USM Summer

Stonecoast Writers' Conference

Maine's water front

 

Details

July 20-26, 2014

Each summer a community of peers gathers 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 work closely with a dedicated and award-winning faculty. Daily talks and evening readings will expand and challenge your understanding of literature. We offer workshops in poetry, short fiction, novel, and nonfiction/memoir. And, for the second summer in a row we will be offering a mixed-genre Creative Writing Bootcamp for those of you who don’t want your writing to be limited to a form.

Whether you have only recently started to commit your ideas to paper, or if you are polishing a manuscript before submitting it, the Stonecoast Writers’ Conference has something to offer you.

We offer two workshop models:

  1. Student accepted into the Traditional Morning Workshops (Poetry, Short Fiction, Novel, Memoir, and Creative Writing Bootcamp) will start each day with a three-hour workshop with their instructor. Following lunch, an eclectic slate of writers, booksellers, and agents present on topics such as close editing, voice in fiction, the indelible image, and writing humor.

  2. Students who prefer to work more independently are encouraged to apply to our Intensive Afternoon Workshops in Memoir and Short Fiction. Students accepted into these classes eat lunch at the Stone House before meeting upstairs for a two-hour class session. Students are encouraged to stay for the afternoon readings. Mornings are left free so that students can focus on their own writing projects.

If you’re not sure which workshop is right for you, contact Justin Tussing, Faculty Director of the Stonecoast Writers Conference, at 207-228-8393.

Don’t let another summer slip by.

For questions regarding the application process, program content, or your writing:
Justin Tussing, Director
Stonecoast Writers’ Conference
c/o Department of EnglishUniversity of Southern Maine
P.O. Box 9300Portland, ME 04104-9300
Telephone: 207.228.8393

Accepted Students: After being accepted, if you have questions about the payment process, please reach out to Margo Luken in Professional & Continuing Education Student Services at 207.780.5947 / mluken@usm.maine.edu.
USM Portland Campus - Abromson Center at 88 Bedford Street
P.O. Box 9300Participants in Dining Room
Portland, ME 04104-9300

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Application

We are now accepting applications for the 2014 Conference. Apply Today

The Stonecoast Writers’ Conference is open to students of all experience levels. However, admission is selective.

Applicants must submit a writing sample, a completed application form, a brief cover letter outlining your writing background and conference goals, and a $200 deposit. This $200 deposit holds your spot in the conference. In the event you are not accepted into the conference, or if there are no spaces available in your preferred workshop, your deposit will be refunded in full. If accepted into the program, this deposit is deducted from your total program tuition and in no longer refundable. After being accepted, if you decide to withdraw from the conference for any reason, the $200 deposit is non-refundable. For details on how to apply, download the application form. Once you’ve submitted your application, you should receive a decision from us within two weeks.

When applying to the Stonecoast Writers’ Conference, students must select a particular course of study. Students choose workshops according to the genre they are working in, because of a desire to study with a particular instructor, or because they are seeking a specific challenge.

Apply Accepted Students: After being accepted, if you have questions about the payment process, please reach out to Margo Luken in Professional & Continuing Education Student Services at 207.780.5947 / mluken@usm.maine.edu Stone House Workshop

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Workshops

In each workshop, regardless of genre, the primary “texts” are the writing samples submitted by you and your peers. Each summer, our instructors adapt their classes to suit the students. 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 every student has a personalized workshop.

If you are unsure which workshop best meets your needs, please call Justin Tussing at 207-228-8393.

This summer the Stonecoast Writers’ Conference is offering traditional workshops in short fiction, poetry, memoir, and the novel. These traditional workshops are available for academic credit and for non-credit/continuing education units. We are also offering two afternoon intensive workshops. Intensive Afternoon Workshops offer continuing education units only and may not be taken for academic credit.

Traditional Workshops:

  • Memoir Writing with Ann Hood
    Writing about personal experience in a way that is both compelling and truthful is a glorious challenge. It’s little wonder that no genre has experienced more growth in the last twenty years.
  • Poetry Writing with Gibson Fay-LeBlanc
    Whether you’ve been breaking lines since you were in short pants, or if you’ve come to poetry more recently, the cool, green light of the Wolfe Den Patio offers an oasis for contemplation and composition.
  • Novel Writing Workshop with Lily King
    It doesn’t matter if you’ve just finished the first draft of a novel or had the first inkling that a novel is lurking in your laptop, Lily offers the feedback and encouragement necessary for you to see your project through to “The End.”
  • Short Fiction Workshop with Lewis Robinson
    This course is designed for students who have completed a few stories and are looking to push themselves. Lewis is a consummate (and obsessive) craftsman; this course will help you see your work—and the potential of your work—in a new light.

  • Creative Writing Bootcamp with Susan Conley
    Regardless of genre, good writing is precise, honest, and surprising. If you want a supportive environment where you feel free to take risks and push yourself, look no further. 

Intensive Afternoon Workshops:

  • Ann Hood’s Intensive Memoir Workshop is for students who want to have their mornings free to write. Most students will have done significant work in the genre and will be working on developing or completing writing projects.

  • Lewis Robinson’s Intensive Short Fiction Workshop is designed for our most masochistic fiction writers. Craft talk will range from the practical to the theoretical.

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Schedule

The below schedule is subject to change. A finalized schedule will be provided closer to program start time.

Sunday, July 20th

Location: Stone House, Freeport, ME

  • Opening Event – Welcome and Workshop Orientation  – 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Monday, July 21st - Friday, July 25th

Location: Stone House, Freeport, ME

  • LunchMorning Meet-Up – 9:00 – 9:15
  • Traditional Workshops – 9:15 to 12:15
  • Lunch – 12:15 to 1:00
  • Mid-day Programming* – 1:00 to 3:00
  • Afternoon Intensive Workshops – 1:00 to 3:00
  • Afternoon Readings – 3:30 to 5:00

Saturday, July 26th

Location: Stone House, Freeport, ME

  • Traditional Workshops – 9:00 to 12:00
  • Closing Ceremonies  - 12:00 to 1:00

*Each day, traditional workshop participants have a choice of events to attend; in this way, each studentpersonalizes his or her experience at the conference. Recent Mid-Day Programming included:

  • Literary Agent Visits
  • Debut Writers Panel
  • How Dialogue Works
  • Professional Writing
  • Writing Nature PoetryStone House Participants
  • Ten Rules for Freelancing
  • Using Humor in Your Writing
  • The Modern Writer: Social Media
  • Reading Before an Audience
  • The Role of the Indie Bookshop
  • Point of View and You
  • Bookbinding Workshop
  • Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance
  • Writing About Personal Experience
  • Revision is Writing

Special Evening Events:

  • Afternoon Readings at the Stone House – Afternoon readings will include faculty and guest speakers.
  • Stonecoast Hits the Town – enjoy an organized night on the town with your fellow program participants.
  • Friday Night Banquet at the Stone House – End the program with an evening of student readings and a traditional Maine Lobster Bake.

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Tuition & Fees 

Deposit:
All applications must be accompanied by a $200 deposit. This $200 deposit holds your spot in the conference. In the event you are not accepted into the conference, or if there are no spaces available in your preferred workshop, your deposit will be refunded in full. If accepted into the program, this deposit is deducted from your total program tuition and in no longer refundable. After being accepted, if you decide to withdraw from the conference for any reason, the $200 deposit is non-refundable.

Tuition:
Students select tuition options within their application form. Tuition does not include housing.

  • Traditional Workshops:
    Students who are accepted into one of the traditional workshops have the choice of registering for three (3) undergraduate academic credits or as a non-credit/CEU course. A confirmation and invoice will be sent via e-mail (to the email account listed on the application) once registration is processed.

    The cost of the traditional workshops covers participation in morning traditional workshops, mid-day programming activities, evening readings, and fees, course handouts, daily lunch, coffee all day every day, a final banquet on Friday evening at the Stone House, commencement, and closing ceremonies.
    • Academic Credit – Traditional Workshop   $1122
    • Non-Credit - Traditional Workshop              $899
  • Intensive Workshops:
    Intensive Workshops can only be taken for continuing education units (CEUs) and cannot be taken for academic credit. These afternoon courses run Monday-Friday, 1:30-3:30pm. Since space in limited, preference is given to Stonecoast Alumni. Cost of the intensive workshops covers participation in afternoon intensive workshops and evening readings, and includes tuition and fees, course handouts, daily lunch, coffee all day every day, and a final banquet on Friday.
    • Non-Credit Intensive Workshop                   $599

Refund & Cancellation Policy: 

If you are not accepted into the conference your $200 deposit will be refunded in full.  However, upon acceptance in the program, should you decide to withdraw from this conference for any reason, the $200 deposit fee is non-refundable. 

Stone HouseIn order to receive a full tuition, notice of cancellation must be received in writing on or before June 20th, 2014.

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Faculty

  • Susan Conley, Creative Writing Bootcamp
    Conley’s first novel, Paris Was the Place was published by Knopf last summer. Her memoir, The Foremost Good Fortune, was an O Magazine "Top Ten" pick and a "Book of the Week" with Slate Magazine. A cofounder of Portland's The Telling Room, Susan has an MFA from San Diego State University. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times Magazine, and Ploughshares, among other places. For more information, visit her website.
     
  • Ann Hood, Memoir
    Hood is author of the twelve books, including the novel, The Obituary Writer, and the memoir, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief. She has won a Best American Spiritual Writing Award, the Paul Bowles Prize for Short Fiction, and two Pushcart Prizes. This will be her second summer at Stonecoast. Visit her website.
  • Lily King, Novel
    King's newest novel, Euphoria, will be published this summer! Her previous books include, The Pleasing Hour, a Barnes and Noble Discover Award winner and New York Times Notable Book, The English Teacher—a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year, a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year, and the winner of the Maine Fiction Award. Father of the Rain, her third novel, won the 2010 New England Book Award for Fiction. For more information, visit her website.

  • Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Poetry
    Fay-LeBlanc’s first poetry collection, Death of the Ventriloquist, won the Vassar Miller Prize. “The tension that permeates his poetry—what is seen and unseen, said and eavesdropped, true and trickery—culminates in a debut that rings out long after Fay-LeBlanc’s lips stop moving” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). For more information, visit his website.
  • Lewis Robinson, Short Fiction & Intensive Short Fiction Workshop
    Robinson’s first book, Officer Friendly and Other Stories, won the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award. He has also published a novel, Water Dogs. For more information, visit his website.

  • Justin Tussing, Conference Director
    Justin is the author of the novel The Best People in the World. A member of the faculty at the University of Southern Maine, Justin is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Previously he has held administrative positions at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, The Iowa Young Writers Studio, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He is currently at work on a novel about medicine, rock and roll, and parents.

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Location

The coast of Maine is both metaphor and substance.

Here the absolute meets the plastic, the known meets the unknown. Water and land are locked in a marriage of inconvenience. The jagged rocks are worn smooth; the sinuous waves are shattered.

USM Stone HouseEach July the Stonecoast Writers’ Conference meets at the Stone House, a waterfront estate designed by John Calvin Stevens. The Colonial Revival style building is located near the tip of Wolfe’s Neck on Casco Bay. The property is surrounded by extensive rhododendron gardens and pastureland. Most classrooms have water views. Located approximately five miles outside of the center of bustling Freeport, the Stone House was donated to the University of Southern Maine by Mrs. Eleanor Houston Smith.

“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can."

Herman Melville-Moby Dick

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Housing

Housing is not included in program tuition.

As you know, summer is high season in Maine and that holds true for the charming village of Freeport in particular.   Demand is high and rooms can get pricey.  We have negotiated a reduced rate for a limited* number of rooms at the Holiday Inn Express for Stonecoast Writer’s Conference participants.

Holiday Inn Express
$130 weekdays and $166 on weekends
Located just off I-295, and not far from the center of Freeport, the Holiday Inn Express is conveniently located.  It features free internet access, a fitness center and indoor pool and the overnight rate includes breakfast each day.

*reserve early!  Mention Stonecoast Writer’s Conference room block code SCW for the week of July 20th – 26th when making your reservation.  This reduced rate will expire by June 20, 2014.


A Word About Freeport:
LL BeanFreeport is located on the shores of beautiful Casco Bay. Well known for its outlet shopping, the town is rich in history and recreational opportunities.   Home to LL Bean, Freeport is a great place to visit; Yankee Magazine selected Freeport as the Best Shopping Town in New England. The small town has myriad opportunities for shopping, recreating, and outdoor enjoyment, too. A wide variety of accommodations are available to suit all tastes.  There are restaurants, pubs and coffee shops all within an easy walk of the downtown area.

There are a wide variety of hotel, motels, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds in the Freeport/Brunswick area. For more information about hotels in the area, go to http://www.visitmaine.com/ 

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Contact

For questions regarding workshops, the application process, or program content:
Justin Tussing, Director
Stonecoast Writers’ Conference
Participants talking in front of Stone Housec/o Department of English
University of Southern Maine
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104-9300
Telephone: 207.228.8393

 

Accepted Students: After being accepted, if you have questions about the payment process, please reach out to Margo Luken in Professional & Continuing Education Student Services at 207.780.5947 / mluken@usm.maine.edu

USM Portland Campus - Abromson Center at 88 Bedford Street
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104-9300

 

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