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Residencies & Retreats: Getting the Most Out of the Experience

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Many writers take a leap forward with the help of a retreat or residency. While devoting the time to honing your craft, you can also make connections and discoveries that further your career. This is especially true for writers coming from outside the MFA track or without inroads to publishing.

This webinar will feature a discussion with writers who have attended or worked at residencies and fellowship programs. We’ll cover how to research programs that suit your needs, tips for successful applications, and how to approach the experience to maximize what you contribute and take away. Generative prompts will be provided to help you get started with an artist’s statement.

Residencies List

Thank you to our friend Lily Philpott for graciously creating a robust resource of information on free and low-cost writing residencies! A second tab in the spreadsheet contains additional resources suggested by the panelists and audience.


Tracy Abeyta is a Native American-Latinx third grade dropout who didn’t get a GED but did snag two Master’s degrees. After she turned forty, she decided to write for real and has been published by Hobart Pulp, the Brooklyn Review, Milvia Street and Diagram. Last year she attended Disquiet in Portugal and the International Literary Seminars program in Kenya as a fiction contest finalist and is working on an MFA in fiction from the Institute for American Indian Arts. She teaches literature and lives in Oakland with a free-roaming lionhead rabbit named Betty who is two pounds but can eat a tunnel through a couch.

Hannah Bae is a Korean American freelance journalist, nonfiction writer and illustrator who is at work on a memoir about family estrangement and mental illness. She is the 2020 nonfiction winner of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and a 2021 and 2022 Peter Taylor Fellow for The Kenyon Review Writers Workshops. You can find her work in anthologies such as Our Red Book: Intimate Histories of Periods, Growing & Changing and (Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health and online at Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s The Margins, Catapult, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle and other outlets. You can connect with her at @hanbae on Twitter and @hannahbae on Instagram.

Dr. Brandon Hobson is a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow. He received his Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. His novel Where the Dead Sit Talking was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Reading the West Award, and longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, among other distinctions. His short stories have won a Pushcart Prize and have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, McSweeney’s, Conjunctions, Noon, and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing at New Mexico State University and at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and he is the editor-in-chief of Puerto del Sol. He is an enrolled citizen of the Cherkoee Nation Tribe of Oklahoma.

Abeer Hoque is a Nigerian-born Bangladeshi American writer and photographer. She likes chilis, silver, and knowing what’s what. Her books include a coffee table book (The Long Way Home, 2013), a linked collection of stories, poems, and photographs (The Lovers and the Leavers, 2015), and a memoir (Olive Witch, 2017). She has won fellowships from the NEA, Queens Council on the Arts, NYFA, and the Fulbright Foundation, and holds BS and MA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, and an MFA in writing from the University of San Francisco. See more at

Deborah Taffa, moderator, is the director of the MFA Creative Writing Program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Winner of the PEN Jean Stein Grant, her memoir Whiskey Tender is forthcoming from HarperCollins Harper in 2023. A MacDowell, Hedgebrook, Tin House, and Kranzberg fellow, she’s from the Quechan Nation and Laguna Pueblo, and earned her nonfiction MFA in Iowa City, IA.

Special Thanks to Our Supporters and Partner Organizations

Special thanks to the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and to the Institute of American Indian Arts for collaborating with the Authors Guild Foundation on this panel.

With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Penguin Random House, and our donors, the Authors Guild Foundation is pleased to make Business Bootcamps for Writers free and open to the public.

Several writers organizations have partnered with the Authors Guild Foundation to help shape these programs. Our deepest appreciation to these organizations.