‘Bookshops for all’ artists commissions call for expressions of interest

George Street Bookshop artist residencies  

We are looking for three artists/creative practitioners to run 1-3 month long ‘artist in residence’ programmes in the bookshop over the course of the next year.

Deadline for applications: Monday 18th July 2022.

About the bookshop

George Street Community Bookshop is a second hand bookshop, a creative, co-operative social enterprise which entered community hands when the shop was put up for sale by its previous owner in 2018. We have more than 100 members, a shopkeeper and a pool of more than 30 volunteers that we draw from. 

We aspire to make the shop a community hub where the general reader can mix with parents and children, students, retirees and others. In time, as well as selling books we want to use the shop to run other services including basic literacy skills for young people, work experience opportunities and reading groups for vulnerable and/or isolated people.

The commission brief 

We wish to commission a series of artists’ residencies around the theme of ‘bookshops for all’ using our bookshop to facilitate wider community engagement with books, literacy and reading.

We are recruiting artists to run 1-3 month long ‘artist in residence’ programmes in the bookshop over the course of a year. Our brief is to use the shop, the books, our staff/volunteers/customers and/or the town to run a series of participatory events and activities to engage people. Across the three commissions, we aspire to involve or benefit more than 300 people as viewers or participants over the year. 

Who we are looking for

Do you think you can meet the brief? We are looking for artists from a range of backgrounds and disciplines. You might be an author, musician, writer, researcher, painter, sculptor, photographer, psychogeographer, printmaker, theatre practitioner, podcaster or anything creative! 

We want you to develop a residency programme which engages a key audience or audiences from the local community with the bookshop. We are really keen for the residencies to feature some participatory element and some form of events or workshops (could be anything from small and pre-booked to large and public).

You might host overnight storytelling performances from the shop, use the books to inspire new photography or music making or use the shop as a stepping off point for a local walk or tour. 

You don’t need to live in Glossop, but the work must take place here and involve local people. Ideally the residency would be around six weeks in length (but it could be as short as one month and as long as three). We are aiming to award the residencies by the end of July and you should plan for them to take place in autumn/winter 2022/3.

What we will give you

  • A budget of £2,000 (to include your labour, expenses and materials)
  • Marketing and communications support i.e. from our newsletter, social media communications etc. 
  • Use of the shop as a venue for events and activities. 
  • Access to volunteers and our membership. 
  • Access to local networks, organisations and stakeholders. 
  • Co-ordination and support from the George Street Bookshop board

To make an expression of interest:

In submitting an expression of interest we need you to address the following : 

  • Proposal: what you plan to do, if you can, set out some specific about your outputs ie how many sessions, events etc. How many people you are seeking to involve. 
  • Audience: which part of the local community are you seeking to engage in this residency and how will you involve them? How will you reach them and tell them about the project?
  • Timescales: ideally, when will your residency take place? Is the timing fixed or can it be flexible? 
  • Budget: set out how you will spend the money, breaking a budget down into rough headings. 
  • Documentation: How will you document and share your your process and/or the work from the residency? Are there lasting objects or a legacy that can be used or hosted by the bookshop, either physically or online?  


Please submit your application to georgestreetcommunitybookshop@gmail.com or drop a paper copy into the shop. The deadline for applications is 18th July 2022.

Your application must include the following:

  • Cover letter (no more than 1 page) or a 2 minute video outlining why you are interested in the residency.
  • An outline proposal of how you will approach this residency addressing the points above (max. 2 pages)
  • Examples of your work ie a link to a portfolio or past work. 

Please email us or pop into the shop if you have any questions about the process. The applications will be reviewed by the board with the help of a team of local creatives. We aim to make the awards by the end of July. 


The residencies have been made possible through the assistance of National Lottery Awards for All England.