1a. Writers in residence: novelists writing science novels

Coordinator: Susan M. Gaines

The Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, An Institute for Advanced Study
Writing a work of fiction in which science and its practitioners play a major role entails a considerable amount of background research. It may require observation and intimate knowledge of scientific work environments, contact with working scientists, help understanding complex scientific literature and concepts, or plausibility checks by scientists working in the filed of interest. Like writing any book, it also requires concentrated blocks of time free from the teaching, freelance, or other work that authors of literary fiction must often engage in to make ends meet. In this project, we award selected authors fellowships to work on science novels at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK), an Institute for Advanced Study. Selections are based on an author’s past work; interest in writing a novel or story collection that delves into a realm of the natural sciences covered by expertise to be found among our growing network of scientists and regional research institutes; interest in some of the Fiction Meets Science (FMS) themes and willingness to participate in the occasional workshop, as well as in the HWK's interdisciplinary seminar series. Application is by invitation only.

The HWK offers an ideal situation for the writer in need of time, quiet, and entrée into a scientific community. The FMS writer-in-residence lives and works among an international community of guest scientists and scholars, who are collaborating with colleagues at the region's research facilities, including, among others, the science faculties and research institutes at the Universities of Bremen and Oldenburg; the Center for Marine Tropical Ecology (ZMT); the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (MPI-MM); and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). The Invention Group leaders and our local Scientists Network facilitate the author’s access to regional laboratories and research facilities, interviews with scientists, and observation of field research, as needed.