Cathy Mazak

July 12-18, 2020 

Academic Women’s Writing Retreat

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Hosted by Cathy Mazak & Team

The Academic Women’s Writing Retreat is a 7-day, 6-night experience designed to give you the time and space to love on your writing with the support of a team of writing coaches in a community of amazing academic women.

The retreat follows a structure of goal-setting during breakfast, group coaching over lunch, and blocks of time to write (and rest). It also includes a pre-retreat planning session with a writing coach and a one-on-one writing coaching session during the retreat.

This retreat is for academics who identify as women who:

  • Want to re-connect with and re-inspire their writing practice
  • Value support and community
  • Thrive in connection with other smart, amazing women
  • Are coachable and open to trying new things 
  • Love to talk about writing and listen to what others have to say
  • Are open-minded and value diversity 
  • Feel like if they just had the time to think for a minute they could really get some $%it done!

Who this is NOT for:

  • Writers who can’t take advice
  • People who aren’t looking for community and connection
  • Closed-minded people who don’t value diversity
  • Dudes and mansplainers


What’s included:

  • 7-day, 6-night stay in a private room with private bath in an eco-friendly boutique hotel (we are taking over the entire hotel for the retreat) 200 steps from the beach in Puerto Rico
  • Breakfast and lunch each day prepared by a local chef (these meals are vegetarian and let me tell you, even if you’re not vegetarian you’re going to LOVE this food)
  • A welcome dinner on Sunday night and a farewell dinner on Friday (for other dinners you are free to explore the surrounding neighborhood which is known for its yummy local restaurants)
  • Pre-retreat goal setting session via Zoom
  • One-on-one coaching session during the retreat
  • Daily group coaching over lunch


The retreat location:

We are taking over a beautiful, relaxing, eco-friendly boutique hotel called The Dreamcatcher in the Ocean Park neighborhood of San Juan, Puerto Rico. There are tons of indoor and outdoor spaces to write. Most rooms have both a hammock and a writing desk in your room, and all rooms have access to cozy patios and indoor/outdoor spaces where you can re-connect with your writing in bohemian style. 

The Dreamcatcher is just 200 steps from the beach, so your writing sessions can be peppered with quick, sandy strolls to clear your mind and solidify your thoughts. The Ocean Park neighborhood has coffee shops, a yoga studio, and yummy restaurants, and is close (but not too close) to the more highly touristy Condado area (where there are even more restaurants and bars). Ocean Park is a 10-minute cab ride to Old San Juan (in one direction) and the SJU airport (in the other). 

This retreat style offers opportunities for both community and solo writing. Tables in the common areas will be available for co-writing, and there are plenty of spaces available for those who want to write alone (including hammocks, lawn chairs, a chair on the balcony, or the desk in your room). Essential to the success of this style of writing retreat is that whether we write together or apart, we will re-connect at breakfast, lunch, and in the evening to touch base on goals and talk craft. (See retreat schedule below).

You can always choose to forgo writing to plan an afternoon in Old San Juan, a day-trip to El Junque rainforest, or to try paddleboarding (all of these excursions should be arranged on your own, but the Dreamcatcher hotel staff can help you). This is a structured retreat but not an overly structured retreat. You can choose!

This structured writing retreat is based on the research of Dr. Rowena Murray.

Murray R (2015) Writing in Social Spaces: A Social Processes Approach to Academic Writing. London: Routledge

Retreat leaders: This retreat is led by Cathy Mazak and her team of talented, thoughtful writing coaches. Find out more about us and our approach to academic writing at, or in our free Facebook group, I Should Be Writing.




Can I get institutional funding for the retreat?

Yes! Use this template letter and strategy to ask(Make a copy!)


Can I bring my family on the retreat?

No. This retreat is designed for you to love on your writing. By yourself. 🙂


Is this retreat for academics in any field?

 Yes! Cathy Mazak and her team specialize in writing processes that can be adapted to writers in any field.


Is this retreat only for women?

Yes. Anyone who is womxn-identifying is welcome on this retreat. 


What if I need special accommodations?

Reach out to us at and we’ll set you up!


How many spaces are there?

 There are 15 available spaces. Nine spaces were booked as of September 30, so only six spaces left!

What’s the refund policy? 

Due to the nature of this retreat experience, we cannot offer refunds. If you need to cancel your participation in the retreat, please notify us as soon as possible at 


If I have more questions, who can I ask? 

 Email us at!

Academic Women’s Writing Retreat

July 12-18, 2020 retreat schedule


*one-on-one coaching sessions will be scheduled via sign-up sheet upon arrival*


Sunday July 12

3:00 -6:00 Arrivals, settling in, and writing

6:00 p.m. Welcome dinner

7:00 p.m. Retreat goal-setting


Monday, July 13 – Thursday, July 16

8:00 a.m. Community Breakfast & Goal setting

9:00   Writing

12:00-1:00 Lunch, goal check-in, and group coaching

1:00 Writing

3:00 Beach stroll (meet in the dining area if you’d like to join)

5:00 Goal check-in (coaches will be available in the dining area)

6:00 Dinner on your own


Friday July 17

Same schedule but the day ends with a community dinner and farewell party!

Saturday July 18

8:00 a.m. Breakfast buffet

10:00 a.m. Check out time



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