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richardmurray last won the day on July 25

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    The Wild Seeds Writers Retreat for Writers of Color (formerly the North Country Institute & Retreat for Writers of Color), is a collaboration with the Center for Black Literature, the English Department at SUNY, Plattsburgh, and the Paden Institute and Retreat for Writers. It provides a writing community where established and emerging writers of color can focus on the craft of writing and create cross-cultural conversations around the literature created by writers of the African diaspora.

    Writing fellows have an opportunity to draw upon their experiences as writers in a racialized society; to become knowledgeable about the issues facing other writers of color; and to study with a professional in the genres of fiction, memoir, and poetry.

    Recognizing that the Writers Retreat should not be limited to a specific geographical region, the Center renamed the Retreat in honor of Octavia E. Butler, a speculative fiction writer known globally for blending science fiction with African American spiritualism. Butler's writing crossed many boundaries and represented varying diverse voices.

    The Goal

    The Retreat strives to provide writers of color with an opportunity to meet other writers; to workshop their writing among peers; and to engage with published writers about concerns and issues related to writing and publishing. Through its writing workshops leaders, the Retreat provides the public with an opportunity to become knowledgeable about the range and diversity of the work produced by writers of color.

    A Look Back

    The first Writers' Retreat, held in 2004, was highly successful and featured the internationally acclaimed poet Sonia Sanchez, author Tony Medina, and writer Indira Ganesan. Subsequent faculty workshop leaders have been nonfiction writer Patrice Gaines; poets Martin Espada, E. Ethelbert Miller, Aracelis Girmay, and Patricia Spears Jones; and writers Jeffery Renard Allen, Marita Golden, Victor LaValle, and Bernice McFadden, among many others.

    Typically, the Retreat alternates between the Valcour Educational and Conference Center in Plattsburgh, New York, and the campus of Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York. Venues are subject to change.


    The new location for the Retreat will be determined soon. It will be a scenic location Upstate New York as in previous years. As of early April 2022, the summer retreat will no longer be held at SUNY, New Paltz (The State University of New York, New Paltz) as previously announced.

    Previous Poetry, Fiction, and Playwriting Workshop Leaders

    Jeffery Renard Allen

    Mo Beasley

    Martin Espada

    Patrice Gaines

    Indira Ganesan

    Aracelis Girmay

    Marita Golden

    Tonya Cherie Hegamin

    Donna Hill

    Major Jackson

    Sandra Jackson-Opoku

    Patricia Spears Jones

    Victor LaValle

    E. Ethelbert Miller

    Bernice McFadden

    Shaun Neblett

    Greg Pardlo

    Willie Perdomo

    Ernesto Quiñonez

    Sonia Sanchez

    Ravi Shankar


    Applications < https://centerforblackliterature.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/WSWR_AppSummer2022_REVISED11April.pdf  >  are available now. The deadline to apply is Monday, May 16, 2022.

    The cost of the Retreat is $600 and there is a one-time non-refundable $25 application fee. Scholarships are made available only when sponsorship gifts permit and are not necessarily applicable for each Retreat.

    Please direct inquiries to Director of Literary Programs Clarence V. Reynolds at reynolds@centerforblackliterature.org


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