Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

2023 Stonecoast Writers' Conference (dates TBA)

The 2023 Stonecoast Writers' Confrence will run concurrently with the Stonecoast 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 you workshop class, participants will learn fromStonecoast 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.

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.

  • ENG 201: The Creative Writing Bootcamp
    Elements of good writing transcend genre: sensory detail, metaphor, precise language, surprising imagery, vivid characters, original voice, honesty, and maintaining control of the material. In this workshop we'll take risks while honing our writerly skills. Bootcamp uses a combination of workshopping and guided writing to get your literary muscles into shape. You will leave with sharpened skills, new work in progress, and forward momentum for revision that will help you create writing that soars. 
    If you're searching for a supportive environment where you can explore taking risks and push yourself, look no further. 

  • ENG 304: Creative Nonfiction Workshop
    Whether you're working on your memoir or crafting lyrical essays, this course offers you an intense exploration of writing craft. Students explote 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.

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.


There are a limited number of rooms 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. 


Applications will be available in January. We will begin reviewing applications at the end of February. 

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