at the Shoreline Camps in Grand Lake Stream

Black Fly Water

The MWPA is excited to announce the 2014 Black Fly Writing Retreat. Join us for an inspiring four-day, three-night weekend of workshops, readings, and writing at the idyllic Shoreline Camps on Big Lake in Grand Lake Stream.

2014 Black Fly Writing Retreat attendees will spend three mornings in workshops of no more than twelve participants working with one instructor. Afternoons will be open for writing and optional thirty-minute individual sessions with the instructors. In addition to the intensive workshops and one-on-one sessions, the weekend will include faculty and participant readings.

Shoreline Camps is a cluster of rustic, lakeside cabins. Each cabin will house a varying number of Black Fly Writing Retreat attendees. Each cabin includes its own bathroom, a living room, an equipped kitchen, fresh linens, blankets, and bath towels. Each cabin includes a wood stove and outdoor fireplace with complementary firewood.


The Middle Ground
Fiction with Susan Conley

Crafting Our Stories into Memoir
Memoir with Meredith Hall

What Makes a Poem a Poem?
Poetry with Jeffrey Thomson

The Frog Does Not Yet Know
Short Fiction with Lewis Robinson


Conley HeadshotSusan Conley
Susan Conley’s new novel Paris Was the Place (Knopf 2013) traces the intersection of the lives of an American poetry teacher and six teenage refugee girls all living in Paris during the late 1980’s. Her memoir, The Foremost Good Fortune (Knopf 2011), follows the years her family lived in Beijing and encountered cancer. It won the 2012 Maine Literary Award for Memoir. Her poetry collection was a finalist for the Walt Whitman Award. She’s received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Breadloaf Writers Conference, and the Massachusetts Arts Council. She’s on the faculty at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Program and also teaches at Colby College. She’s the co-founder of The Telling Room, a nonprofit creative writing lab in Portland that believes children are natural storytellers who deserve an audience.

Hall Headshot SQUAREMeredith Hall
Meredith Hall’s memoir, Without a Map (Beacon Press), was a New York Times Bestseller, and was named Kirkus “Best Book,” BookSense “Pick of the Year,” and Elle magazine’s “Reader’s Pick.” Without a Map was also included on Oprah’s “Top Ten Memoirs to Read” list. Hall’s first essay won the Pushcart Prize and was a “Notable Essay” in Best American Essays. She was awarded the $50,000 Gift of Freedom Award from A Room of Her Own Foundation, and received the Maine Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowship. Hall was honored by the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses as their “Emerging Writer in Nonfiction” in 2008, and she was included in Flavorwire’s “17 Essays by Female Writers that Everyone Should Read.” Her essays and poems have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Southern Review, Kenyon Review, Gettysburg Review and many other journals and anthologies. Hall writes reviews for the Washington Post and Boston Globe. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of New Hampshire.

Thomson HeadshotJeffrey Thomson
Jeffrey Thomson is the author of four books of poems, including Birdwatching in Wartime (Carnegie Mellon 2009), winner of the 2010 Maine Literary Award for Poetry, and Renovation (Carnegie Mellon 2005). He has also published an anthology of emerging poets: From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliter¬ate, and Just Plain Sound Great, co-edited with Camille Dungy and Matt O’Donnell (Persea Books, 2009). He has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Arts Commission, and, most recently, was named the 2008 Individual Arts Fellow in the Literary Arts by the Maine Arts Commission. He is a professor of creative writing at the University of Maine Farmington.

Robinson HeadshotLewis Robinson
Lewis Robinson is the author of the novel Water Dogs (Random House, 2009), a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection, and Officer Friendly and Other Stories (HarperCollins, 2003), winner of the PEN/Oakland-Josephine Miles Award and a Whiting Award. His short fiction and essays have appeared in Tin House, The Missouri Review, Sports Illustrated, the New York Times Book Review, and on NPR’s program Selected Shorts. Robinson lives in Portland where he is at work on his third book.


OPTION #1 Single Room
As always, the MWPA offers an all-inclusive retreat package that includes a participant’s lodging, meal plan, and workshop fees. The meal plan includes dinner on Thursday, lunch and dinner on both Friday and Saturday, and lunch on Sunday. Single rooms are extremely limited at the Black Fly Writing Retreat. They will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. If you are interested in a single room, please contact the MWPA about availability. (*Please note that breakfast is not included in the meal plan.)
→ MWPA Members: Single Room $700

OPTION #2 Shared Room
The same as option #1 but with shared rooming. Shoreline Camps features rustic cabins and shared rooming may be a double room, or may be as many as four attendees in a large, “camp style” room.
→ MWPA Members: $600 | Nonmembers: $750

OPTION #3 Lodging/No Meals
In the interest of offering the 2013 Black Fly Writing Retreat at various price points, this option includes only lodging and workshop fees. Attendees may then prepare their own meals in their cabins. *Attendees may choose Option #3 and pay a la carte for select lunches and dinners.
→ MWPA Members: $450 | Nonmembers: $600

OPTION #4 Commuter
If you are lucky enough to live in the beautiful northeast of Maine and can drive to Shoreline Camps in Grand Lake Stream, you may take advantage of this option and attend the workshops but forgo lodging and meals. * Attendees may choose Option #4 and pay a la carte for lunches and dinners.
→ MWPA Members: $300 | Nonmembers: $400



  •    MAIL: MWPA, Attn: 2014 Black Fly Writing Retreat, 314 Forest Avenue #318, Portland ME 04101
  •    PHONE: Call to have your registration and payment processed over the phone: 207.228.8263
  •    FAX: Fax in your completed registration form and credit-card information: 207.228.8150
  •    ONLINE:  Register and pay online using PayPal


  • Click on the “Pay Now” button above.
  • In the field marked “Enter description,” please type “2013 FWR” and the workshop track you want to attend (e.g.: – Fiction)
  • In the field labeled “Item price,” please enter the payment amount for the registration option you desire (i.e., Full Package, Commuter, etc.)
  • Fill in your billing information (contact information, credit card number), submit your payment, and you’re done. You will receive an email confirming that your registration and payment have been received.


In partnership with the Maine Community Foundation, the MWPA is proud to offer the Martin Dibner Memorial Fellowship for Maine Writers. The Dibner Fellowship will cover the full cost of one attendee to the 2014 Black Fly Writing Retreat. Every applicant must submit an application, statement of need, and work sample.

DOWNLOAD → Dibner Guidelines
DOWNLOAD → Dibner Application 


If you’re concerned that a workshop might fill up before you have time to fill out and mail a registration form, just contact us and we’d be happy to hold you a workshop slot for one week. Contact: / 207-228-8264


The MWPA is not able to accept installment payments. Workshop space will not be reserved until we receive full payment. If an agency, business, school, or other organization is paying student fees, payment is still due at the time of registration. Purchase orders or intent to pay are not accepted. The MWPA accepts checks, money orders, cash, and Visa or MasterCard through our PayPal account, printed registration forms, or over the phone. If you would prefer to pay with American Express or Discover, payment can be made through out PayPal account. If you are unfamiliar with PayPal, we will be happy to assist you. A $25 fee is assessed for bad checks.


A nonrefundable fee of 25% of the workshop cost is included in each registration. Partial refunds (75% of the workshop fee) will be granted for cancellations made at least one week before the writing retreat. Cancellations made less than one week in advance will not be refunded, no matter how compelling the reason. We cannot refund participants for missed workshops.


Workshops that do not meet a minimum enrollment may be canceled up to two business days (48 hours) prior to the first class meeting. If a workshop is canceled by the MWPA for any reason, all registrants will receive a full refund.


Weather-related cancellations are extremely rare. Call 207-450-1225 to check on the status of your workshop if you are concerned about inclement weather. If a workshop is canceled for weather-related reasons, the MWPA will announce the cancelation as soon as possible, the workshop will be rescheduled, and all registrants will be notified of the new date. If a registrant cannot attend the rescheduled workshop due to scheduling conflicts, the registrant will receive a full refund.