Office of Registration & Scheduling Services

Summer Stonecoast Writers' Conference

The Stonecoast Writers' Conference will be back, July 2018!

We are excited to announce that we will be collaborating again this year with the renowned Stonecoast MFA. Summer conference participants will receive the personalized attention they have come to expect from their workshop leaders, but they will also gain access to the programming that makes the Stonecoast MFA one of the country's premier low-residency programs.

Each day, in addition to your 90 minute workshop, you’ll get to choose from a slate of readings, presentations, and talks, including graduate-level seminars delivered by the award-winning writers who make up the Stonecoast faculty, writers like Rick Bass, Breena Clarke, Aaron Hamburger, Cara Hoffman, and Liz Hand. With multiple programming options throughout the day, each participant can tailor a conference experience that matches their interests and helps them to reach their personal writing goals.


For more than thirty-five years, a community of writers has gathered 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'll work closely with a dedicated and award-winning faculty. Our daily programming is designed to expand and challenge your understanding of literature. You'll come away from the conference with a greater understanding of writing craft, a notebook brimming with fresh inspiration, and a deeper connection to the writing life, your writing life.

We will be offering two workshops:

  • ENG 201: The Creative Writing Bootcamp
    Regardless of genre, good writing is precise, honest, and surprising. If you want a supportive environment where you can explore taking risks and push yourself, look no further. While student work will be discussed in workshop, there is also a big emphasis on generating new work. You will leave the class energized and eager to get back to your desk. The Bootcamp is open to writers in all genres and of all experience levels.

  • ENG 302: Fiction Writing 
    Writers working in narrative prose should consider the Fiction Writing class. Whether you're committed to short stories, fairy tales, or wrapping up a novel, this workshop will help you to polish your prose and strengthen your craft chops.

The Workshop Process

In each workshop, regardless of genre, the primary “texts” are the writing samples submitted by you and your peers. Each  instructor adapt their classes to suit the students who have enrolled. 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 each class is unique.


Simple Daily events:

  • 8:30 - 9:30      Stonecoast MFA Graduating Student Presentations*
  • 9:45 - 12:15    Workshop Classes with your faculty member
  • 12:15 - 1:15    Lunch
  • 1:30 - 3:00      Stonecoast MFA Faculty Seminars and Panels**
  • 3:25 - 4:15      Stonecoast MFA Graduating Student Readings
  • 4:15 - 7:00      Free Time (Reading, Writing, Dinner)
  • 7:00 - 8:00      Faculty & Guest Readings, followed by Q & A

**Each day, participants have a choice of events to attend; in this way, each student personalizes his or her experience at the conference. Here's a sample of some of last summer's seminars:

  • Reading Closely, Reading Far: Stories of Mavis Gallant with Sarah Braunstein
  • The Dynamics of the Poetic Line with Jeanne Marie Beaumont
  • Plotting: The Dark Art with James Patrick Kelly
  • The Sentence as a Unit of Thought with T. Fleischman
  • From Story to Novel with Theodora Goss
  • Voices in My Head: Sorting out POV with Breena Clarke
  • From Pitching to Publication with Suzanne Stempek Shea
  • Know Your Rights with David Anthony Durham

Special Evening Events for Conference Participants

  • Open Mic Reading—Take the stage and share your work!
  • Stonecoast Hits the Town—a chance to get to know your writing peers away from the classroom.


To be announced shortly


The Stonecoast Writers' Conference will be held at the Harraseeket Inn, Freeport, Maine. 


Housing is not included in program tuition. Since summer is high season in Maine, you are advised to secure lodging arrangements well in advance of the conference.

There are a wide variety of hotel, motels, bed and breakfasts in the Freeport area. For more information, go to


We will be accepting applications for the 2018 Conference shortly.


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 for academic credit:
Student Financial Services 
University of Southern Maine
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104-9300
Telephone: 207.780.5250

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