Literature Works is delighted to announce a writer-in-residence opportunity at Exeter Custom House as part of the Quay Words ongoing live literature programme.

Exeter Custom House is a historic building on Exeter Quayside owned by the charity Exeter Canal and Quay Trust (ECQT).   It is our pleasure to deliver the year-round Quay Words programme of live literature at Exeter Custom House over the period 2023-26.

Quay Words is a partnership between ECQT and Literature Works, the literature development charity for South West England.  It showcases literature as an accessible and diverse art form and is central to Exeter’s offer as a UNESCO City of Literature status.

We have an opportunity for a writer, storyteller or spoken word artist to be in residence for a four week period during the calendar months of October and November 2024 for the equivalent of at least one day per week during that time.  The selected writer will be engaged by Literature Works on a contractor/freelance basis as writer-in-residence for the term.


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The season theme of ‘Routes’

The theme for Quay Words Autumn 2024 is ‘Routes’. The Quayside has always been a place for journeys, travel and movement – in the past it connected Exeter via trade routes, the river Exe has been used as a path to navigate along or on by humans for centuries and still today it’s a place that people move through either on foot, on wheels or by water. We’re interested in the role the Quay and Custom House has played in travel and connections throughout the years and are looking for your unique interpretations of the theme.

We hope that you will draw creative enrichment from Exeter Custom House and the Quayside, as well as Exeter itself – a cathedral city with acclaimed libraries and archives and a world-ranking university. Exeter and Devon are home to authors of global renown.

Residency package

We offer an inclusive fee for the Residency of £1,200 to include the delivery of the public-facing events.  We will encourage our writer to find time to develop their own work at the Custom House and we invite them to spend as much time on site as they wish.  We will provide a private writing space in the building for the duration of the residency.


Closing date for receipt of applications is midnight on Sunday 7th July

Candidates selected for interview will be notified by Thursday 18th July

Interviews will take place at Exeter Custom House on Tuesday 30th July