Below is a guide to how to apply for an ICORN residency. It includes information about our requirements for a residency and the evaluation process. Please read carefully before applying.
Any questions regarding applications for a residency with ICORN, or the application process, should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please find an Arabic and Farsi translation of the application guide to the right.
Who can apply?
Any writer or artist who is threatened or persecuted for expressing their opinions or ideas, through their professional work or/and their art, is invited to apply for an ICORN residency.
Defining the scope of writers/artists
ICORN uses the terms writer/artist broadly, including:
- Creative writers
(novels, poems, epics, short stories, screenplays, lyrics, television scripts, films, theatre plays and cartoons)
- Non-fiction writers
(academic writing, essays, textbooks, journalism, prose, technical writing and blogging)
- Editors, publishers and translators
(photography, cartoons, painting, performance, new media art etc.)
(composers and musicians of all genres)
To apply for an ICORN residency, you must be able to document a certain amount of literary, journalistic or artistic production. This typically means having published books, articles, cartoons, albums, or the equivalent, deemed worthy of printing/producing by others: i.e. not self-publication only.
You need to document that you are either:
- At risk as a direct consequence of your writing/artistic production – whether in danger of being killed, abducted, physically attacked or “disappeared”.
- Sentenced to (or at risk of being sentenced to) a prison term by the authorities in your country, as a direct consequence of your writing or artistic production.
- Unable to express yourself freely through your writing/artistic production for fear of persecution due to actual or probable actions of the government or non-government entities of the country where you reside.
How do I apply?
To apply for an ICORN residency, you are required to complete our ICORN Residency Application Form (available in the right column on this page). You may also request an application fomr in MS Word-format from application(a)icorn.org
ICORN makes an overall assessment of each applicant’s needs. To enable us to assess your application properly, to understand your case, and to determine whether you are eligible for a residency in one of ICORN's member cities, it is important that you provide all the information and documentation requested in the application form, including two, 2, references. We ask that the ICORN Reference Form (also available in the right column on this page) is used. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
All information will be treated confidentially.
- If you are unable to fill in the form yourself, a trusted contact person may submit the application on your behalf. Please inform ICORN of the identity of your contact person, and your relationship.
- If ICORN’S Administration Centre should not (for security reasons) contact you directly, please state this clearly in the application form.
- If you are unable to communicate with us in English, or if someone else has translated the information on your application form for you, please let us know.
- Applying to ICORN is free, you should never be asked to pay for the application form or for submitting an application. Similarly, ICORN does not have any consultants or other that are employed to either help write an application or advise on the application process.
- We cannot receive zip-files. If you have heavy files, please send in multiple e-mails instead of compressing the files
- The application form is currently available in English. Applications may be submitted to ICORN at email@example.com or sent by surface mail to:
P.O. Box: 310
1. ICORN will only accept complete applications with references.
2. ICORN will assess your application, considering your professional activity and need for a residency. We may get in touch with your references and contact you for additional information. PEN International assists ICORN in our application background research.
3. You will be contacted and informed of the result of the assessment as soon as it is completed. Please be aware that the assessment process can take some time, and we urge you to also search for other opportunities while waiting - especially if your situation is urgent!
4. ICORN relies on updated information about your work and situation. Please make sure to keep ICORN updated of any changes to your situation (i.e. resettlement, moving, refugee status, new threats, new family members and so on).
How long do I have to wait for an answer to my application?
ICORN will reply as soon as possible, but please be aware that the assessment of an application can take time. ICORN rarely have the resources to immediately remove a person from a threatening situation. If you are in an urgent situation please also look for all other options to short and long term safety.
Please note that ICORN will contact you as soon as we have updates or news about your case. ICORN will generally not respond to requests for updates about the status of cases unless there are significant changes.
If your application is approved
If your application is approved by ICORN this means that we recognize your need for a protective residency. Your profile will be short listed along with other eligible applicants, and presented to those of our member cities ready to invite a new resident.
Please note that ICORN does not have the capacity to help everyone who applies to ICORN. Even if your application is approved by ICORN, you are not guaranteed to be invited for a residency. An offer of a residency ultimately depends on a free space in an ICORN city and it is up to each city which writer/artist they choose to invite.
If a city invites you for a residency, you will receive the invitation from ICORN. You can choose either to accept or decline the offer.
- If you accept the invitation, you will be put in direct contact with a city representative. They will help you with visa and other practical matters (the process is slightly different if you are invited to a Norwegian city).
- If you decline an invitation from an ICORN city, ICORN cannot guarantee that another city will invite you. Declining an offer will not, however, affect your candidacy in any way and it will not affect, positively or negatively, the way that you are presented to other cities.
The terms and conditions for ICORN residencies vary from city to city. All applicants invited by a city of refuge are considered ICORN writers/artists and are encouraged to continue their work and take part in both local and ICORN activities.
If your application is declined
If your application is turned down ICORN will not be able to present your profile to inviting cities. You may reapply if your situation changes and/or new evidence is available.
No guarantee for residency
ICORN rarely has the resources to remove a writer/artist immediately from a threatening situation.
Since ICORN cannot guarantee a residency, or immediate action, we urge you to do whatever you can to seek other options to ensure your safety.
ICORN cooperates with a number of organisations around the world that offer assistance in various ways. We do attempt to connect applicants with other opportunities according to their needs and the situation. We do not, however, have the capacity to help everyone and we recommend that you also seek other options.
We have made a list of Residencies, Scholarships and Grants and Human Rights and Freedom of Expression Organizations that might be helpful.
Important to know…
ICORN has no authority or influence with government organizations and must abide by the laws and regulations of each country and city inviting the writer/artist.
ICORN is not a refugee organization.
You can read more about how to become and how to be an ICORN writer/artist in the FAQ for Writers/Artists at risk.