2020 Eligibility, Requirements, & Guidelines

Read this page before starting your application

Applications are closed. We are leaving the information up for writers curious about applying in 2021, but please note our guidelines might change.

Eligibility and requirements:

Your application must meet all these criteria:

  • You apply with one musical, which can be at any stage of development, as long as it has not been published or licensed. Even if your musical has had a full production, you can apply to do rewrites.

  • Writers can be early-career or established.

  • If the project is not wholly original or in the public domain, you must have all necessary rights for all levels of production. You’ll be asked to provide documentation such as a letter from the rights holder proving that you have the rights, when you apply.

  • All members of the writing team must be in residence the entire week, Sunday to Sunday. In the application, you indicate which weeks your entire team is available. If your application reaches the finals in late March, you can update your availabilities at that time.

  • A musical can only be submitted twice to Rhinebeck Writers Retreat.

  • Music must be original, not from a pre-existing source.

  • There are no pets and no smoking allowed in the writers' home.

  • All members of the writing team must be at least 22 years old when they apply.

  • If you are selected, there is an agreement we sign. We ask for no money and we don't take a royalty. The only thing we require is a title page credit on all future readings, showcases, productions, and publications as follows:Title of musical was developed, in part, at Rhinebeck Writers Retreat.” 


  • You will be applying as a team, with one person designated as the “Primary Contact”, who will be responsible for communicating all information to the rest of the team. 


  • The application requires 4 songs. If 4 songs aren’t yet completed from your musical, you will include other songs by the composer, but at least 2 of the 4 songs must be from the submitted musical. 

  • The application requires 25 pages of the book of the musical. If you don’t have a first draft, you will submit a detailed outline of the musical you want to work on plus an excerpt from another play by the bookwriter.

  • We want to consider all applicants no matter what their living arrangements require (i.e. one writing partner has a child and a caregiver). If your application is selected, we will work with you to meet those needs.

  • We don't discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation. If a writer requires wheelchair access, we will provide accessible housing for the entire team in one location, upon request.


  • For some weeks, we host a “Meet the Writers” event on the last night, which is a fun, informal gathering where you talk about your show and share a few songs with members of the public.


  • If you are a solo writer, please note that our panelists have historically given preference to collaborating teams, because of our value in bringing writers together for intensive work. Use the "Background and artistic goals" statement to make your case for your need for a week alone to work.


  • We are changing one thing this year compared to last year. Only writers can apply. We find that a one-week retreat best meets the needs of a musical theatre writing team to focus solely on writing, rather than their work with collaborators.


  • The Early deadline for applications is Monday, February 3 at 6:00pm EST, and there is no fee. The Final deadline is Monday, February 10 at 6:00pm EST, and the fee is $25, to help cover administrative costs.


  • Due to the number of submissions, we regret that we can't provide feedback on applications or the panelists' decisions.

  Copyright 2020 Rhinebeck Writers Retreat.  

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