Bookgardan: A Year's Sustenance for Writers

Program: October 2019 to October 2020

Residencies at Craigardan, Keene, NY: October 21-28, 2019 & October 5- 12, 2020

Led by Kate Moses

Bring your book project to full fruition in Bookgardan, a year-long program of sustained, one-on-one literary mentorship and monthly online craft curriculum with an intimate cohort of fellow writers, bracketed by two fall residencies at Craigardan, a mountainside retreat for artists, makers & thinkers in the majestic Adirondacks of upstate New York.


Devote a year to writing your book in community with an intimate group of dedicated writers, nurtured from start to finish by acclaimed author, seasoned editor, and literary mentor Kate Moses. The program opens and closes with week-long fall residency intensives at Craigardan, a secluded artists' retreat set at a circa-1800s farm nestled in the Adirondack mountains of upstate New York. From the first residency onward Kate will provide writers the structure, tools, and guidance required to cultivate and nourish their manuscripts, with the goal of bringing projects to fruition (a full first draft, a revised draft, or meeting an individual goal) by program's end. Throughout the year, writers will receive ongoing individual and group mentorship, one-on-one monthly conferences in response to their manuscript submissions, and take part in online craft tutorials, group seminars, interviews with published writers and publishing professionals, and other opportunities for connection with like-minded artists sharing in an often solitary endeavor. Bookgardan culminates twelve months later—once again syncing with the autumn harvest—with a second Craigardan residency focused on the business of writing and publishing, the sustenance of lasting fellowship, and a deserved celebration. Limited to a maximum of 6 participants each year.

Bookgardan takes place both virtually and during the two rigorous, week-long residencies at Craigardan. Between residencies, as they hone and refine their manuscripts over the eleven intervening months, participants will make 11 scheduled manuscript submissions followed by long and detailed video or audio conferences with Kate. Bookgardan writers will be able to participate at their convenience in online curricular offerings and join live online events and discussions with the group; a dedicated, private online classroom, discussion area, and archive will be available to all participants through the year and beyond, hosted on Wet Ink.


The two week-long residencies will take place at Craigardan’s idyllic mountainside retreat, once a circa-1800s sheep farm, now a lovingly restored and intentionally designed 78-acre center for artistic creation, intellectual exchange, environmental awareness, and the cross-fertilization of all three. Participants will be lodged in private rooms among Craigardan’s simple and beautiful shared houses, with access to any number of indoor and outdoor communal spaces for writing and thinking, including solo time in the peaceful writer’s cabin with its wooded views of the working farm. Residency seminars, group meetings, and individual conferences will be held in the Farmhouse and the Apple Barn, where participants will also gather for meals prepared by the chef in residence from foodstuffs grown at Craigardan, or made by one of the many food artisans in the extensive local farm-to-table, sustainable agriculture community. See Craigardan's website here.

Located in Keene, New York at the northern edge of the Adirondacks, Craigardan is surrounded by numerous glorious mountains and hiking paths, a short drive from Lake Placid and Lake Champlain, and a ferry ride from Burlington, Vermont. Amtrak is twenty minutes away in nearby Westport, New York, and the nearest airports are in Burlington, Montreal, and Albany.  Boston and New York City are five hours away by car.


Bookgardan is ideal for writers who are deeply committed to their own artistic development and to their long-form narrative book projects, whether literary fiction (novel, novella, or short stories), memoir, topical creative nonfiction, essays in conversation, or hybrids of those forms, and think they would benefit from a seasoned editor’s assessment, ongoing technical guidance, accountability and mentorship, as well as the support and creative energy of an engaged group of peers. Participating writers may be at any stage of their project’s development, from a crystallizing idea to a full draft that needs refinement, and possessed of humility and generosity of spirit, a willingness to risk, and tenacity. Enrollment in Bookgardan is by application -- not to be elitist or intimidating, but to make sure that your project is something Kate feels she could help you to advance and improve, and something that everyone in the cohort will feel elevated to be among (“a good fit,” in other words). Email Kate if you have any questions about whether Bookgardan is right for you and your book.

To apply, please hit the "APPLY" button to fill out the application and get instructions on submitting a writing sample and returnable application fee.  


  • $7800 per person for the year

  • Optional pre-Bookgardan manuscript reading fee: $5/page

    (Note: a full manuscript reading & assessment at the end of the year’s program is included in the Tuition)


Enrollment in Bookgardan includes:

  • Two 7 night/6 day residencies at Craigardan with lodging in a private room/shared bath; all but one meal (one dinner out, no host); daily group yoga instruction; transportation to/from local train station or airport

  • 1 year of Mentorship with Kate, including 11, 30-page manuscript submissions & individual conferences; monthly-plus online curriculum including at least 11 Craft Tutorials, 11 Guest Writer Interviews, 11 Group Seminars; final full manuscript reading and evaluation prior to the ending residency in October 2020

  • All residency & program fees for both Craigardan residencies

  • 80+ hours of Group Curriculum and Instruction

  • 70-80+ hours of Kate’s focused attention on you and your work, including 50+ hours devoted to One-on-One Conferences

  • Ongoing private community space and archive hosted at Wet Ink in perpetuity

Please note: Bookgardan Tuition does not include airfare or other long-distance travel costs to the two residencies, which must be arranged and paid separately by the participant. For those participants with an in-progress manuscript when the program starts, an optional pre-program manuscript reading/consultation is available for an additional fee of $4/page. 


Kate Moses is the author of Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath, internationally acclaimed and published in sixteen languages, and Cakewalk: A Memoir, chosen by NPR as one of their favorite memoirs of 2010. Recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Best Fiction by an American Woman, an American Book Award, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, a Poets & Writers Debut Fiction selection, a Prix des Lectrices de Elle, and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Headlands Center for the Arts, Karuna, The Lighthouse Works, and Hedgebrook, Kate is also co-editor of two award-winning, nationally-bestselling anthologies of essays on motherhood, Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood and Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race & Themselves. A founding senior editor and staff writer of Salon, former literary director of Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco, and former senior acquisitions editor of North Point Press, Kate has taught writers at two dozen universities in the U.S. and U.K., and is on the faculties of the Gotham Writers Workshop, Key West Literary Seminar, and Hedgebrook.  Through Birds & Muses she works with writers in the U.S., Canada, the Middle East, several European and African nations, and New Zealand. Learn more about Kate’s books at