The Salty Quill Writers​ Retreat for Women is pleased to offer two scholarships for full-week sessions at the sixth annual Salty Quill Writers Retreat. One will be offered for the week of May 30-June 6, and the other, September 26-October 3, 2020. Each scholarship includes accommodations, all meals, use of all the facilities, and boat transportation to and from McGee’s Island. Transportation to and from the departure point of Port Clyde, Maine, is fully the responsibility of the scholarship recipient. 

This is the second year we are offering two full-week scholarships: the Ellis Avery scholarship and the Salty Quill ScholarshipBoth scholarships are based primarily on your writing sample. No recommendations are necessary. (Although, we would welcome a reference if you'd like to share it but that is not necessary either.) You do not need to be published to apply. We hope to attract women who might not be accustomed to making the rounds on the residency circuit, and hope the scholarship would provide time, space and support for a woman who must support herself, and/or  is of a historically underrepresented and marginalized group. Whoever you are, the promise of your writing sample is the main criteria for votes from our jurors.

Deadline for application is April 16, 2020. Early applications are encouraged. Awardees will be announced by August 1, 2020. Application fee is $30. To apply, please email: for an application form.

The Ellis Avery Scholarship

In 2016, the Salty Quill Writers' Residence was graced by the presence of the lovely and inspiring award-winning author, Ellis Avery, as writer-in-residence, with the bonus of her brilliant partner, Sharon Marcus, by her side. Ellis wrote two novels (The Last Nude and The Teahouse Fire), published memoirs (The Smoke Week and The Family Tooth), and wrote haikus every day for decades. She was the only writer ever to have received the American Library Association Stonewall Award for Fiction twice, received Lambda, Ohioana, and Golden Crown awards, and her work has been translated into six languages. Although she lost her battle to cancer in the winter of 2019, Ellis remains an inspiration to a massive community of women infused by her spirit, joy, and bravery. For our time with her, we are honored and always grateful, and hopefully, will remain quite possibly, better human beings for it. This scholarship was initiated with the support of Sharon Marcus, in honor of Ellis.

The Ellis Avery scholarship is open to any woman writer who is actively pursuing creative writing. Writers need not be published to be considered. The scholarship is awarded based on writing sample and application. LGBTQ writers, writers of color, and historically underrepresented and marginalized writers are especially encouraged to apply, with special attention given to writers in financial need.

Scholarship recipients will stay in the Jewett Room (for photos of the room, see Rates & Accommodations). Please note: due to the remoteness of the location, if you have health concerns, severe allergies or other concerns that may impact your attendance, please contact us before applying to assure that we can accommodate you.

For a look at the roster of past Salty Quill Scholarships recipients, please visit Salty Quill Scholarship Recipients. We hope you'll consider joining them.

​​writing retreat ​for women

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Salty Quill Scholarships

Salty Quill Writers' Retreat