Writer’s Retreat for Educators

The application for the 2020 Writer’s Retreat for Educators is now closed, and the two selected educators have been notified. Visit our blog to meet the first recipients: Melissa Goodrum and Michael Carson.

Please check back in spring 2021 for more information on applying for the 2021 Retreat.

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers is excited to announce a new opportunity for educators with a student who received recognition in the 2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards—the New Orleans Writing Marathon.

Two educators will be invited to participate in the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project’s annual New Orleans Writing Marathon. The selected educator-writers will join nearly 50 other participants for a five-day writing retreat where they will have the opportunity to write about anything they want, without criticism or evaluation, and interact with other educators and writers. The retreat will be held in summer 2021.

This opportunity is generously made possible through the Dr. Ernest B. Fleishman Educators’ Fund.

How to Apply:

The application deadline for the 2020 Writer’s Retreat has passed, and the two selected educators have been notified. Please check back in spring 2021 for more information on applying for the 2021 Retreat.


Applicant must be the educator of at least one student who has received regional (Honorable Mention, Silver Key, Gold Key) recognition in the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The recognition can be for art or writing.

About the Retreat:

Beginning as an experimental workshop at a conference in Louisiana, the New Orleans Writing Marathon has become a signature event for writers nationwide. The five-day retreat in the French Quarter provides both the structure and the freedom for participants to attain an unparalleled level of concentration as they immerse themselves in the writing process and their surroundings.

In light of the COVID-19 precautions taken throughout the country, we have canceled in-person participation in the retreat for this year. We have invited selected educators to online learning opportunities and offered a stipend to support their writing. Please check back in spring 2021 for more information on applying for the 2021 Residency. 

Included in the Retreat:

A $500 Award will be granted to each educator-writer, in addition to a $1,000 stipend for their travel and/or incidentals. Hotel accommodations will also be provided.

The Selection Process:

Two educator-writers will be selected through a competitive juried process. The committee’s criteria will focus on the quality of the submitted work.

About the Judge:

Edwidge Danticat author photo, photo credit: Mark Dellas

Edwidge Danticat is the author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection, Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist, The Farming of Bones, The Dew Breaker, Create Dangerously, Claire of the Sea Light, and Everything Inside. She is also the editor of The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States, Best American Essays 2011, Haiti Noir, and Haiti Noir 2. She has written seven books for children and young adults, Anacaona, Behind the Mountains, Eight Days, The Last MapouMama’s Nightingale, Untwine, My Mommy Medicine, as well as a travel narrative, After the Dance. Her memoir, Brother, I’m Dying, was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and a 2008 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. She is a 2009 MacArthur fellow, a 2018 Ford Foundation “The Art of Change” fellow, and the winner of the 2018 Neustadt International Prize and the 2019 St. Louis Literary Award.

About the Dr. Ernest B. Fleishman Educators’ Fund:

The Dr. Ernest B. Fleishman Educators’ Fund allows the Alliance to provide recognition, professional-development opportunities, and classroom materials to educators whose students excel in the Awards, especially those from under-resourced communities. The fund was formed in recognition of Dr. Ernest B. Fleishman, a champion of educators, long-time member of the Alliance Board of Directors, and former senior executive at Scholastic Inc.