Purposes and Policy

‘I pondered… what effect poverty has on the mind?’
Virginia Woolf A Room of One’s Own, 1928

Our purpose

The Trust is a registered charity that has been active since 2002.

We support established women writers, artists and practitioners of associated creative activities, normally over the age of 40 and facing some kind of need, in the continued development of their work.

The need might be financial, personal, domestic, medical and/or for time, peace, quiet and a break from normal routine or disruption to concentrate on creativity.

We provide this support primarily, but not exclusively, through short-term residencies and, when needed and viable, bursaries.

We also promote such other charitable purposes as the Trustees may decide.

Our vision

As well as maintaining our current annual programme, we would like to acquire more property and extend our residencies. This depends upon capital and is currently the main focus of our fundraising efforts.


We host our residents in Church Cottage, a small eighteenth century cottage in Clifford Chambers, a peaceful village two miles from Stratford-upon-Avon. Situated beside the churchyard, it consists of a lower and upper room, each about 15 feet square.

The cottage is comfortable and private and provides a well-appointed kitchen and work areas, including a small studio/workroom with good light, and a comfortable bedroom with bath and toilet. There is broadband, Wi-Fi, and a printer available. There is also a tiny garden, access to another garden and a rowing boat on the nearby River Stour.

The resident’s time is her own entirely, there are no duties except to give the trustees a written report on leaving. Residents are asked to sign a basic contract of agreement.

Residencies are from one week to three months, depending on the circumstances of our applicants. Residents may return up to three times.


We pay all the running costs at Church Cottage and residencies are free.

Further financial support is varied. We are constantly engaged in fundraising which enables us to give occasional personal bursaries (for five years we administered the Skoyles Bursaries Fund, made available by the Foyle Foundation). Sometimes, we broker writer support from Arts Council England. At other times our collaborators provide bursaries.

Occasionally a writer has a need for peace and privacy to the extent they pay us a commercial rent, and this we welcome. All financial arrangements with individuals are confidential.

Sometimes we react to circumstances such as the Ukrainian war, which prompted us to raise extra funds to help professional Ukrainian women whose careers were wrecked.

Criteria for residencies

  • We aim to appoint women of mature originality who have achieved significant work in their specialism but who currently find progress difficult.
  • Acknowledged achievement should be evidenced by some external validation, such as previous publication or an exhibition, a contract for publication or exhibition, and/or award of a prize.
  • To be aged 40 or over
  • For writers, to write in English
  • Applicants should demonstrate some sort of need, which can be simply a need for personal time. We sometimes offer financial aid depending on our financial position.
  • Most of our residents come from the UK or Ireland but applicants from outside the UK should have a reason to visit, such as original research or attendance at conferences. Please note that visas are the responsibility of the applicant.
  • Most appointments are for single women. If applicants wish to introduce partners, this must be by prior agreement with HHT. Pets are welcome, again by prior arrangement.

What do we ask for in return?

Residents’ time is their own entirely while staying at Church Cottage. In return we ask that they:

  • sign a basic contract of agreement
  • leave Church Cottage in a clean and tidy condition
  • give the trustees a written report on their stay at the cottage on leaving
  • acknowledge the Hosking Houses Trust in all published or performed work and give us a copy of the resulting book, film, programme or recording
  • include us on personal websites and social media, with a link to our website

Find out more

Are we legal?

I was thinking of the safety and prosperity of one sex
and the poverty and insecurity of the other’.
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, Penguin Classics 1928

Even after 80 years’ progress, gender equality is still not fully achieved. We shall offer residencies to men when earnings between men and women are equal according to national assessment. This, in common with various other gender-specific institutions, makes us legally acceptable. Issues of gender fluidity are considered as individual cases.

Quotations from A Room of One’s Own are by permission of the Society of Authors
as the literary representatives of the estate of Virginia Woolf.