Wild Seeds Retreat for Writers of Color


Monday, July 15 - Saturday, July 20, 2024
Application Deadline Extended to Friday, May 24, 2024

This tuition-based program is being offered in person.
We are thankful to the Hawthornden Foundation for their support of the Wild Seeds Writers Retreat.

Don't have a Google account? Click here to apply online.


Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa (Fiction)
Nick Powers (Creative Non-Fiction/Memoir)
Jamal Joseph (Screenwriting)
Click the images to view the Facilitators' bios.

About the Week

Wild Seeds Retreat (WSR) workshop fellows will engage in daily writing, reading, and sharing sessions with workshop leaders and cohorts. Fellows will also have an opportunity for one-on-one sessions with their workshop leader (who will tailor the sessions to their genre). A detailed itinerary will be provided to accepted fellows. Tuition is $600. A limited number of scholarships are available. A written rationale is required in the cover letter that is required in the application.

The Writers Retreat Goal

The Wild Seeds Retreat provides 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.

Our Background

The Wild Seeds Retreat for Writers of Color (formerly the North Country Institute & Retreat for Writers of Color), began in 2004 as a collaboration with the Center for Black Literature, the English Department at SUNY, Plattsburgh, and the Paden Institute and Retreat for Writers. Today it continues to provide a writing community where established and emerging writers 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.

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. The Retreat had alternated 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 each year.

Previous Poetry, Fiction, and Playwriting Workshop Leaders

Jeffery Renard Allen, Mo Beasley, Breena Clarke, Kia Corthron, Bridgett Davis, Martin Espada, Patrice Gaines, Indira Ganesan, Aracelis Girmay, Marita Golden, Tonya Cherie Hegamin, DaMaris B. Hill, 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, and Ravi Shankar.

Last updated April 13, 2024

Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

Nick Powers
(Creative Non-Fiction/Memoir)

Jamal Joseph

Poetry from Wild Seeds
Summer 2023 Poetry Cohort

What Fellows Are Saying

Contact Us

Center for Black Literature (CBL)
at Medgar Evers College, CUNY
1534 Bedford Avenue | 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, New York 11216
(Click HERE for the Postal Mailing Address)

Main Phone: (718) 804-8884
Main Office: info@centerforblackliterature.org

Donate to CBL Today!

To carry out our literary programs and special events, we depend on financial support from the public. Donations are welcome year-round. Please click HERE to donate. Thank you!
The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College is supported in part by an American Rescue Plan Act grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support general operating expenses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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