Information & Application Details

Applications for the 2023 Oxbelly Writers Retreat are now open.
Τhe deadline for submission is February 28, 2023.

The working language is English; thus, a good knowledge of English is essential in order to participate.

  • Location
    Costa Navarino, Messinia, Greece
  • Dates
    June 3-11, 2023
  • Duration
    8 days
  • Application Deadline
    February 28, 2023
Apply Now

The Oxbelly Writers Retreat brings together writers from around the world for a week of literary and creative exchange, held at Costa Navarino in historic Messinia, Greece. In its inaugural year, Oxbelly Writers Retreat will support 15 emerging fiction writers and poets committed to elevating their craft, strengthening their literary voice, and contributing to intercultural dialogues around storytelling.

Fellows will engage in workshops and craft sessions led by faculty and guests who are themselves established and acclaimed writers and industry leaders, followed by unstructured time to write in the serene and transformative environment the Messinian scenic landscape offers. The Oxbelly Writers Retreat has no cost to apply and all expenses for fellows are covered.

Program Details

The Retreat will consist of a series of workshops led by a faculty of acclaimed writers. The second half offers a mini-residence for the fellows to soak in the scenic and peaceful atmosphere of Costa Navarino and produce work unhindered by Retreat obligations, with evening talks, lectures and readings by both the writing mentors, guest writers, and industry guests.

Fellows will also engage in cross programmatic opportunities with the Oxbelly Episodic Program, running concurrently at Costa Navarino, thereby expanding their networks and the cross-pollination between the literary and TV industries.

Open Call for Greek and International applicants who are emerging writers of fiction or poetry, including unpublished writers and students, 18 years old and over.

Applications close February 28, 2023. Selected applicants will be informed by email in April 2023.

The Writers Retreat aims to support exceptional narratives in all genres by emerging fiction writers and poets from around the world. Our sole criteria is literary quality. To this end, we welcome work that is original in its vision, is written in an engaging voice, uses evocative language, experiments with form, and that is confident in its craft regardless of subject matter. We ask you to submit work that is refined, polished, and that reflects your truest potential as a writer.

For any information, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Apply Now
Chigozie Obioma
Chigozie Obioma
Program Director, Mentor

Chigozie Obioma was born in Akure, Nigeria. His first two novels, The Fishermen (2015) and An Orchestra of Minorities (2019) were both finalists for the Booker prize. His novels have been translated into more than 29 languages and won the inaugural FT/Oppenheimer Award for Fiction, an NAACP Image Award, the LA Times Book prize, the Internationaler literaturpreis and was nominated for many other awards. The Fishermen was adapted into an award-winning stage play by Gbolahan Obisesan that played in the UK and South Africa between 2018-2019. He was named one of Foreign Policy's 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2015. He is the James E. Ryan Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and divides his time between the US and Nigeria. 

Rebecca Makkai
Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai’s last novel, The Great Believers, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; it was the winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal, the Stonewall Book Award, the Clark Prize, and the LA Times Book Prize; and it was one of the New York Times' Ten Best Books of 2018. Her other books are the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the collection Music for Wartime—four stories from which appeared in The Best American Short Stories. A 2022 Guggenheim Fellow, Rebecca is on the MFA faculties of the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe and Northwestern University, and is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

Kwame Dawes
Kwame Dawes

Kwame Dawes is the author of numerous books of poetry and other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. His most recent collection UnHistory, was co-written with John Kinsella (Peepal Tree Press, UK 2022). Dawes is a George W. Holmes University Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner. He teaches in the Pacific MFA Program and is the Series Editor of the African Poetry Book Series, Director of the African Poetry Book Fund, and Artistic Director of the Calabash International Literary Festival. He is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Kwame Dawes is the winner of the prestigious Windham/Campbell Award for Poetry and was a finalist for the 2022 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. In 2022, Dawes was awarded the Order of Distinction Commander class by the Government of Jamaica.

Scott Cairns
Scott Cairns
Guest Speaker

Scott Cairns is the author of ten poetry collections, including Idiot Psalms, Slow Pilgrim, and Anaphora. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Paris Review, The New Republic, Poetry, etc., and has been anthologized in Best Spiritual Writing and Best American Spiritual Writing. He has also written a spiritual memoir, Short Trip to the Edge, a theological meditation, The End of Suffering, and libretti for the oratoria “The Martyrdom of Saint Polycarp” and “A Melancholy Beauty.” His spiritual memoir was also released in Greek and Romanian editions. Cairns has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was awarded the Denise Levertov Award in 2014. He was Curators’ Distinguished Professor of English at University of Missouri, and currently directs Seattle Pacific University's MFA in Creative Writing. Cairns is the founding director of Writing Workshops in Greece, a program that brings writers to engage with literary life in modern Greece.

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