Writing is often a solitary effort. Typically, we're hunkered down in front of a computer at home. If we do manage to get fresh air, it's usually at a cafe or library. That's why writers' retreats are a great way to break from routine and share your craft with other writers in a new environment. Some retreats also offer mentorship opportunities with master writers. 

A Single Story has highlighted several summer writers' retreats you might be interested in. Want to get away but don't want to travel too far? The Pink Door Writers' Retreat and Kimbilio [Fiction] are holding retreats stateside (Rochester, New York and Taos, New Mexico). For those looking to travel out-of-country, The Drawing Room Project is looking for participants to join them in St. Andrew, Jamaica, and Farafina Trust invites participants to join them in Lagos, Nigeria.

For more details and deadlines, check out the following:



INFO: The Pink Door Women’s Writing Retreat is exclusively for writers of color. It serves to promote community and dialogue for writers currently excluded from the dominant cultural narrative; it actively seeks to bring Black women, women of color, trans women and gender non-conforming writers / activists / scholars / rebels and regional voices into exchange and engagement with each other to provide a space for mentorship and exploration of ideas while building an active and informed literary community.  

 The retreat will be held in Rochester, New York from July 27-30, 2016.

APPLICATIONS DUE: April 15, 2016




INFO: Kimbilio [Fiction], a community of writers and scholars committed to developing, empowering and sustaining fiction writers from the African diaspora, is currently accepting applications for their summer retreat, which will be held at SMU Campus in Taos, New Mexico from July 17-23, 2016.

FEES: Tuition is covered by Kimbilio [Fiction] and there is no application fee, however, participants are responsible for their own transportation to/from the retreat as well as a fee that partially covers the costs for room and board with the amount varying by size of the chosen accommodation. Should one get accepted, a $200 deposit is due by May 15 to secure a spot at the summer retreat. 

DEADLINE: April 15, 2016 (for applications)




The Drawing Room Project

INFO: The DRP Writers’ Retreat (in St. Andrew, Jamaica from May 27 – 29) supports writers in the genre of poetry. A series of workshops will be led by Jamaican master writer Edward Baugh (author of Black Sand, winner of the Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Awards Best Book of Poetry 2016 and Gold Musgrave Medalist, 2014). During this intense 3-day program, groups are kept small to encourage conversations, and the environment is relaxed enough that participants may approach the mentor to elaborate on workshop comments during social time.

The program culminates in a poetry reading, where participants and the mentor present their work to the local community. The local community in turn will exhibit craft and art of significant cultural worth.


  • Support writers in the creative process with time to develop their skills and create new work.
  • Create mentoring opportunities in which persons are encouraged by established Jamaican writers to pursue a career in the literary arts.
  • Expose persons to traditional and indigenous practices that will be documented and / or re-imaged as personal histories.
  • Explore the themes and motifs of the Caribbean.
  • Share quality literature using new and traditional mediums.
  • Produce a high quality literary event that reaches Jamaicans in rural communities

Writers of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The DRP does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status, ancestry, disability, HIV status, or veteran status. They encourage internationalism and welcome writers from around the world.

No previous publication is required; however, writers must demonstrate exceptional skill. The program is in English, and, therefore, writers are expected to be fluent in the language.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Writers are asked to submit a sample of their work, a brief bio and a personal statement todrawingroomproject@gmail.com

FEES: A fee is required to cover housing, program, meals and transfer. For more information, please contact the email address provided above.



INFO: Organized by its creative director, award-winning writer Chimamanda Adichie, Farafina Trust will be holding a creative writing workshop in Lagos, Nigeria from June 21 – July 1, 2016. The Caine-Prize winning writer Binyavanga Wainaina, Aslak Sira Myhre and others will teach the workshop alongside Adichie.

The workshop will take the form of a class and participants will be assigned a wide range of reading and writing exercises. The aim of the workshop is to improve the craft of published and unpublished writers and encourage them by bringing different perspectives to the art of storytelling.

DEADLINE: May 20, 2016