USM Summer

Stonecoast Writers' Conference

 

Details

July 19-25, 2015

Each summer a community of peers gathers on the coast of Maine to challenge themselves, to improve their writing, and to forge new friendships. If you’re reading this, chances are you’d fit right in.

At the Stonecoast Writers’ Conference you work closely with a dedicated and award-winning faculty. Daily talks and evening readings will expand and challenge your understanding of literature. We offer workshops in poetry, short fiction, novel, and nonfiction/memoir. And, for the second summer in a row we will be offering a mixed-genre Creative Writing Bootcamp for those of you who don’t want your writing to be limited to a form.

Whether you have only recently started to commit your ideas to paper, or if you are polishing a manuscript before submitting it, the Stonecoast Writers’ Conference has something to offer you.

We offer two workshop models:

  1. Student accepted into the Traditional Morning Workshops (Poetry, Novel, Memoir, and Creative Writing Bootcamp) will start each day with a three-hour workshop with their instructor. Following lunch, an eclectic slate of writers, booksellers, and agents present on topics such as close editing, voice in fiction, the indelible image, and writing humor.

  2. Students who prefer to work more independently are encouraged to apply to our Intensive Afternoon Workshop in Short Fiction. Students accepted into these classes eat lunch before meeting for a two-hour class session. Students are encouraged to stay for the afternoon readings. Mornings are left free so that students can focus on their own writing projects.

If you’re not sure which workshop is right for you, contact Justin Tussing, Faculty Director of the Stonecoast Writers Conference, at 207-228-8393.

Don’t let another summer slip by.

For questions regarding the application process or program content:
Justin Tussing, Director
Stonecoast Writers’ Conference
c/o Department of English
University of Southern Maine
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104-9300
Telephone: 207.228.8393

For questions regarding billing:
Student Services
Professional & Continuing Education
University of Southern Maine
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104-9300
Telephone: 207.780.5900

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Application

We are now accepting applications for the 2015 Conference. Apply Today!

The Stonecoast Writers’ Conference is open to students of all experience levels. However, admission is selective.

Applicants must submit a writing sample, a completed application form, a brief cover letter outlining your writing background and conference goals, and a $200 deposit. This $200 deposit holds your spot in the conference. In the event you are not accepted into the conference, or if there are no spaces available in your preferred workshop, your deposit will be refunded in full. If accepted into the program, this deposit is deducted from your total program tuition and in no longer refundable. After being accepted, if you decide to withdraw from the conference for any reason, the $200 deposit is non-refundable. For details on how to apply, download theapplication form (Available shortly). Once you’ve submitted your application, you should receive a decision from us within two weeks.

When applying to the Stonecoast Writers’ Conference, students must select a particular course of study. Students choose workshops according to the genre they are working in, because of a desire to study with a particular instructor, or because they are seeking a specific challenge.

Accepted Students: After being accepted, if you have questions about the payment process, please reach out to Margo Luken in Professional & Continuing Education Student Services at 207.780.5947 / mluken@usm.maine.edu

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Workshops

In each workshop, regardless of genre, the primary “texts” are the writing samples submitted by you and your peers. Each summer, our instructors adapt their classes to suit the students. Most instructors divide class time between craft talk, workshopping student work, and writing exercises. By customizing their classes according to the needs of its members, our instructors ensure that every student has a personalized workshop.

If you are unsure which workshop best meets your needs, please call Justin Tussing at 207-228-8393.

This summer the Stonecoast Writers’ Conference is offering traditional workshops in short fiction, poetry, memoir, and the novel. These traditional workshops are available for academic credit and for non-credit/continuing education units. We are also offering two afternoon intensive workshops. Intensive Afternoon Workshops offer continuing education units only and may not be taken for academic credit.

Traditional Workshops:

  • Memoir Writing with Elizabeth Peavey
    Writing about personal experience in a way that is both compelling and truthful is a glorious challenge.
  • Poetry Writing with Betsy Sholl
    With the help of Maine’s former Poet Laureate, you will see your poems transform.
  • Novel Writing with Peter Behrens
    It doesn’t matter if you’ve just finished the first draft of a novel or had the first inkling that a novel is lurking in your laptop, Peter offers the feedback and encouragement necessary for you to see your project through to “The End.”

  • Creative Writing Bootcamp with Lewis Robinson
    Regardless of genre, good writing is precise, honest, and surprising. If you want a supportive environment where you feel free to take risks and push yourself, look no further. 

Intensive Afternoon Workshops:

  • Lewis Robinson's Intensive Short Fiction Workshop is designed for intermediate and advanced fiction writers. Students have their mornings free to write. Workshops will use students’ texts to highlight craft ideas.

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Schedule

The below schedule is subject to change. A finalized schedule will be provided closer to program start time.

Sunday, July 19th

Location: Abromson Center, Portland, ME

  • Opening Event – Welcome and Workshop Orientation  – 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Monday, July 20th - Friday, July 24th

Location: Abromson Center, Portland, ME

  • Morning Meet-Up – 9:00 – 9:15
  • Traditional Workshops – 9:15 to 12:15
  • Lunch – 12:15 to 1:00
  • Mid-day Programming* – 1:00 to 3:00
  • Afternoon Intensive Workshops – 1:00 to 3:00
  • Afternoon Readings – 3:30 to 5:00

Saturday, July 25th

Location: Abromson Center, Portland, ME

  • Traditional Workshops – 9:00 to 12:00
  • Closing Ceremonies  - 12:00 to 1:00

*Each day, traditional workshop participants have a choice of events to attend; in this way, each student personalizes his or her experience at the conference. Recent Mid-Day Programming included:

  • Literary Agent Visits
  • Debut Writers Panel
  • How Dialogue Works
  • Professional Writing
  • Writing Nature Poetry
  • Ten Rules for Freelancing
  • Using Humor in Your Writing
  • The Modern Writer: Social Media
  • Reading Before an Audience
  • The Role of the Indie Bookshop
  • Point of View and You
  • Bookbinding Workshop
  • Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance
  • Writing About Personal Experience
  • Revision is Writing

Special Evening Events:

  • Lobster Bake on Casco Bay—a chance to connect with the stone coast of Maine.
  • Afternoon Readings overlooking Back Cove—afternoon readings will include faculty and guest speakers.
  • Stonecoast Hits the Town—enjoy an organized night on the town with your fellow program participants.

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Tuition & Fees 

All applications must be accompanied by a $200 deposit. This $200 deposit holds your spot in the conference. In the event you are not accepted into the conference, or if there are no spaces available in your preferred workshop, your deposit will be refunded in full. If accepted into the program, this deposit is deducted from your total program tuition and in no longer refundable. After being accepted, if you decide to withdraw from the conference for any reason, the $200 deposit is non-refundable.

Tuition:
Students select tuition options within their application form. Tuition does not include housing.

  • Traditional Workshops:
    Students who are accepted into one of the traditional workshops have the choice of registering for three (3) undergraduate academic credits or as a non-credit/CEU course. A confirmation and invoice will be sent via e-mail (to the email account listed on the application) once registration is processed.

    The cost of the traditional workshops covers participation in morning traditional workshops, mid-day programming activities, evening readings, and fees, course handouts, daily lunch, coffee all day every day, special events, commencement, and closing ceremonies.
    • Academic Credit – Traditional Workshop   $1122
    • Non-Credit - Traditional Workshop              $899
  • Intensive Workshops:
    Intensive Workshops can only be taken for continuing education units (CEUs) and cannot be taken for academic credit. These afternoon courses run Monday-Friday, 1:30-3:30pm. Since space in limited, preference is given to Stonecoast Alumni. Cost of the intensive workshops covers participation in afternoon intensive workshops and evening readings, and includes tuition and fees, course handouts, daily lunch, coffee all day every day, and a final banquet on Friday.
    • Non-Credit Intensive Workshop                   $599


Refund & Cancellation Policy
: 

If you are not accepted into the conference your $200 deposit will be refunded in full.  However, upon acceptance in the program, should you decide to withdraw from this conference for any reason, the $200 deposit fee is non-refundable. 

In order to receive a full tuition, notice of cancellation must be received in writing on or before June 20th, 2015.


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Faculty

  • Peter Behrens, Novel
    Behrens is the author the novels The O’Briens and The Law of Dreams and the story collections Travelling Light and Night Driving. Stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic MonthlyTin HouseBrickBest Canadian StoriesBest Canadian Essays, and many anthologies. Behrens is a native of Montreal and was educated at Lower Canada College, Concordia University, and McGill. He has held a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Creative Writing at Stanford University, and was a Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. He lives in Maine and Texas. Visit his website.
  • Elizabeth Peavey, Memoir
    Peavey is the author of Glorious Slow Going: Maine Stories of Art, Adventure and Friendship, which was a finalist for the John M. Cole Maine-themed Nonfiction Award in the 2012 Maine Literary Awards. She is also the author of Outta My Way: An Odd Life Lived Loudly and of Maine & Me, which was awarded the Maine Literary Award for Best Maine-themed Book. Visit her website.

  • Lewis Robinson, Creative Writing Bootcamp & Intensive Short Fiction Workshop
    Robinson’s first book, Officer Friendly and Other Stories, won the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award. He has also published a novel, Water Dogs. For more information, visit his website.

  • Betsy Sholl, Poetry
    Betsy Sholl has published eight collections of poetry, most recently Otherwise Unseeable (winner of the 2014 Four Lakes Prize in Poetry). Sholl was a founding member of Alice James Books and published four collections with them: Rough Cradle, Changing Faces, Appalachian Winter and Rooms Overhead. Among her awards are a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts, and two Maine Writer's Fellowships. Her work has been included in several anthologies, including Letters to America and Contemporary American Poetry on Race. For more information, visit her website.
  • Justin Tussing, Conference Director
    Justin is the author of the novel The Best People in the World. A member of the faculty at the University of Southern Maine, Justin is the Interim Director of the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA Program. Previously he has held administrative positions at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, The Iowa Young Writers Studio, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. His second novel, Vexation Lullaby, will be published by Catapult Press in 2016.

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Location

Portland aerial

The coast of Maine is both metaphor and substance.

The Stonecoast Writers' Conference will be held at the Abromson Center on the University of Southern Maine's Portland Campus. Our vibrant Portland campus is right at the heart of this energetic, diverse city, nationally known for its arts and culture, outdoor lifestyle–and amazing food!

  • Local Hotels:
    There are a wide variety of hotels in the Portland area. For more information about hotels in the area, go to http://www.visitportland.com/
  • A Word About Portland:
    A Creative Community on Maine's Scenic Coast

    Here the absolute meets the plastic, the known meets the unknown. Water and land are locked in a marriage of inconvenience. The jagged rocks are worn smooth; the sinuous waves are shattered.

    Authentic- by nature with its heady mixture of artistic and outdoor adventures, our region is stylish and sophisticated, yet remains genuine and unpretentious, a place where grey flannel and plaid flannel coexist companionably. And underlying the latest tech, fashion, and culinary scene is a deep sense of continuity. We invite you to experience the character of a region that blends the present with a very special past.

“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can."

Herman Melville-Moby Dick

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Housing

Housing is not included in program tuition.

As you know, summer is high season in Maine and that holds true for Portland in particular.   Demand is high and rooms can get pricey.  

There are a wide variety of hotel, motels, bed and breakfasts in the Portland area. For more information about hotels in the area, go to http://www.visitportland.com/

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Contact

For questions regarding workshops, the application process, or program content:
Justin Tussing, Director
Stonecoast Writers’ Conference
c/o Department of English
University of Southern Maine
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104-9300
Telephone: 207.228.8393

 

Accepted Students: After being accepted, if you have questions about the payment process, please reach out to Margo Luken in Professional & Continuing Education Student Services at 207.780.5947 / mluken@usm.maine.edu

USM Portland Campus - Abromson Center at 88 Bedford Street
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104-9300

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