit association we will be able to broaden our residency program.
What we offer is one month in our retreat to work on a specific project. Application requirements consist of:
1. an approximately 250-word description of the work you hope to accomplish at La Muse.
2. an up-to-date CV or resume.
3. a one-page sample or photo of your work.
4. the names and contact information for two references, one personal and one professional.
Please check out our website for more information on barter and retreat guidelines as well as our retreat calendar.