UKRAINE LAB – an online residency for emerging writers from Ukraine and the UK, apply by 21 March

The Ukrainian Institute London in partnership with PEN Ukraine and the Ukrainian Institute will run UKRAINE LAB, an online residency for six emerging writers from Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

UKRAINE LAB will support them developmentally and financially to produce creative nonfiction pieces tackling global challenges through the prism of Ukraine. This project is supported by the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute as part of the UK/UA Season of Culture 2022.

Structure of the residency

Educational part

During the online residency’s educational part, participants will learn about Ukraine’s experiences of cultural resistance from world-leading experts. Thematic online seminars include:

  • After Chornobyl: on the cultural landscape of the post-nuclear age (Tamara Hundorova)
  • War and Lies: on the Kremlin’s disinformation campaigns (Peter Pomerantsev)
  • Theatre of War: on artistic responses to the war trauma (Olesya Khromeychuk)
  • Pscyhodynamic workshop: on non-verbal representations of the UKRAINE LAB themes (Khobir Wiseman-Goldstein)

The British Library workshop will introduce the participants to the Ukrainian collections, while a trip to Kyiv will bring them to the Chornobyl exclusion zone and the Public Interest Journalism Lab (in accordance with governmental travel advice).

Creative part

During the residency’s creative part, the participants will work in three cross-cultural writing pairs. Guided by the UKRAINE LAB curator (Sasha Dovzhyk), they will develop their creative pieces through peer-review sessions and workshops with professional writers from Ukraine (Iryna Shuvalova) and the United Kingdom (Julia Bell). Their texts will be visually interpreted by the photographer Mstyslav Chernov, published by our literary partners in Ukrainian (Krytyka, Korydor, Tyzhden) and English (openDemocracy, MIR, The Ecologist), followed by a bilingual anthology.

English is the working language of the residency. The creative nonfiction pieces will be originally written in the writers’ first languages (Ukrainian and English) and then translated professionally. All workshops and peer-review sessions will be held in English.

Key dates

  • 21 March: application deadline
  • 11 April: announcement of selected writers
  • 9 May–17 June: six-week online writing residency
  • 19–22 May: trip to Kyiv
  • 1–24 August: the staggered publication of UKRAINE LAB pieces
  • September: public-facing events in Ukraine and in London


Each UK-based writer will be paid a fee of £2,340. The participants are expected to work approximately 3 days per week for the six weeks of the residency.

Eligibility criteria

  • Fluency in English
  • Two or more publications (online or in print). These could include short stories, essays and other forms of creative nonfiction. NB: since the residency is aimed at emerging writers, authors who have already published a book will NOT be considered
  • Demonstrable interest in cross-cultural dialogue and the UKRAINE LAB themes (environment, disinformation, modern war through the prism of Ukraine)

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