We are now accepting application to the 2023 Stonecoast Writers’ Conference.  Our program will run from the morning of Tuesday, June 20 through noon on Sunday, June 25.

Because the conference runs concurrently with the MFA’s Summer Residency, you’ll have exclusive access to the faculty and programming of one of the country’s premier graduate writing programs. That means, in addition to your workshop class, participants will learn from Stonecoast faculty seminars and readings, visiting scholars, and all the attendant programming. We’ll also have special events just for conferencegoers. 

Whether you’ve been working on your memoir in secret or looking for inspiration, spending six days immersed in literary culture will help you raise your work to the next level.

Students worskshopping around a table.

Each day you’ll be able to choose from a diverse slate of seminars and presentations that will open you to new ways to think about the possibilities in your work. Our daily programming is designed to expand and challenge your understanding of literature. At the end of the conference your notebook will be brimming with fresh inspiration as well as a deeper connection to the writing life, your writing life. Chances are you’ll also make some lasting friends.

The Writing Workshops:

Your conference experience centers around the workshop. In these classes, your work (and the work of your peers) serves as the primary text. Faculty focus on providing constructive criticism that can help you unlock your writing. Class discussions provide opportunities to discuss theories and practical application of writing craft. Each instructor adapts their class to reflect the interest and abilities of the students. Generative writing exercises ensure that you’ll have threads of new work to follow after the conference ends.

This summer we are offering two distinct workshop classes. Each workshop is limited to ten students.

  • ENG 302: Fiction Workshop with Ron Currie, Jr.
    A workshop for students who want to take their fiction to the next level. In addion to workshopping your prose, there will be opportunities to generate new work and seed future projects. You will leave with sharpened skills, new work in progress, and forward momentum for revision that will help you create writing that soars. For more information about Ron, please visit his website: http://www.roncurrieauthor.com/
  • ENG 304: Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Workshop with Debra Marquart
    Whether you’re working on your memoir or crafting lyrical essays, this course offers you an intense exploration of writing craft. Students explore interiority, irony, metaphor, structure, voice/style, praxis, and truth, to name a few. Workshops will be supplemented with writing exercises to ensure that after six days of work, you’ll have months of material to explore. If you’re searching for a supportive environment where you can explore taking risks and push yourself, look no further. For more information about Debra, please visit her website: https://debramarquart.com/

Daily Schedule

  • 8:30 – 9:30      Stonecoast MFA Graduating Student Presentations 
  • 9:45 – 12:15    Creative Writing Workshops
  • 12:15 – 1:15     Lunch Break
  • 1:30 – 3:00       Stonecoast MFA Faculty Seminars and Panels
  • 3:25 – 4:15       Stonecoast MFA Graduating Student Readings
  • 4:30 – 5:00      Pop-Up classes (informal talks led by professional writers)
  • 4:30 – 6:30      Dinner Break
  • 6:30 – 7:00      Community Gathering
  • 7:00 – 8:00      Faculty & Guest Readings, Symposiums, Open Mics

**Participants choose which events to attend each day; in this way, each participant tailors their conference experience to reflect their interests.

The Stonecoast Writers’ Conference is held at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, Maine. Located on Casco Bay, approximately 20 minutes north of Portland, Freeport is home to the world-famous L.L.Bean Flagship Store and scenic state parks.

A limited number of rooms will be available at the Harraseeket Inn. Interested? Let us know. For information about other lodging options in the Freeport area, please click HERE.

The total cost, for your workshop, programming, morning coffee service and catered lunch is $1200. 

Online applications will be available here. We use a rolling admission process, until spaces are filled. 

UMAINE students are eligible for expedited admission. Contact us to learn more.


For questions regarding the application process or program content:
Justin Tussing, Director
Stonecoast Writers’ Conference

University of Southern Maine
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104-9300
Telephone: 207.272-2957

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