Photo Credit: Minky Warden

Lake Atitlán Writers’ Retreat

Saturday, March 14 – Sunday, March 22, 2020

This spring, authors Adam Stumacher and Jennifer De Leon are excited to offer a retreat for writers of all levels in one of the most beautiful and inspiring spots on the planet, Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. We are partnering once again with acclaimed author Joyce Maynard to offer a unique writing experience in the lovely Mayan village of San Marcos La Laguna.

Participants will stay in stunning accommodations with a lakeside dock, located a short walk or boat ride into town. This retreat offers space and time to work on a writing project at any stage, coupled with supports such as one-on-one meetings with instructors, jumpstart sessions and craft lectures, and a visit by a literary agent.

In addition to working closely with Adam and Jenn and engaging in communal meals and activities with your fellow retreat participants, you have the option to join students in Joyce Maynard’s Write By The Lake workshop, located a short walk away, in attending craft lectures and occasional lunches with Joyce, as well as evening readings and a final party.

View from the main house

Jenn and Adam are the most inspiring teachers I’ve had the opportunity to work with. Their range of knowledge and dedication to teaching all elements of storytelling — process, craft, revision and beyond — summoned and nurtured the stories that burned inside of me. The enriching space amidst the jaw-dropping beauty of Lake Atitlan was equal parts retreat and way forward, a roadmap to access my most creative self.”

Kate Wisel, author of the award-winning short story collection Driving in Cars with Homeless Men



1. Please see the FAQs for information about travel to Guatemala.

2. If you have questions about the retreat experience, send us an email at For support with logistics and travel, reach out to Joyce Maynard’s personal assistant, Peggy Cook, at

3. Spaces are limited, so apply early! To apply, submit a 1000-word writing sample, which can be either a stand-alone piece or an excerpt from a larger work. Those who would like their retreat to help them begin a project that they have not yet written can submit a description of the project and their goals as a writer.

Please email submissions to

4. Once accepted, you will receive details on securing your place in the retreat. We will help you with your adventure every step of the way!


View from the front porch



    Shared Room: $2100

    Private Rooms: $2600 


    Shared Room: $1900

    Private Rooms: $2300

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Register by December 31 and receive a $100 discount


  • A private room at a beautiful, colonial hotel in Antigua the night of your arrival in Guatemala on Saturday, March 14
  • Round-trip transportation from Antigua to Lake Atitlán on Sunday, March 15, returning Sunday, March 22
  • One week accommodations in either the Main House or the Casita of a scenic lakeside villa in San Marcos La Laguna, Lake Atitlán
  • Breakfasts, tea, local coffee, healthy snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, all prepared with care taken to ensure safety for those unaccustomed to local food
  • Communal lunch with faculty every other day of the retreat
  • A party the final evening, including dinner, drinks, music, and dancing
  • One-on-one conferences with both Jenn and Adam
  • Craft lectures with Adam, Jenn, and Joyce Maynard
  • A meeting with a literary agent
  • Breathtaking views and inspiration


  • Air transportation to Guatemala
  • Dinners and occasional lunches in San Marcos, as noted above.  (Expect to pay between $5 and $15 for a meal at a restaurant in the village.  Of course you can also prepare food at your villa, which has a fully equipped kitchen.)