Renaissance House accepting summer applications

The Renaissance House retreat in Oak Bluffs. — Lynn Christoffers

The Renaissance House Retreat for Writers and Artists, located in Oak Bluffs, is accepting applications for the summer of 2023.

The retreat for writers on social issues is a program of the Helene Johnson and Dorothy West Foundation for Artists in Need. Both of these women were Martha’s Vineyard residents and prominent writers during the Harlem Renaissance. The deadline for applications for the program is May 1, 2023.

The weekly program will run weekly from June 4, 2023 to July 8, 2023. Writers can stay for one or two weeks. In addition to the traditional Renaissance House writers-in-residence program, a commuter program for Island residents will be offered at a discounted rate.

“Renaissance House focuses on writers who span different stages in their careers — from emerging writers who work at 9 to 5 jobs, to notable award winners,” explained Abigail McGrath, founder of Renaissance House. The retreat, located in the historic barn where Helene Johnson and Dorothy West wrote, and next door to the home where they lived;  provides a safe space in which to create new works or finish existing ones. There are workshops in memoir writing, journalism, poetry, and many other aspects of the written word.

Applicants can submit fiction, nonfiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and issue-oriented works.

The Renaissance House residential retreat is a one-week program from Sunday to Saturday, which includes single or double rooms, breakfast and dinner, daily writing workshops and cultural events. There is no application or reading fee.