To provide writing retreats for diverse writers and for writers telling diverse stories.
About the Retreats
The Writing Cross Culturally Retreat will provide writers with resources and tools for telling stories that are not their own with care, respect, and sensitivity. We will discuss representation and misrepresentation, as well as dig deep into the many ways our own prejudices and privileges connect to every part of the writing and publishing process. Participants will be encouraged to look beyond themselves and their inherent biases, and learn how to analyze not only their own internal prejudices but those endemic to publishing.
The workshop will be hands-on, with lectures, group, and individual work, writing exercises, and space created for personal reflection. Our goal is to help participants work through not only the how, but the when, and most importantly, the why and even why not of writing cross-culturally.
The OwnVoices Retreat provides writers from marginalized backgrounds with resources to help them develop their manuscripts, learn about the industry, and gain the necessary tools to navigate the publishing industry.
The workshop will be hands-on, with lectures, group, and individual work, writing exercises, breakouts, and space created for personal reflection as well as opportunities to dig into their manuscripts and work with mentors to get their work submission ready.
Our goal is to help participants work on their manuscripts, learn invaluable information about the publishing process, and guide them through the publishing process.
Critical Statistics, Achievements, and Other Relevant Information
In its inaugural year, we received 100 applications for our Writing Cross Culturally retreat led by YA authors Leigh Bardugo, Daniel Jose Older, and Nicola Yoon.
Team Member Bios
Dhonielle Clayton is COO of We Need Diverse Books. She is the co-author of the Tiny Pretty Things series and The Belles series. She grew up in the Washington, DC suburbs on the Maryland side and spent most of her time under her grandmother’s table with a stack of books. A former teacher and middle school librarian, Dhonielle is co-founder of CAKE Literary-a creative development company whipping up decidedly diverse books for a wide array of readers. She’s got a serious travel bug and loves spending time outside of the USA, but makes her home in New York City, where she can most likely be found hunting for the best slice of pizza.
Natalie C. Parker
Natalie C. Parker wears many hats: author, editor, organizer. She is the author of Southern Gothic duology Beware the Wild (a Junior Library Guild Selection) and Behold the Bones (HarperTeen) as well as the forthcoming Seafire Trilogy (Razorbill, 2018). Her first anthology, Three Sides of a Heart, is an exploration of the love triangle (HarperTeen, 19 Dec 2017). Parker is the founder of Madcap Retreats, an organization offering a yearly calendar of workshops and retreats for aspiring and established writers. Though she earned her BA in English literature from the University of Southern Mississippi and her MA in gender studies from the University of Cincinnati, she now lives on the Kansas prairie with her wife. Find her online: www.nataliecparker.com
Tessa Gratton is the Associate Director of Madcap Retreats and the author of the Blood Journals Series and Gods of New Asgard Series, co-author of YA writing books The Curiosities and The Anatomy of Curiosity, as well as dozens of short stories available in anthologies and on merryfates.com. Though she’s lived all over the world, she’s finally returned to her prairie roots in Kansas with her wife. Her current projects include Tremontaine at Serial Box Publishing, 2018 YA fantasy Strange Grace from McElderry, and her adult fantasy debut, The Queens of Innis Lear, coming in 2018 from Tor. Visit her at tessagratton.com