Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The 12 Best Writing Fellowships & Retreats in the US

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(Source: hedgebrook.org)

For all of the writers on Tumblr looking to improve their craft and find new inspiration for their work, here are some of the best writing fellowships and retreats in the US. Many of these programs encourage collaboration with other writers, as well as with immersion in natural environments such as coastlines, farms, and mountains. While a lot of retreats and fellowships are relatively new, there are also ones that have existed since the 1900s. 

Fellowships:

1. The WCR Writing Fellowship at the Wellstone Center in the Redwoods
Location: Soquel, CA

The Wellstone Center in the Redwoods offers its writing fellows a stunning and peaceful writing environment. It also offers its fellows and residents organic gardens, orchards, yoga, and cooking courses. They encourage interaction with nature and see creativity as the key to enriching our lives.

2. NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship at The Center for Fiction and The Jerome Foundation
Location: New York, NY 

This fellowship provides writers with a grant, space in The Center for Fiction’s Writers Studio, mentorships, contact with agents, membership to the Center for Fiction, which includes access to its collection of books, workshops, events, and more. The NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship is geared towards writers who are residents of New York City and who have not been published by a major or independent publisher.

3. The Hodson-Brown Fellowship by The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the John Carter Brown Library
Location: Chestertown, MD 

The Hodson-Brown Fellowship is geared towards writers, academics, and scholars pursuing work pertaining to literature, history, culture, or art of the Americas before 1830. The fellow will have access to the John Carter Brown Library for research and nearby housing. The writing term will be at the Starr Center at Washington College. Office space at Custom House and use of Fellows’ Residence is also provided. 

4. The Kenyon Review Fellowships
Location: Gambier, OH

The Kenyon Review’s fellowships support authors in the early stages of their careers to help them grow into mature writers, teachers, and editors. These fellowships require a significant writing project, meetings with faculty mentors, teaching duties at Kenyon College, and participation with The Kenyon Review. 

 5. Artists’ Fellowships by The New York Foundation of the Arts 
Location: New York, NY

Artists’ Fellowships are dedicated to supporting artists’ living and working in New York across every cultural and ethnic background. Focus is placed primarily on artists’ voice and vision. Applications from every experience level are encouraged. 

6. The MacDowell Colony Fellowship
Location: Peterborough, NH

The MacDowell Colony provides artists and writers the time and space to create both in isolation and in social settings. Studio space, accommodations, and food are provided. Access to the Savidge Library is also provided, which houses collections of past MacDowell Fellows. 

Retreats:

7. Master Class Retreat Series at Hedgebrook
Location: Whidbey Island, WA

Philanthropist Nancy Nordhoff has transformed a farm to retreat cottages for women writers. This retreat is for inexperienced and experienced writers, and includes one-on-one meetings and classes led by celebrated teachers. Each writer is housed in a cottage and Hedgebrook’s prepare each meal. Whidbey Island boasts walking trails, ponds, Double Bluff Beach, and views of Puget Sound and Mount Rainier. 

8. Yaddo
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY

Yaddo is a historic and creative community located on a 400-acre estate. It is dedicated to fostering creativity by providing an encouraging space for its residents to work. Applicants may apply as individuals or members of two- or three-person teams. 

9. The Kundiman Asian American Poetry Retreat
Location: New York, NY

Kundiman is a community that “creates an affirming and rigorous space where Asian American poets can explore, through art, the unique challenges that face the new and ever changing diaspora.” Kundiman offers workshops and writers’ retreats led by nationally renowned Asian American poets. This retreat culminates with a reading at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus. 

10. Wellspring House: A Retreat for Writers and Artists by Preston Browning
Location: Ashfield, MA

Wellspring House is a renovated carriage house owned by Ann and Preston Browning. It is a quiet retreat geared towards writers and artists in need of a private and natural environment. Located in the town of Ashfield, MA, near the hills of the Berkshire Mountains, this retreat is a great break from any city or suburb.

11. Haven Writing Retreat by Laura Munson
Location: Whitefish, MT

At Haven Writing Retreat, New York Times bestselling author Laura Munson strives to inspire and explore the creative realm with every writer in attendance. She believes this is possible while in Montana’s gorgeous countryside.  

12. Whispering Pines Writers’ Retreat by SCBWI New England
Location: West Greenwich, RI

New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Whispering Pines Writers’ Retreat is perfect for writers interested in children’s literature and working with other writers and mentors. There are also presentations delivered by mentors and notable industry professionals. 

Some notes on methodology:
We took reviews from previous fellows and retreat participants into great consideration. For example, if a newly established retreat did not have any reviews or comments on their own website or on others’, it was not included. Articles about fellowships and retreats such as Holly Robinson’s on The Huffington Post’s website were valuable sources of information. Additionally, there are so many fellowships and retreats offered by or in part by colleges and universities across the US. We didn’t include many of them because they are primarily teaching residencies.  






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For more writerly wisdom, follow us on Pinterest.

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