RADAR LAB Information and Instructions

The application deadline is currently closed for 2013 RADAR LAB but learn more about it below.

What is RADAR Lab? 

The LAB is a retreat held in Akumal, Mexico annually in August. The retreat is approximately 11 days long and open to all eligible applicants. Invited writers and artists will live in beautiful, fully-equipped condos located right on the luxurious beaches of the Yucatan peninsula. The retreat is hosted by RADAR’s Artistic Director, Michelle Tea, and RADAR’s Managing Director, Ali Liebegott.

This is actually the view. You could write at that little table if you wanted.

For each day of the retreat, all participants will be expected to work independently on their projects during the mandatory quiet/work hours from 9am – 12pm and 4-6pm. Participants are welcome to work any time of the day in addition to these hours, but the mandatory hours must be observed by all who attend. Daily communal meals (fresh, Yucatan-style Mexican with vegan and gluten-free options) will be provided each evening, and during this time participants are encouraged to discuss their projects and progress with each other.

What will RADAR Productions provide?  

  • 11-day retreat lodging, structure, and 5-hour per day structured writing time
  • Multiple group readings to share your work and hear from others
  • One daily community meal, discussion, and networking with writers
  • Fully stocked kitchen for additional meals
  • Ground transportation between Cancun Airport and Akumal
  • Supportive and luxurious creative environment set on Caribbean Sea

What will I need to provide? 

  • Air transportation to and from Cancun Airport (working in coordination with RADAR’s Managing Director)
  • Project materials
  • Money for incidentals and optional activities
  • Independence, initiative, dedication, and strong interpersonal skills

Criteria for selection* 

  • Previously performed at a RADAR or Sister Spit event
  • Quality of work sample
  • Quality of application
  • Ability to function in and contribute to the proposed retreat environment

* Applications reviewed by internal panel and anonymously by outside, unaffiliated panelists.


 Should I apply?

Dear applicants,

We wanted to provide some addendum information to address common questions from potential applicants. What RADAR LAB offers will be a good fit for some of you and not for others. The information below will help you make an informed decision as whether or not RADAR Lab is the right experience for you.

We want to support writers and artists who otherwise might have limited access to a colony or retreat experience, whose productivity levels benefit from an artistic community, or who need a fire lit under or fresh perspective on their current projects.

The living and working quarters are small and very intimate. For each retreat, 9 participants will be invited to share 3 beach-side condos with RADAR staff. Artists will share three two-bedroom apartments. You can indicate on your application whether or not you’re willing to share a double bed. (This does not impact your eligibility or likelihood for selection! Some people are fine with sharing a bed with a new colleague, others aren’t up for the task!)

There is very limited phone and internet access. We understand a remote environment will not suit some artists while it will absolutely inspire others.

Additionally, the working quarters are intimate. Each condo has 2 bedrooms, several tables with plenty of seating, and a private balcony. Participants are free to work on the beach tables, too. For applicants with disabilities- one of the retreat sites is located on the ground floor with several stairs leading to the condo. Akumal buildings in general are not wheelchair accessible.

YES to RADAR Lab if I –
• can live and work artistically in the described, close environment
• am comfortable sharing a bedroom with other participants
• am flexible about where and how I work
• want to talk with the small group of writers/artists each day about my progress, roadblocks, and experience
• am currently working on substantial writing project (mainly we’re interested in books but other forms will be considered, i.e. plays, performance narratives, etc)
• can fund my airline ticket
• want time and support to continue or complete my project
• have performed at a RADAR Productions-sponsored event

NO to RADAR Lab if I-

• need my own bedroom or work room
• am not currently working on a substantial project
• do not get along in groups
• cannot abide the required work hours (9am- noon and 4-6pm)
• am currently in the research phase of my project and am not writing and/or editing
• need internet access to function or for my retreat success
• require isolation, privacy and lots of physical space for my project
• do not want to discuss my project, progress, and experience with the group
• would need full financial support to make this happen
• consider this my vacation and not a retreat during which I will work
• have never been invited by Michelle Tea to read at a RADAR-sponsored event

 2013 RADAR LAB Application & Instructions

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