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Image by Annie Spratt
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el retorno:
writing hasta las raÍces


Sosua, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

July 8th - July 13th, 2024

Application Closed: December 31st, 2023


A fIVE-DAY long retreat to inspire a
re-discovery of your creativity & cultura! 

Retreat Dates: July 8-13th, 2024
Application Opens: November 18th, 2023
Application Closed:
December 31st, 2023

Acceptance Acceptance Emails: January 15th, 2024

This international writing experience will fill your life with enchantment, wonder and empowerment. We encourage all BIPOC writers to participate in our writing workshops on fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry with focus on the craft of writing and engaging in cross-cultural conversations around literature created by Dominicans of the diaspora and Quisqueya.


Join us in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic as we create space for and with nuestra gente to lean into your writing voices and reconnect with our land. It offers you the possibility to concentrate on thinking, reading, and writing in a sustained way, to recharge your battery, and to gain new inspiration. For individuals and groups, with meals, room and board included in the subsidized tuition fee.


Cabarete/Sosua is a resort town on the Dominican Republic's northern coast. Along the coast you will find Encuentro Beach is known for its surf breaks, Cabarete Beach known for its water sports, and calm sky blue beaches like Sosua Beach. This town is also filled with restaurants, bars and a nightlife. This writer’s retreat is open to writers of all levels, and it operates on a non-competitive basis. To participate you will need to complete an application, your response should be as thorough as possible and pay a modest application fee.

Included in the writing retreat are daily workshops in English and Spanish, craft discussions, feedback on writing, and time to work on projects. Writers can also enjoy walks along the beach to the many restaurants and shops in town.

To participate you will need to complete an application and pay a modest application fee.

Image by Annie Spratt



JP Infante



Annell Lopez

Fiction Editor


Kleaver Cruz


Creative Writing


Alicia Anabel Santos



Roberto Carlos Garcia



Lissette Norman

Children's Book Writing

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Michael Diaz

The Business of

TV Writing


Modesto 'Flako" Jimenez

Performance Theatre

Spanish Writing Workshops


Elizabeth Villaman


Foto María Carla Picón - María Carla Picón.jpeg

María Carla Picón 



Ruth Pion

Understanding Blackness & Race in Dom. Rep.

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Saray Figuereo Roa

Empowerment and Coalition Across Borders 


Moraima Capellan

Food Insecurity & Agriculture


Katherine Cepeda

Holistic Wellness

Exploring identity, heritage, and social justice in the Dominican Republic

Image by Annie Spratt

our sponsors

Can you be from a place you have never been? You can find the island stamped all over me, but what would the island find if I was there? Can you claim a home that does not know you, much less claim you as its own?” - Elizabeth Acevedo

frequently asked questions & PAYMENT INFO

  • How do I apply?
    CLICK HERE to submit your application. Application requires a $30 fee Opens: Saturday, November 18th, 2023 Application Closes: Sunday, December 31st, 2023 Acceptance Emails: Monday, January 15th, 2024
  • How much does the retreat cost?
    APPLICATION The application fee is $30. Applications are due by Sunday, December 31st, 2023 (11:59 PM EST). To apply CLICK HERE. ____________________ Application Costs: Deposit: $250 (to be paid upon acceptance, goes towards overall balance) Early Bird: $2000 (applicant must sign up for payment plan by January 31st, 2024) Late Bird: $2500 (Beginning February 1st, 2024) Payment Plans Available Any questions please email The deposit confirms your spot. The deposit counts towards the overall tuition payment. Balance can be paid in one full payment, weekly or bi-weekly payments. Upon acceptance participants will receive payment plan options via email. ____________________ OTHER IMPORTANT DETAILS Participants are responsible for booking their flights as soon as possible for arrival to STI or POP Airports as they are the nearest to the lodging. ____________________ TUITION CANCELATION POLICY: Deposits are non-refundable. A deposit is due immediately upon acceptance to confirm your seat. Full refund if cancelled 60 days or more prior to the start of the retreat. 50% refund if cancelled 30-59 days prior to the start of the retreat. No refund if cancelled less than 30 days prior to the start of the retreat. Exceptions: In the event of a medical emergency, a full refund will be issued if a doctor's note is provided. If the retreat is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a natural disaster, all participants will be issued a full refund. Please note: All cancellations must be made by email to Cancellations made by text or phone will not be accepted. Refunds will be issued within 30 days of the cancellation date.
  • What do you offer that is different from other retreats?
    We offer cultural representation, a holistic approach to writing, Diversity of Workshop Themes with intstructors from the island and abroad, an emphasis on Healing and Community, and Commitment to Cultural Enrichment. The experience with El Retorno was created to give writers an experience in connecting with the land, people and culture in our homeland. Everything curated is meant to provide a refreshing perspective on your writing journey while being in community with writers you can identify with. We also offer a unique approach to the workshops that writers have been unable to express in words. #Youjusthadtobethere.
  • Who is this retreat for?
    Writers of Dominican descent, organizers, activists, and movement workers who are interested in the intersection of writing and social justice organizing/movement building in Dominican Republic. We will be prioritizing people located in the Northeast, to facilitate local relationship building.
  • Am I “Dominican- enough” to go on this retreat?
    The Dominican diaspora encompasses a rich tapestry of diverse experiences and identities! During the retreat, we create inclusive spaces that honor and celebrate the various connections individuals have to their heritage. Through a range of activities, discussions, and classes, we embrace and accommodate the multifaceted ways people relate to their Dominican roots.
  • What are the retreat activities going to be?
    Writers who will be attending retreat will receive the full agenda... Daily writing workshops taught by faculty in English & Spanish Transnational conversations on the state of publishing in Dominican Republic Discussions on the past, present, and future of the interplay between arts and organizing Presentations of participant work, including an open mic, and a public reading by faculty Collaborative and solo writing sessions Free time and fun activities, including swimming, hiking, yoga, tours of local national monuments, live musical acts and more!
  • How much writing will I get done?
    The retreat includes generative writing workshops and dedicated individual writing sessions. Additionally, the schedule reserves specific optional times designed intentionally for writing, beyond what you'll create during the workshops.
  • Do I have to speak Spanish to understand the classes?
    The classes and various writing activities are conducted in English, Spanish, and Spanglish. During our Summer 2023 retreat, individuals who didn't speak Spanish were still able to participate, engage in class and learn alongside fellow writers. Some basic Spanish skills will be helpful.
  • How safe will we be?
    Dominican Writers Association, along with its staff, collaborators, faculty, and vendors, prioritize the safety of everyone involved. To ensure this, we strongly emphasize the importance of cooperation and adherence to guidelines and policies, especially when venturing outside the Villa. The selection of the Cabarete/Sosua area was deliberate due to its reputation for safety, and DWA takes extensive measures to maintain a secure environment. Our previous retreat in this location reported zero incidents. Moreover, the Villa is situated within a gated community, where residents and visitors alike adhere to additional security measures. While acknowledging the unpredictability of any location, we are committed to doing everything possible to safeguard everyone from potential harm.
  • Is everything being filmed and photographed?
    In efforts to document the retreat and provide everyone with photos and videos we do heavily film and photograph activities. To ensure transparency, we provide a photo and media release to all participants. If you prefer not to be photographed, we're more than willing to accommodate your request, ensuring your comfort during the event.
  • Are there scholarships or financial assistance available?
    Scholarships are not currently available. If you would like to attend but have dire financial needs please email and and the program committee will consider it. Multiple payment plans options are offered to those whose application are approved.
  • I have more questions...
    For more information email us at
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