Dzanc launches writing retreat in Lisbon


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Independent publisher Dzanc Books will host a writing retreat in Lisbon starting this summer, in partnership with Portuguese cultural organizations. The program’s faculty includes Brian Evenson from Brown University; Nick Flynn, who teaches at the University of Houston; and Josip Novakovich, who teaches at Concordia University in Montreal. The program will also feature a visit from from Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz, author of ‘The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.’

Called DisQuiet, Dzanc’s international literary program offers workshops in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and photography and visual storytelling. All participants will also participate in a literary and cultural program that features contemporary Portuguese writers and critics, in various locations around the city.


Some writing retreats are free -- notably, the elite residency programs at Yaddo and MacDowell -- but this is not one of those programs. DisQuiet costs $1,950, plus travel and accommodations.

That’s not cheap, but it seems to be in the ballpark for similar boutique programs -- the two-weeklong Summer Literary Seminars are the same price; Tin House’s summer writing workshop is half the price, but only half as long. For the Portugal program, some housing options seem affordable: Dorm rooms at the University of Lisbon are as low as $20 per night.

One attendee -- writing in any genre -- will be selected for a full scholarship, including accommodations and travel. The winning work will be published by the magazine Guernica.

The program’s director is literary retreat veteran Jeff Parker, an author and professor who led the Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia, from 2000 to 2008. Applications to attend are available now.

-- Carolyn Kellogg