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The Esse x Art Volt Writing Residency

We are happy to announce the creation of the Esse x Art Volt Writing Residency! This new partnership and program aims to support two recent alumni of Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts by providing them the opportunity to research and write an essay that will be published on Esse’s online platform. 

Esse arts + opinions, is a contemporary art magazine covering a wide range of art practices, including visual arts, performance arts, and digital arts, and all forms of socially engaged, site-specific, and performative intervention. It favours analyses that address art in relation to its context. 

If you have any questions about the application process or need specific accommodations to help you succeed in applying, please get in touch with

Program overview

Up to two residents will be selected and invited to research and write a new text that responds to and/or is inspired by 3 to 4 existing essays they will have found in Esse’s archives. Selected residents will each have a few months to conduct research into Esse’s archives and produce an essay that will be promoted and published on Esse’s website. 

Selected residents will receive full access to all of Esse’s online content for research purposes, support from the editorial board for proofreading and editing of the essay, as well as a publishing fee of $1500. If desired, residents can also request to work from Esse’s physical office space located in Montreal. 

The essay produced during this residency should be between 1500 to 2000 words. Residents may also choose to write in French or English, as the final text will be translated and published in both languages.

Two residency periods are available and applicants should identify which of these they prefer in their submission package: 

Residency #1 - August to December 2023
- Aug. 2023 - Start of research
- Nov. 2023 - Deadline to submit text for review
- Dec. 2023 - Publish text by resident #1

Residency #2 - November 2023 to March 2024
- Nov. 2023 - Start of research
- Feb. 2023 - Deadline to submit text for review
- March 2023 - Publish text by resident #2

Application criteria

Applicants must be registered for graduation or have graduated from Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts, within the last five years.

Alumni interested in applying, are invited to join an information session on Wednesday, May 17th 2023 at 12PM EST. Applicants will be able to ask questions, as well as discuss their submission package with Art Volt. To join the information session please request a zoom link with

Residents will be selected based on the clarity and quality of their written sample, and pitch. The committee will also strive for balanced representations of diverse communities and practices. The selection committee will jury the submissions and aim to notify applicants one month prior to the first residency start date.

How to Apply

Please send your application in ONE PDF to before Monday, June 5th 2023 at 5PM EST.

Please provide the following information:

1. Personal information: 

  • Full name

  • Preferred pronoun (optional) 

  • Telephone number

  • Email address

  • Please specify which residency period you would prefer.

2. Supporting documents:

  • A bio (max 250 words)

  • A written pitch (max 1 page): describe the research questions you are interested in exploring during the residency and outline how this residency will benefit your overall practice/career.

  • A curriculum vitae (2 pages max)

  • A writing sample (approx 1000 words max. If longer, please indicate the start and end point the jury should read.)

  • Proof of graduation: screen capture of your graduation status on your Student Hub, your unofficial transcript or your diploma.

If you have any questions about the application process or need specific accommodations to help you succeed in applying, please get in touch at

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Recognising the generous support

This initiative is made possible by the generous support of the Peter N. Thomson Family Innovation Fund.

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