Upcoming: March 14 & June 6, 2020

Real Talk: A Workshop on Dialogue in Fiction

Well-written dialogue not only captures the unique, specific voices of fictional characters, but also helps a writer structure and revise scenes. Dialogue contributes to character development, summarizes situations, and reveals emotional subtext, particularly when in direct contrast with a character’s actions.

In this workshop, participants will explore these different functions of dialogue. Using a series of examples from literature and film, the class will analyze and discuss a variety of approaches to getting at the real rhythms and content of what people say.

Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance

Upcoming: July 15, 2020

Being There: Defining Sense of Place, Deepening Story

Author Rebecca Solnit describes sense of place as “…the sixth sense, an internal compass and map made by memory and spatial perception together.”

Using the opening section of Russell Banks’ novel The Sweet Hereafter as a model, this course will examine the essentials of writing landscape and setting in fiction and creative nonfiction, including the ways a well-developed sense of place can contribute to character development, theme, and scene structure.

Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program


Professional Development

Don’t Submit, Share! How to Manage the Process of Publishing in Literary Journals

Many well-intentioned writers enthusiastically set out to submit their work to literary journals, only to encounter numerous roadblocks.

This seminar demystifies the submission process by offering strategies for overcoming obstacles, clarifying personal goals, and creating a simple, actionable plan to get one’s writing in front of editors and, ultimately, readers.

Professional Development

Indie Publishing 101: What Writers Need to Know About Turning an Idea into a Book

Changes in the traditional publishing industry have made it incumbent on writers to produce and promote their own work.

This workshop will examine one writer’s DIY publishing project, Two for the Road: Adventures in Maine, through original concept, layout and design, finding funding, getting editorial input (crucial!), printing, publication, and the book’s launch.

Writing Craft

Who is Talking? A Workshop on Point of View and Narrative Voice

Deciding which narrative point of view will best serve a story or novel is challenging. In Writing Fiction, Janet Burroway suggests that writers consider the following deceptively simple questions: “Who is talking? To whom? At what distance? And with what limitations?”

This first of two creative writing classes tackles the complex issues of selecting a point of view by examining how various authors handle POV, discussion of participant drafts, and targeted writing exercises.

Writing Craft

Risk & Wonder: Creating the Innovative Short Story

If, as author Diane Lefer says, “…answers are suspect and bizarre juxtapositions are part of daily life,” then it follows that for some writers, traditional story structures fail to capture the world as they see it. For these writers, plot development is based less on what happens than on the artful mesh of imagery and metaphor.

This course will explore alternative means of creating compelling fictions, using Lefer’s essay, “Breaking the Rules of Story Structure” as a jumping off point for creating new stories.

Panel Discussion

Substance as Style: What Noir Writing Can Teach Us about Literary Form

As a genre, noir fiction explores flawed protagonists, individuals attempting to negotiate a corrupt society, and propulsive, plot-driven language that embraces the vernacular. What can this very American literary form teach fiction writers about nuance in character development, innovative approaches to building tension in a narrative, and the ways setting impacts plot?

Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference


Two for the Road: Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration, Travel, & Identity

This talk explores different approaches to the collaborative process through the lens of several projects undertaken by writer Tanya Whiton and photographer Heidi Killion (Two for the Road: Adventures in Maine). Touching on the different ways artists can work together across disciplines, it also addresses some of the challenges inherent to cross-disciplinary collaboration—and ways to overcome them.

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