Office of International Programs


Writing and Myth: A Creative Writing Workshop in Greece

May 16-31, 2014

RSP 399 (3 credits)

Theater of Dionysis

Greece! The birthplace of the epic, lyric poetry, music, philosophy (home to the Olympian gods!) and the perfect place to find inspiration for creative writing. In this three-credit class, you will write in prose or poetry and produce regular drafts of work that we’ll workshop in daily sessions. In addition to some required reading, the course includes attending talks on craft, and guest lectures and readings by contemporary Greek writers including poet A.E. Stallings and novelist Nick Papendreou. Course themes will include myth, personal odysseys, Greek culture (both ancient and modern) and other themes as they develop.

The program will start with several nights in Athens, where you will have the opportunity to visit the Parthenon on the Acropolis and the Benaki Museum, and meet with one or two contemporary Greek writers. Then we will move to the island of Lesvos for the remainder of the class. There will be time for walks in the stunning village of Molyvos; a day trip to the birthplace of the ancient lyric poet, Sappho; and even an optional donkey ride! The program is open to students and community members at all writing levels.

Accommodations on Lesvos will be at the Aphrodite Hotel, in the historic village of Molyvos. Services include a pool, seaside taverna, van runs to the village center, mini-fridges in rooms and Wi-Fi. In Athens, we will stay at the Acropolis View Hotel, centrally located near the Plaka.

This course has been equally enjoyed by students and community members alike.


Besty Sholl, MFA, Maine’s Poet Laureate; Assistant Professor of English at the University of Southern Maine; faculty in Vermont College’s MFA program; author of eight books of poetry; a National Endowment for the Arts fellow.

Mary Snell, MFA, instructor in the USM Russell Scholars Program; director of the USM/Aegean Arts & Cultural Exchange; president of the Hellenic Society of Maine; and a summer resident of Greece for over two decades.

Readings by Guest Writers: MacArthur Fellow, poet A.E. Stallings, and well-known Greek novelist Nick Papandreaou


The application deadline is March 17, 2014. The deadline for the first $100 deposit (applied to the program cost) is February 14, 2014.

A complete application includes all of the following:

  • Signed, completed application form*
  • Second $100 non-refundable deposit (applied to the program cost)
  • Typed 200-word essay
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty member or academic advisor (only if you are taking the course for credit)
  • Official copies of all academic transcripts (only if you are taking the course for credit)

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. You will be notified by e-mail of your application status. If your application is not accepted, the nonrefundable deposit will be returned. If the program is canceled for any reason by the USM, all deposits will be returned.

* If you are having trouble downloading the application, please contact us at (207) 780-4959 or and we will send you one. You may also want to try upgrading to the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Tuition and Fees

The estimated program fee is $3080. The cost of tuition and regular university fees is additional. The program fee includes accommodation, airfare from Boston, scheduled in-country travel, site visits, field trips and iNext's comprehensive insurance plan.

Not included in the program fee will be the cost of tuition, fees, books, academic supplies, food, or other personal expenses. Three credits of undergraduate tuition and regular university fees is $917. All participants on USM travel programs receive the in-state tuition rate regardless of residency. Participants auditing the course still have to pay tuition.

All participants will be automatically registered for a payment plan. The two $100 deposits will go towards the cost of the program and the remaining balance will be due as follows:

50% of the balance due April 5, 2014

Remaining balance due May 5, 2014

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Federal financial aid and loans are available to matriculated students who participate in travel courses. In order to receive the benefit of financial aid, students must be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits during the summer for a summer travel course. If financial aid does not cover the full cost of the program, students are responsible for paying the remaining balance according to the payment plan schedule.

Include the costs of this course in your FAFSA application. If you have questions about financial aid or completing your FAFSA, please contact the financial aid office at (207) 780-4166. If you are not a matriculated student at USM, please check with the financial aid office at your institution.

USM's Office of International Programs offers small scholarships for students enrolled in summer travel courses. Scholarships are competitive and awards are up to $500. The application deadline is March 17, 2014. Students applying for the International Summer Scholarship must apply to a travel course before or at the same time as submitting a scholarship application.