Fiction Faculty at Longfellow Young Writers’ Workshop

Great news today, folks. I’ve been asked to be on the faculty for this year’s Longfellow Young Writers’ Workshop at the University of Maine at Farmington. What’s that, you say? It’s a week-long writing camp for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. It’s here at the university where I work as library director, and I’m really excited to be able to branch out a bit and dip my toes back into the teaching of writing scene.

Back in the day, when I was at BYU, I completed all the requirements for a Masters of English in Creative Writing. Took all the coursework. Wrote the novel. (Two, actually). You name it. But because they don’t let you double major with a masters, I had to pick Masters of English in American Literature as the official “thing I got a degree in.” I loved going to creative writing classes, talking with other people about how to write and how to get better at the process of writing.

For years, I was also in a writing group, first in person, and then on Skype. I finally had to give it up as part of my Quest to Not Do As Much Stuff, but I still miss it. I hope this will be a way for me to get a bit of that fun back. Be around other writerly types and encourage young writers to keep honing their craft.

The workshop looks like a ton of fun. It goes from July 15th-21st. Here’s the description from their website:

The program, for continuing high school students (those entering their sophomore, junior or senior year), gives you a full week to immerse yourself in the writing world. You’ll work with published writers and students as serious about writing as you are.

Mornings will be spent meeting in small intensive workshops of no more than fifteen students, where you will engage in the art of poetry, fiction, screenwriting and creative nonfiction. Afternoons will be spent hearing craft talks from successful writers, visiting a poetry press, attending presentations, or relaxing with hiking, swimming or yoga. In the evening sit back and listen to writers read from their work. The week will end with students reading their own work at the final banquet.

Workshops are serious, yet supportive, and fun. The focus will be on new approaches to writing, ways of seeing your own writing and the writing of others in different ways, while continuing to maintain faith in your ability to write, and never losing sight of the joy and playfulness inherent in the act of writing. There are no wrong answers, but the faculty and other students can help you find ways to get across what you mean with more beauty, with greater force.

Writers will stay on UMF’s campus in shared rooms (you can pick your roomate if you want to). You’ll live on a floor with other people your age with the same interest in creative writing that you have. Senior-level college students, majoring in creative writing at UMF, will live with you in the dorms. They will be friendly and accessible, available to help you find your way around campus, or to give you advice on a piece of writing. Two Michael Macklin Scholarships for Young Maine Writers will be awarded to Maine Residents, the Ilgenfritz Scholarship provides one scholarship for a female student living in Waldo or Knox counties; these two fellowships are sponsored by the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. We also offer several partial scholarships open to residents of any state or nation sponsored by the University of Maine, Farmington and the BFA program in Creative Writing.

There will also be opportunities for hikes in the mountains, yoga classes, swimming, and more. Plus you’ll have all the beauty of a summer week in Maine.

So if you, or someone you know, would be interested in this, drop me a line. Tuition and board is $800, although if you don’t stay on campus, that’s reduced to $535. Need and merit-based scholarships are available.

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