Jack Jones Retreat at Immaculate Heart of Mary
Jack Jones Literary Arts is hosting its third annual writing retreat at Immaculate Heart of Mary Retreat Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico. This two-week retreat will be held October 26-November 8, 2019, and is open exclusively to women of color writers and nonbinary writers of color. Dr. Eve L. Ewing joins us as our 2019 Writer-in-Residence.
As part of the retreat experience, Jack Jones is featuring daily Skype master classes with agents, editors and acclaimed women and nonbinary people in publishing to promote networking, learning and engagement. These sessions are mandatory for retreat participants.
Housing includes individual writing suites with private bedroom, private baths, writing areas, wifi, and all meals are provided.
Professional and emerging women writers of color and nonbinary writers of color at work on book projects are eligible for residencies. Women and nonbinary people with and without MFAs are eligible, and graduate students who are currently enrolled in a degree program are eligible to apply for a fellowship.
We are pleased to introduce our inaugural Scholar-in-Residence, a fellowship to support an emerging nonfiction writer of extraordinary talent. This opportunity was made possible by Naomi Alderman, author of The Power, as well as The Believer and the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute.
Our 2019 Scholar-in-Residence is Niela Orr.
Niela Orr is an interviews editor at The Believer, a columnist for The Baffler, and a contributing editor of The Organist podcast. A 2019 Eleanor Kagi Foundation Writer-in-Residence at the Black Mountain Institute, her writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, BuzzFeed, Elle, Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, and McSweeney's Quarterly.
To apply to the Jack Jones Literary Arts writing retreat, please fill out our online application. The application includes a project proposal, a reference, and the writing sample. The non-refundable application processing fee is $40 and can be paid by PayPal, debit or credit card. If you have any questions concerning the residency, please consult our FAQs. Please do not call our office regarding the retreat. Your call will not be returned.
We are pleased to offer fully-funded scholarship opportunities. All reference letters need to be submitted within one week of the application deadline. For fellowships that require income verification, you will need to provide your tax documentation once you are a finalist. No tax documentation is necessary if you do not make it to the final round. Please read the eligibility guidelines carefully. The application deadline has been extended to Wednesday, April 3, 2019 midnight/PST and recommendation letters need to be received by April 9, 2019 midnight/PST. Acceptance notifications will be emailed on a rolling basis this year.
Arrival at the retreat is Saturday, October 26, 2019 and departure is Friday, November 8, 2019.
The application cycle for the 2019 retreat is now closed.
The Roxane Gay Fellowships
We are grateful to Roxane Gay, author of Not that Bad, How to be Heard, Difficult Women, Hunger, Bad Feminist, An Untamed State and Ayiti for fully funding these opportunities.
Fellowship one covers the full retreat attendance rate for a fellow of color writing fiction. This fellowship includes a $500 travel reimbursement.
Fellowship two covers the full retreat attendance rate for a fellow of color writing nonfiction. This fellowship includes a $500 travel reimbursement.
Fellowship three covers the full retreat attendance rate for a fellow of color with financial need writing prose. This fellowship includes a $500 travel reimbursement. For the purposes of this application, financial need is defined as earning $40,000 or less for the previous tax year. Need will be demonstrated at the finalist round.
Fellowship four covers the full retreat attendance rate for a fellow of color writing poetry. This fellowship includes a $500 travel reimbursement.
The Yi Dae Up Fellowships
We are grateful to novelist Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh and Queen of the Night, for fully funding these opportunities. Alexander has named this scholarship in memory of his late grandmother, Yi Dae Up, who began practicing the art of Chinese calligraphy in middle age after raising seven children, deferring her practice for marriage and family, and then going on to win national prizes for her art."
This fellowship is open to women and nonbinary writers of Asian American descent, and Asian immigrant women and nonbinary writers writing prose, and with the intention of encouraging older women and nonbinary people to apply but not limited to them. Two awards will be granted: one in nonfiction and one in fiction.
These fellowships covers the full retreat attendance rate and include a $500 travel stipend.
The Writers of Immigration and Diaspora Fellowship
We are grateful to novelist Yoojin Grace Wuertz, author of Everything Belongs to Us, for fully funding this opportunity.
This fellowship covers the full retreat attendance rate and includes a $500 travel stipend for a fellow writing fiction who is an immigrant or child of immigrants.
The Cisneros Fellowship: Poetry
We are grateful to an anonymous friend for fully funding this opportunity for a Latina or Latinx poet. Our friend says that their own poetry has been highly influenced by the life and work of Sandra Cisneros and so they donate this fellowship in her honor. Travel is not included.
The Cisneros Fellowship: Prose
We are grateful to screenwriter and producer Kelly Marcel, whose work includes Venom and Victor LaValle’s The Changeling adaptation for FX, for fully-funding this opportunity.
This fellowship covers the full retreat attendance rate for a Latina or Latinx prose writer and includes a $500 travel stipend.
The Desai Fellowship
We are grateful to novelist Gemma Clarke, author of Soccerwomen, for fully funding this opportunity.
This fellowship covers the full retreat attendance rate for a South Asian fellow writing prose. This fellowship includes a $500 travel stipend.
The Glendora Dunbar Fellowship
We are grateful to novelist Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House, for fully funding this opportunity. Angela has named this scholarship in memory of her late grandmother.
This fellowship covers the full retreat attendance rate for an African American fellow writing fiction and includes a $500 travel stipend.
The African Women Create Fellowship
We are grateful to Yolanda Sangweni, former digital editor of Essence and founder of AfriPop!, for this fellowship. This fellowship does not include a travel stipend.
This fellowship covers the full retreat attendance rate for an African fellow writing prose. Per the Caine Prize’s parameters, “an African writer” is taken to mean someone who was born in Africa, or who is a national of an African country, or who has a parent who is African by birth or nationality.
The Sylvia Rivera Fellowship
We are grateful to 2017 Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat fellow Meredith Ramirez Talusan, former Executive Editor of them, for fully funding this opportunity. This fellowship includes a travel stipend.
This fellowship covers the full retreat attendance rate for a trans woman of color or nonbinary person of color writing prose.
The Octavia Butler Fellowship for a Genre Writer
We are grateful to Olivia A. Cole, author of A Conspiracy of Stars and the Panther in the Hive series, for fully funding this opportunity. This fellowship does not cover travel.
This fellowship covers the full retreat attendance rate for a fellow working in speculative, sci-fi, horror or mystery who writes prose.
The LaValle Fellowship for a Native/Indigenous Writer
Thank you to friend Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling, for fully funding this opportunity. This fellowship includes a travel stipend.
This fellowship covers the full retreat attendance rate for a Native/Indigenous fellow working in any genre and includes a $500 travel stipend. Favor will be given to fellows working in genre.
The Zora Neale Hurston Fellowship
Thank you to friend novelist Lauren Groff, author of Florida, for generously fully-funding this opportunity.
This fellowship covers the full retreat attendance rate for a black prose writer from the South whose work centers the American South. Quoting our friends at Oxford American, we are looking for a writing that "documents the complexity and vitality of the American South." This fellowship includes a $500 travel stipend.
The Jennifer Ongiri Fellowship
Thank you to friend and speaker Ravi Howard and his family for generously fully-funding this opportunity. Jennifer, Ravi’s sister-in-law, was an early career documentary filmmaker at the time of her death. This fellowship is named in her honor.
This fellowship covers the full retreat attendance rate for a filmmaker or screenwriter of African descent and includes a $500 travel stipend. For this fellowship, please submit twenty pages of your screenplay.
Thank you to 2017 fellow Kat Chow for donating the Florence Y. Chow award, in honor of her mother, a $1,000 stipend, to a mother and/or caregiver attending this year’s retreat.
Thank you to Danielle Henderson for donating the Rene Henderson award, in honor of her aunt, a $1,250 stipend, to a fellow dealing with a prolonged illness or a fellow responsible for a loved one with a prolonged illness. Two awards will be distributed.
Thank you to Joshua Shenk for donating $500 to this year’s retreat.
Thank you to Rigoberto Gonzalez for donating $500 to this year’s retreat.
Thank you to Yalitza Ferreras, 2017 fellow, for donating $200 to this year’s retreat.
Thank you to Jenna Wortham, 2018 Writer-in-Residence and 2017 fellow, for donating day passes to Ten Thousand Waves Spa for our entire class of 2019 fellows.
We’re rolling out all of the swag soon. Stay tuned!
This conversation was designed to set the tone of our retreat experience. After we are settled in the first night, our master class teacher will motivate us to bring our best selves to the work we're embarking on over the next two weeks. We are delighted that Aminatou Sow is delivering our 2019 opening address.
Professional Development Track
This series of master classes was designed to address our questions around securing an agent, taking a book to auction, the job of an acquisitions editor, the editorial process, and hiring a publicist. Here, we have the nuts and bolts money talks.
Monika Woods is a literary agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd. She is a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course and has worked at Trident Media Group and InkWell Management, where she worked closely with leading voices in contemporary literature. Her interests include literary and commercial fiction and compelling non-fiction in food, popular culture, journalism, science, and current affairs. Monika is particularly excited about plot-driven literary novels, non-fiction that is creatively critical, unique perspectives, a great cookbook, and above all, original prose. Monika will discuss her work as an agent, the kinds of queries and writing that most interest her and what it means to take a book to auction.
Ayesha Pande has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years. Before launching her boutique agency, Ayesha was a senior editor at Farrar Straus & Giroux. She has also held editorial positions at HarperCollins and Crown Publishers. As an agent, she has helped launch the careers of PEN-Bingham Prize winner Danielle Evans, National Book Award Winner Ibram X. Kendi, international bestseller Shilpi Somaya Gowda, and YA author Sheba Karim. Her interests are wide-ranging and include literary as well as popular fiction, young adult, women’s, African-American and international fiction. She is also seeking authors of nonfiction, including biography, history, economics, popular culture, cultural commentary, memoir, and graphic novels. She is particularly drawn to distinctive, original and underrepresented voices. Ayesha will discuss her work as an agent and the process of choosing the projects she acquires.
Kathryn Belden joined the staff at Scribner in 2015. She is interested in the breadth of the American experience, which she pursues through fiction and nonfiction acquisitions. Her engagement with all books begins with voice. General categories in which she works include literary fiction, social and cultural history, race and gender, nature and environment, as well as memoir and biography. Some of the writers she has worked with include Roz Chast, Mitchell S. Jackson, Andrew Krivak, Gordon Lish, Lisa See, Jesmyn Ward, and John Edgar Wideman, among many others. Previously she worked at Bloomsbury, Four Walls Eight Windows, and Harmony Books/Crown Publishers. Kathryn will discuss her work as an acquisitions editor.
Julia Kardon was born and raised in New York City. Her first job in publishing, while in high school, was shelving fiction at the fabled Strand Bookstore. After receiving degrees in Comparative Literature, as well as in Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Chicago, she moved to Prague to teach English for a year. Julia then returned to New York to restart her career in publishing. She joined HSG in 2018 after building a list at Mary Evans Inc and handling foreign rights. She is interested primarily in literary and upmarket fiction and memoir, especially with a focus on identity or with an international lens, narrative nonfiction, journalism, and history, and her clients include New York Times Best Seller Brit Bennett, Barnes & Noble Discover picks John Freeman Gill, Leah Franqui, and Etaf Rum, Center For Fiction Emerging Writer Fellow Melissa Rivero, National Book Award's 5 Under 35 Moriel Rothman-Zecher, Rahawa Haile, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, and others. Julia will discuss her work as an agent and the process of choosing the projects she acquires.
Victory Matsui is an editor at One World, where they publish fiction and literary nonfiction, including works by Thi Bui, Jordy Rosenberg, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin. They began their publishing career at Little, Brown and Company, where they worked with a range of #1 New York Times bestselling and prize-winning writers, including Donna Tartt, Kevin Powers, J.K. Rowling, David Foster Wallace, and James Patterson. Victory co-facilitates the People of Color Sangha at the Brooklyn Zen Center, and is a founding member of Yellow Brown Power Hour, a radical Asian American performance group/hot pot club. A native New Yorker, they live in Brooklyn. Victory will discuss their work as an acquisitions editor.
After graduating from Colgate University, Samantha Shea joined Georges Borchardt, Inc. in 2010 and was made a Vice President in 2016. Her list includes literary fiction, memoir/narrative nonfiction, journalism, popular culture, essays, cultural criticism, and history. Samantha’s authors are regularly named for numerous awards and honors, including the “5 Under 35” honor from the National Book Foundation, the “Best of Young American Novelists” honor from Granta Magazine, the Kirkus Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Awards, the PEN/ Robert W. Bingham Prize, and others. Samantha will discuss her work as an agent and the process of choosing the projects she acquires.
Namrata Tripathi is Vice President & Publisher of Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers dedicated to centering stories from the margins. Previously, Namrata held editorial positions at HarperCollins, Disney-Hyperion, and Simon and Schuster. She is the editor of the picture books Islandborn by Junot Díaz and Leo Espinosa and The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken; the middle grade novels The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani, and Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley; and the YA novels Where Things Come Back, Noggin, and Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley. Namrata grew up in Afghanistan, India, Canada, Pakistan, Germany, and Poland, and has happily called New York City home for the last twenty years. Follow her on Twitter: @Tweetpathi. Namrata will discuss her work as a publisher and the process of choosing the projects she acquires.
Life of the Writer Track
This series of master classes focuses on the everyday realities of being a woman or nonbinary writer of color and takes a granular look at topics that range from project management to the journey of debut novelists.
Elizabeth Acevedo holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. With over twelve years of performance experience, Acevedo has been a featured performer on BET and Mun2, as well as delivered several TED Talks. She is the author of the chapbook, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes Books, 2016) and the forthcoming novel, The Poet X (HarperCollins, 2018). Elizabeth will discuss finding a balance working in two genres while building an audience and promoting a first book.
Meredith Talusan is a contributing editor at Mic and has written essays and investigative pieces for The Guardian, The Atlantic, VICE Magazine, Matter, BuzzFeed, The American Prospect, The New Inquiry and many other publications. She divides her time between New York and the Philippines. She is the Executive editor of them. Meredith will discuss balancing a writing career with a full-time media job and multi-tasking tools.
Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of the young adult novels Dealing in Dreams, forthcoming from Simon & Schuster on March 5, 2019, and The Education of Margot Sanchez, available now in bookstores everywhere. The Education of Margot Sanchez was nominated for a 2019 Rhode Island Teen Book Award, a 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adult Fiction by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), and has been featured on NPR, New York Times Book Review, New York magazine, MTV.com, and Teen Vogue, among others. Lilliam will discuss her journey as a YA writer.
Mira Jacob is the author and illustrator of Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations. Her critically acclaimed novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick, shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award, and longlisted for the Brooklyn Literary Eagles Prize. It was named one of the best books of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews, the Boston Globe, Goodreads, Bustle, and The Millions. Her writing and drawings have appeared in The New York Times, Electric Literature, Tin House, Literary Hub, Guernica, Vogue, the Telegraph, and Buzzfeed, and she has a drawn column on Shondaland. She currently teaches at The New School, and she is a founding faculty member of the MFA Program at Randolph College. She is the co-founder of Pete’s Reading Series in Brooklyn, where she spent 13 years bringing literary fiction, non-fiction, and poetry to Williamsburg. Mira will discuss changing genres between book projects and working with editors of color.
Tyler Ford is an award-winning nonbinary advocate, writer, and speaker, whose creative and critical writing on queer and trans identity inspires, comforts, and challenges a diverse spectrum of audiences. The former deputy editor of Condé Nast’s them., Grand Marshal of NYC Pride 2018, and a writer for publications including Teen Vogue, the Guardian, Poetry Magazine, Rookie, V Magazine, and MTV ; Tyler’s sphere of influence is wide, reaching hundreds of thousands of people and helping LGBTQ+ folks feel more equipped to express themselves with confidence. Tyler will discuss their journey as a freelance writer, their leadership role at a legacy outlet and the current state of media.
Rivers Solomon writes about life in the margins, where they are much at home. A graduate of Stanford University and the Michener Center for Writers, they originally hail from the US but are currently based in England. In addition to appearing on the Stonewall Honor List and winning a Firecracker Award, Solomon's debut novel An Unkindness of Ghosts was a finalist or shortlisted for a Lambda, a Hurston/Wright, a Tiptree, and a Locus Award, and was included in numerous best-of-the-year lists, including in NPR, Publishers Weekly, and the Guardian (UK). Their short work appears in or is forthcoming from Black Warrior Review, the New York Times, Guernica, Best American Short Stories, Tor.com, and elsewhere, and their second book, The Deep, is forthcoming June 2019. Rivers will discuss publishing their debut novel with a small press.
This series of live pitch sessions is an opportunity for fellows to place work in today’s leading literary magazines and journals. We are thrilled to speak with and pitch editors at Oxford American, McSweeney’s, A Public Space and Believer Magazine. A very special thank you to Eliza Borne, Claire Boyle, Brigid Hughes and Niela Orr.
This conversation series is designed to uplift and inspire us through intimate conversations with our most revered and decorated contemporary writers.
Yiyun Li is the author of four works of fiction—Kinder Than Solitude, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, The Vagrants, and Gold Boy, Emerald Girl—and the memoir Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life. A native of Beijing and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she is the recipient of many awards, including a PEN/Hemingway Award and a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, and was named by The New Yorker as one of the “20 Under 40” fiction writers to watch. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, The Best American Short Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories, among other publications. She teaches at Princeton University and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2012. Diaz’s work has also appeared in Narrative Magazine, Gwarlingo, The Rumpus, and Ploughshares. Her poetry has has garnered the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry from Bread Loaf, the Narrative Poetry Prize, the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University, a US Artists Ford Fellowship, a Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellowship, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. Her poems, folding Spanish and Mojave into American English, yield an urgent and important new voice to the cannon of contemporary Native American poetry. She is a 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellow in Literature.
The 2019 application cycle is now closed. Stay tuned for the 2020 retreat dates.
Jack Jones at Immaculate Heart of Mary Staff
Good luck to everyone. Notifications will be emailed through June 1. Please read the FAQs before emailing us with your question.
2018 Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat Fellows: Karen Gu, Yahaira Lawrence, Catherine Seto, Raquel Willis, Shayla Lawz, Gena-Mour Barrett, Rahawa Haile, Zaina Arafat, Livia Clinton, Danielle Geller, Hannah Giorgis, Shubnum Khan, Sabrina Imbler, Diana Delgado, Dantiel Moniz, Victoria Blanco, Coryn Brown, J Germain.
2017 Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat Fellows: Robin Beck, Destiny O. Birdsong, Morgan Mann Willis, Branden Janese, Yalitza Fererras, Conley Lyons, Jenna Wortham, Hope Olaidé Wilson, Lise Ragbir, Kat Chow, Larissa Pham, Mona Chalabi, Nichole Perkins, Meredith Talusan, Kay Iguh.