Writers’ Residence

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Writers’ Residence at winter time

Irene Publishing’s Writers’ Residence is a quiet place for writers who wish to spend some weeks or months concentrating on their writing. It is hosted by Jørgen Johansen and Dr. Majken Jul Sørensen in a beautiful location in the Swedish forest close to the lake Stora Lee. Irene Publishing is committed to working for peace by peaceful means. We believe that people can create a better world without violence, but that this requires knowledge, skills and analysis. Providing a place where people can reflect in reading and writing about nonviolence or document their activist experiences is one way we contribute to developing more knowledge. We have an extensive library with several thousand books relevant to our areas and as hosts we offer comments on your drafts. Both of us have backgrounds in academic studies as well as international exposure to practical and political work.

Who can come?

Ira corner for writingene Publishing’s Writers’ Residence is a service to everyone who is writing about topics related to nonviolent resistance, peace, conflict analysis, civil disobedience, political activism etc. You don’t need to publish your writing with us in order to visit. The Residence is a place for activists, academics, investigative journalists and others who need a quiet place to focus on their writing. It can be to write an article or report about your personal experiences, or finish a book or a thesis. If you think this might be something foffice2or you, send us two pages about yourself, why you need some time away from home and what you plan to write while you are here. You can contact us at irene.publishing[at]gmail.com

Testimonial from two visitors

The Residence is one of the most exceptionally peaceful and calming places I’ve ever experienced. Its environment is perfect for anyone who needs to reboot their system – and even better for those who need a space to focus their energy. The place is steeped in creativity and good conversation, quiet reflection and joyful pursuits. Jorgen and Majken’s library is unparalleled in its realm and offers a remarkable range of  resources. It would be difficult to overstate the positive elements of the place.”

Simon Davies, founder of “Privacy International”

I have found moments of silence, looking out over the water or crunching over leaves in the woods, to reflect on how all my wayward threads of interest—youth organizing and peace building and social justice—can be tied together, even when those threads seem tangled tightly into knots.

Sarah Freeman-Woolpert

Read more about Sarah’s visit in her column

What does it cost?

The price for visiting the Writers’ Residence depends on how long you are staying, whether you want comments on your work from us and how much you cook for yourself.

To give a few examples:

break time

break time

1 person, one month visit, self catering for most meals and including some supervision on thesis/dissertation = 3 000 SEK

4 persons, five day visit, including all meals and our participation in a seminar = 18 000 SEK

If you for some reason cannot afford to pay or find funding elsewhere, we can sometimes offer the possibility to visit at a discount or free of charge. If we have relevant tasks that match your skills and interests, we can also arrange that you do some work for us instead of paying. Please explain your situation when you contact us.

Practical information

The Residence is located in Sparsnäs in the west of Sweden, close to the border with Norway. It is a very quiet place in the middle of the forest with few distractions. The nearest village is 4 kilometres away, the nearest towns 35 kilometres. The Residence has five rooms equipped with beds and desks, Wi-Fi and the guests share a kitchen and bathroom. You need to make your own travel arrangements to either Ed in Sweden or Halden in Norway where we can pick you up.

What else?

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vegetables in the garden

When you are not writing, you can take walks in the forest, pick berries and mushrooms (depending on the season) row on the lake, catch some fish for dinner maybe, help us maintain the library, paint a wall on one of the buildings, or help out in the big vegetable garden. You will find unique possibilities to combine practical work with rest and reading and writing.

If you get desperate for cities, there are public transport connections to Gothenburg or Oslo, both about 2 ½ hours away.

A walk in the forest

A walk in the forest

During your stay, more people might be visiting. We have an international network of researchers and area specialists associated with Irene that regularly visit, organise or participate in seminars. If you stay longer you will be able to connect to a wider community of social change workers, and we can help you arrange a seminar related to your interests.

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