Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

Stonecoast Summer Writers' Conference - June 24-29, 2019

For more than thirty summers, writers have gathered on the coast of Maine in search of inspiration amongst a community of people who love writing and reading. At the Stonecoast Writer's Conference, you can hone craft skills, find your voice, and join a community! APPLY NOW!

Because the Stonecoast Writers' Conference is held concurrently with the Stonecoast MFA's Summer Residency, you'll have exclusive access to faculty and programming from one of the country's premier graduate writing programs. Each day you'll choose from a slate of faculty seminars and graduate student presentations that will open you to new ways to think about your work. Our daily programming is designed to expand and challenge your understanding of literature. You'll come away from the conference with a notebook 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 your workshop. In these classes, your work (and the work of your peers) serves as the primary text. We offer workshops in creative writing, fiction writing, and poetry writing. Instructors adapt their classes to suit the students enrolled. Instructors divide class time between craft talk, workshopping student work, and writing exercises. Each student chooses one workshop.

  • ENG 201: The Creative Writing Bootcamp with Stephanie Soileau
    Regardless of genre, good writing is precise, honest, and surprising. If you're searching for 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. As Stephanie says, "Because writing, for me, has been an act of self-liberation and a sometimes challenging exercise in sympathy, I have come to see the practice of storytelling as a moral imperative, the teaching of writing as nothing less than an act of justice...My role as a teacher is not judge but guide." The Bootcamp is open to writers in all genres and of all experience levels
  • ENG 302: Fiction Workshop with Ron Currie, Jr.
    Ron says, "Everything I do as both a writer and a teacher is with the aim of increasing the chances a reader will experience an empathic response. Stories are, after all, properly about the vagaries of human experience, and I want you to write something that someone else will recognize themselves, their experiences, their loves and fears in." Whether you're attempting your first short story or wrapping up a novel, this workshop will help you to put pressure on your prose and strengthen your craft chops

  • ENG 303: Poetry Workshop with Cate Marvin
    Finally, a workshop for poets. Maybe you want to explore new forms. Perhaps recharge your love for poetry, this workshop is for you. As Cate says, "To my mind, poetry is perhaps the most precise creative genre, in that the writer has the options to create his or her own rules, and while this is certainly a liberty, it is one that requires skill and the writer’s awareness of his or her responsibility to the reader. I’m particularly invested in the formal strategies poems may undertake, the integrity of the line, the rearrangement and/or derangement of language and syntax, and invention."

Conference 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 - 6:30      Dinner Break
  • 6:30 - 7:00      Community Gathering
  • 7:00 - 8:00      Faculty & Guest Readings, followed by question and answer session.

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

Special Evening Events for Conference Participants

  • A catered reception with faculty.
  • Open Mic Reading—Take the stage and share your work!


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 of the world famous L.L.Bean Flagship Store and dozens of outlet stores.


A limited number of rooms are available. Interested? Let us know.

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


We are now accepting applications! Click HERE to apply.

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: 207.228.8393

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