A HOMELAND FOR WRITERS
POETRY Workshop Leader
Allison Hedge Coke, a Distinguished Professor at UC Riverside, teaches poetry, nonfiction, fiction, film for the Department of Creative Writing and Narrative Medicine for the UCR School of Medicine and directs UCR’s Writers Week and Along the Chaparral federal project. Born in Texas, of mixed Luso descent, she is the author of a memoir and seven books of poetry including the forthcoming Look at This Blue, with Coffee House Press.
“Hedge Coke is among the most important environmental and social justice poets, thinkers, and activists of our time,”
–University of Hawaii-Manoa Professor, Brandy Nalani McDougall.
NON-FICTION Workshop Leader
Daisy Hernández is the author of The Kissing Bug: A True Story of an Insect, a Family and a Nation’s Neglect of a Deadly Disease. She is also the author of the award-winning memoir A Cup of Water Under My Bed and coeditor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism. The former editor of ColorLines magazine, she has reported for National Geographic, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Slate, and she has written for NPR’s All Things Considered and CodeSwitch. Her essays and fiction have appeared in Aster(ix), Bellingham Review, Brevity, Dogwood, Fourth Genre, Gulf Coast, Iowa Review, Juked, and Rumpus among other journals. A contributing editor for the Buddhist magazine Tricycle, Daisy is an Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Program at Miami University in Ohio.
FICTION Workshop Leader
What is the Macondo Writers Workshop?
The Macondo Writers Workshop is an association of socially-engaged writers working to advance creativity, foster generosity, and serve the community. Founded in 1995 by poet and writer Sandra Cisneros and named after the town in Gabriel García Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, the workshop gathers writers from all genres who work on geographic, cultural, economic, gender, and spiritual borders. An essential aspect of the Macondo Workshop is a global sense of community; participants recognize their place as writers in our society and the world. We are also experienced writers who demonstrate a professional or master’s level of writing. Qualified applicants must meet both criteria. Excellent writing does not excuse poor community spirit; vice-versa, an impressive record of community involvement does not excuse poor writing. Macondo is a gift we give to one another, with willing hands and open hearts.
Macondo Writers Workshop is a weeklong experience for professional writers that is made up of daily workshops with guest faculty, optional afternoon seminars, and evening public readings. We normally hold the workshop annually the last week of July in San Antonio, Texas.
In your first year as a new member, you must participate in a workshop. However, if you return to the Macondo Writers Workshop in the future, you have the option of coming as either a workshop participant or as a Chuparosa (hummingbird), a designation for Macondistas who choose to come and work independently during the workshop time, but who participate in seminars, readings, and within the wider community activities during our week together. Returning Macondistas do not have to reapply to come back again, but they do need to submit an application for the workshop they would like to join, or sign up as a Chuparosa.
When you apply for the workshop, whether you are new or returning Macondista, you select the workshop that you would like to join. We offer workshops across different genres (fiction, poetry, non-fiction, etc.) and each year we invite different distinguished guest faculty. Some past faculty have included: the Poet Ai, Joy Harjo, Julia Alvarez, Helena María Viramontes, Marjorie Agosín, Ruth Behar, Leslie Marmon Silko, Richard Blanco, Sandra Cisneros, John Phillip Santos, Dorothy Allison, Sherwin Bitusi, Luis Rodríguez, Joy Castro, Manuel Muñoz, and others. Acceptance to workshops is based on availability, with workshops generally limited to ten participants.
The Poet Ai
Leslie Marmon Silko
Helena María Viramontes
John Phillip Santos
What does the workshop experience look like?
The workshops are either generative workshops or reading/response workshops. In reading/response workshops, all the participants and faculty read and comment on the manuscripts (usually 10-20 pages) of all their workshop cohort ahead of Macondo. During the workshop week, participants meet every morning for three hours and give feedback to two writers in the workshop each day. These morning sessions are confidential and it is mandatory that all participants attend and participate fully. Generative workshops do not require submission of manuscripts. The writing and sharing of writing happens within the workshop week.
As a participant you agree to abide by the Compassionate Code of Conduct, a charter our members have developed to make this workshop experience different. You can expect critical insight and critique, but this is made within a kind, generous, and generative community. Many lasting friendships, collaborations, and projects have grown out of this space. Our mission, then, is to help each other create community, assist others as activist writers, and to continually grow to be better, more empathic, compassionate individuals.
Who can apply?
You! We are a group of experienced writers who demonstrate a professional or master’s level of writing. The workshop gathers writers from all genres who work on geographic, cultural, economic, gender, and spiritual borders. Qualified applicants must meet both high writing standards and dedicated community involvement. It is a highly competitive process and you must be willing and able to offer rigorous, helpful critiques. Excellent writing does not excuse poor community spirit; vice-versa, an impressive record of community involvement does not excuse poor writing. Please review the application for additional details.
Each year we accept no more than ten new Macondistas. It is a highly competitive process, and writers who do not get accepted are welcome to reapply again in the future. We add a small cohort each year to make sure that we have the resources and space to accommodate their participation and experience. Once you have been accepted you can apply to return to future workshops.
At this time we do not have formal requirements for members. We strongly encourage active engagement. Stay in touch with Macondo, share accomplishments and publications, give back regularly, and volunteer to help!
How do you apply?
Workshop applications/registration opens for everyone in January and is available via our website. All essential information is detailed in the application form.
How are applications assessed?
The reading panels, one for each genre, are comprised of a rotating volunteer panel of Macondistas. The applications are anonymized and judged on strength of essay and writing samples based on the criteria described in the application. Acceptance is based on availability, with workshops generally limited to ten participants.
What are this year’s deadlines?
The deadlines for this year’s workshop have already past.
Generally, workshop applications open in early January. Applications are due mid-February and participants who are accepted are notified in March. Accepted participants are announced in early-to-mid April.
When is the Macondo Writers Workshop held?
Traditionally, the Macondo Writers Workshop is held in San Antonio, Texas during the last week of July annually. In 2021 we are hosting a virtual workshop event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can I defer my acceptance?
Because of the logistical difficulties involved, at this time we do not allow accepted participants to defer their admission. If they are unable to attend the year that they are admitted, they must reapply to join again in the future.
How much does it cost?
The 2021 virtual workshop costs are significantly lower. It is $400 for virtual workshop classes. It is $100 for Chuparosa “No Frills” and $150 for Chuparosa con Ganas, a category which includes a one-hour writing consultation with a Macondista. Please note that the Chuparosa category is only open to returning Macondistas.
Are there scholarships or financial assistance available?
There are limited partial scholarships available, and the amount that is available from year to year varies depending on funds and donations. For more information please contact Pat Alderete, the Applications Administrator at Macondoapplication@gmail.com.
Are there ways that I participate if I’m not a member?
Yes! Our workshop week always includes free readings that are open to the public. We also periodically hold events, readings, and fundraisers throughout the year.
Please check back for the Macondo Writers Workshop 2022 application form to be posted in January 2022.