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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHEN/WHERE IS THE NEXT RETREAT?

Our second retreat will be held August 16-19 2024 at Prindle Pond Conference Center in Charlton, MA.

 

HOW DO I APPLY?

Go here to read the requirements and apply! Link at the bottom of the page. Applications will be accepted from March 18 to April 21.

WHAT KINDS OF POETS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

We do not adhere to any particular style or school of poetry. You do not have to be published. However, we are looking for people with a deep and demonstrated commitment to poetry, especially as a community practice. Applications are open to emerging as well as established writers. 

WHAT KINDS OF ORGANIZERS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

While we hold a capacious definition of movement-building, we prioritize folks whose work involves building power in directly-affected communities in order to address the root causes of oppression. This may include people working toward—and engaging the intersections between—racial justice, climate justice, carceral abolition, LGBTQ+ liberation, worker power, disability justice and/or indigenous sovereignty. Applications are open to new and experienced organizers!

WHAT IF I AM BOTH A POET AND AN ORGANIZER?

We're excited to welcome folks who do both! For the sake of our processes, we ask you to choose one primary designation, with the knowledge that many participants straddle multiple worlds and identities.

I HAVE A CONFLICT AND HAVE TO MISS PART OF THE RETREAT. CAN I STILL ATTEND?

In order to cultivate a sense of community, we ask that all Fellows attend the full retreat, from 5:00 pm on Friday to 12:00 pm on Monday. If you have a conflict, we encourage you to apply for the next retreat in 2026!

WHAT STATES COUNT AS THE NORTHEAST FOR THIS PROGRAM?

We accept applications from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and DC.

I DON’T LIVE IN THE REGION. CAN I STILL APPLY? 

The retreat is open to participants who are connected to this region, as a way of encouring the possibility of future collaborations. That said, if you don’t currently live here but have deep connections that bring you back often, we encourage you to apply.

I DO NOT IDENTIFY AS BLACK, INDIGENOUS, OR A PERSON OF COLOR. CAN I STILL APPLY?

No. The Witches & Warriors Retreat is for BIPOC writers and movement workers only.

HOW ARE APPLICATION DECISIONS MADE?

Every eligible, complete application is read by two readers, who nominate applications to the final round. Final decisions are made by the retreat coordinators. In 2022, we had a group of six volunteer readers, who represented a mix of writers and movement workers. 

I APPLIED BEFORE AND WAS NOT ACCEPTED. HOW CAN I MAKE MY APPLICATION STRONGER?

Unfortunately, we don't have the capacity to give feedback on individual applications. Our best advice is to make sure your application is complete; to include the work you are proudest off in your work sample; and to make your essay responses as clear, specific, and thorough as possible.

WHAT COSTS ARE COVERED?

There is no registration fee to attend the Witches & Warriors Retreat! While Fellows are asked to arrange and cover their own travel, we can offer support up to $150.

 

HOW DO I GET THERE?

Prindle Pond Conference Center is in rural Central Massachusetts, about a 30 minute drive from Worcester (“the Paris of the ‘80s!”). By car, it takes about 1 hour from Boston, 3.5 hours from NYC, and 2 hours from Albany. We will put fellows in touch to help coordinate carpools. If using Google Maps, we recommend putting in “Story School” for the most accurate pin!

While the retreat center is easiest to access by car, there are several options for getting there:

  • By plane: The nearest airports are Boston, Hartford, and Providence, all about 1 hour away. We can help arrange Lyft/Uber pools with other Fellows, or you can rent a car.

  • By bus: Greyhound and Peter Pan buses stop at Worcester’s Union Station. We will arrange pickups/carpools.

  • By train: Union Station in Worcester services the MBTA Commuter Rail (Framingham/Worcester line) and the Lakeshore Limited line on Amtrak. We will arrange pickups/carpools.

WHAT ARE THE SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS?

Fellows will be sharing a room with up to one other person. Each room has two bunk beds and two dressers. There will be a limited number of single rooms to accommodate fellows with access needs that require them. Everyone must bring their own linens (sheets/pillows/sleeping bag and towels).

CAN I BRING MY PET?

We love animals, but we can’t allow pets. Sorry! Please let us know if you have a service animal.

 

HOW ACCESSIBLE IS THE VENUE?

The main building for our retreat is ADA compliant but an older building (built in the 80s). It has two entrances accessible by ramp. All full-group activities will be held on the ground floor of the building. Walkways to other sites on the grounds are packed gravel, and some have steep inclines. We will have cars on site to help shuttle participants to other locations as needed. There are two all-gender bathrooms with multiple stalls and showers, including a roll-in shower and wheelchair-accessible toilet. 

WHAT ARE YOUR COVID SAFETY PROTOCOLS?

Most group activities will be held in a large indoor space or outside. When we have to be indoors, we will try to open doors and use HEPA filters to ventilate. We will require all faculty, staff, and participants to be fully vaccinated as medically able. Additionally, we require you to send us proof of a negative test prior to traveling, and will be conducting rapid-testing onsite each day. We will determine masking policies closer to the retreat date, based on current guidelines and the needs of our participants.

IS ASL INTERPRETATION AVAILABLE?

We are currently fundraising for this, and hope to be able to provide ASL interpretation for all program sessions (workshops, presentations, etc.) as needed.

IS LANGUAGE INTERPRETATION AVAILABLE? WHAT ABOUT CHILDCARE?

Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to provide these services. We recognize that this limits the accessibility of this retreat, and hope to increase our access in the future.

I HAVE A SPECIFIC ACCESS NEED THAT IS NOT COVERED HERE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

​Our access plan will be shaped based on the needs of our participants. The application includes space to share your access needs; this is strictly optional, does not factor into acceptance decisions, and is just there to help us plan. If you have specific questions, you are welcome to email us at hello@brewandforge.com.

WOULD YOU EVER MAKE A WITCHES & WARRIORS RETREAT FOR PEOPLE IN THE MIDWEST/SOUTH/WEST COAST, ETC?

Our crew is small, and we’re focusing on our immediate geographical region for now. But if you want to start your own version of this retreat, please do! We’re happy to support your efforts and share what we’ve learned.

WHAT IF I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?

Please email hello@brewandforge.com, and we will be happy to answer!

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