Connecticut Audbon Society
Trail Wood Sanctuary

Trail Wood Sanctuary

Writers and Artists in Residence

The Edwin Way Teale Artists in Residence Program was started at Trail Wood in 2012. The Connecticut Audubon Society invites writers and visual artists to spend a week of creative solitude in residence in the historic home of Pulitzer-prize-winning naturalist writer and photographer Edwin Way Teale and his wife and collaborator Nellie Donovan Teale.

While in residence, artists are encouraged to practice their craft in a way that is inspired both by the site’s natural beauty and its important role in American natural history writing. Enhancing the experience, visiting artists are provided with access to Edwin’s writing study in the main house which is preserved as it was at the time of his death in 1980 and to his rustic writing cabin.

Edwin Way Teale’s site observations, as well as some of Nellie’s, are documented in the two books he wrote about Trail Wood, A Naturalist Buys an Old Farm (1974) and A Walk Through the Year (1978). Program participants are encouraged to read one or both to more fully understand the site and the important legacy of the Teales. To see daily posts from A Walk Through the Year, join the Edwin Way Teale Facebook Group.

For even more inspiration, the nearby Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut houses Edwin’s private papers and photos, including four 500-page journals he kept while at Trail Wood. A full catalog of the Teale archive can be viewed here.

Program Details

Residencies are offered for six weeks in July and August to three writers and three visual artists. Applications are accepted from January-mid March for the upcoming summer’s residencies. Finalists are chosen through a juried process. All applicants are notified by the mid-April. There is a $25.00 application fee. If chosen, accepted applicants are asked to pay a $100.00 donation to defray costs of running the property, the Teale’s historic 1806 farmhouse pictured below. Download 2024 Application 

Accommodations at Trail Wood

After the completion of the residency, participants are expected to participate in two follow-up events:

Trail Wood Under the Harvest Moon-
a fundraising event held on the lawn at Trail Wood on the 3rd weekend of September. Each resident artist is asked to read or present a sample of work completed during the residency and to speak about the residency experience itself. This work can be in progress.

Annual Writers & Artist Exhibition
A month-long exhibition at Connecticut Audubon’s Center at Pomfret gallery starting in late January. The participants will help organize the event and attend the opening.

Meet the 2021 Class!       See The Previous Exhibition    Download 2024 Application 

Past Participants

Our artists- and writers-in-residence come from across the country and from all walks of life. Here are a few examples:

Writer Katherine Hauswirth (2015) just released The Morning Light, the Lily White: Daily Dips into Nature and Spirit published in January, 2023. A previous book, The Book of Noticing, earned Honorable Mention ASJA 2018 and finalist, Book Excellence Awards.

Painter Roxanne Steed (2017) continues to be involved with Connecticut Audubon, conducting sketch booking and watercolor workshops at the Center at Pomfret and Trail Wood.

Roxanne Steed and Judy Benson (also 2017) collaborated on Earth and Sky: Nature Meditations in Word and Watercolor, published by New London Librarium and reviewed by the New London Day.

Musician and songwriter Maria Sangiolo (2017) wrote a record called “Songs of the Wood” about her Trail Wood experience.

Writer Debbie Slack (2018) is a Roundtable Listener Essayist at NPR’s WAMC. Included in the produced essays is “Taking Note” which was inspired by her visit to Edwin Way Teale’s study. Debbie’s essays are available here.

Writer and journalist Denise Coffey (2018) not only created poetry for her residency year she also wrote about Teale’s legacy and attending an Alison Davis writing workshop at Trail Wood.

Visual artist David Joly (2019) produced a variety creative works during his residency including this emotional video.

Illustrator Meg Sodano (2019) features work from her residency and describes the experience in a blog article on her website.

Painter Elizabeth Lehman (2019) completed a series of oil paintings based on sketches made during her residency.

Folk singer, songwriter Sally Rogers ( 2020) produced quilts during her residency and subsequently performed at the Trail Wood under Harvest Moon event.

Charlotte Pyle (2016) wrote A Fern Identification Key, published in the Eastern Connecticut Landowners/Wolf Den Land Trust Fall 2020 newsletter.

Thomas Fuhs (2022) been curated into New York’s White Columns artist registry:

Download 2024 Application 




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