Ends on

The Kemp Residency provides an annual opportunity for one writer working in any medium to spend six weeks in the Smokies and to focus on their craft in a retreat-like setting. The writer will follow in the footsteps of—and actually spend real time with—Steve Kemp in an effort to create written works that move visitors to a greater appreciation of and stewardship for Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The program provides time for writers to develop new work, as well as opportunities to engage and inspire the public through outreach initiatives, all while immersed in the rugged mountain landscape, rich cultural heritage, and wealth of biological diversity at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In exchange for their stay in the park, each writer creates new work and generates experiences that promote visitor understanding of the need to preserve and care for this national treasure. Selected writers thereby continue the long tradition of interpreting resources in ways that enrich the park experience for today’s visitors and leave lasting impressions for future generations.

Steve Kemp had his first story on managing wildlife in national parks published in 1983 and won the Montana Audubon Society Journalism Award. Kemp has been meandering along the same path, more or less, ever since, writing for a variety of periodicals and journals including Outside, Outdoor Life, National Parks, Outdoor Photographer, Discovery Travel Adventures, Blue Ridge Country, Smokies Guide, and Smokies Life. His books includeTrees of the Smokies, Great Smoky Mountains: Simply Beautiful, Great Smoky Mountains: A Visual Journey, We’re Going to the Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains: Natural Wonder, National Park, and, most notably, Who Pooped in the Park?

Residency submissions will close November 1, 2023. 

Finalists will be chosen and all applicants will be notified of their status by December 1, 2023. The successful applicant will be selected and notified by December 15, 2023.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.