Instructor: Dawn Potter
Date & Time: Thursdays, January 25 – March 29 | 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Location: USM’s Glickman Library, Portland
Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Maximum Attendees: 12
Fee: MWPA Member $450 | Nonmember $600
Registration Closes: January 16

The essayist Phillip Lopate once said, “The reason I read nonfiction is to follow an interesting mind.” In this ten-week essay workshop, writers will aim to tighten their nonfiction drafts by focusing on the twists and turns of their own interesting minds.

Participants will learn from the instructor’s and each other’s observations and questions about details, structure, sentence flow, and other elements of prose. The class will also turn to some of history’s great essayists—Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, and others—and consider some of the lessons they offer for participants’ own works-in-progress.

Over the course of 10 weeks each participant will submit two drafts to be workshopped.

+ SUBMIT After registering, participants are asked to submit an essay-in-progress or an excerpt of an essay-in-progress of no more than 15 pages, standard manuscript format (double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman, one-inch margins all around) by no later than 9:00 AM on January 16. Please email the manuscript to with the subject line: “POTTER WORKSHOP MSS.” *Word docs (ideally) or PDFs only, please.

DATES The workshop will meet every Thursday between January 25 and March 29, unless unforeseen scheduling issues should arise.

PAYMENTS MWPA members may pay for this workshop in one payment, or may pay in three installments of $150, due at registration and the first of each month (February, March). *PLEASE NOTE If you have selected to pay for this multi-week workshop on the installment option, once you begin attending the workshop you are responsible for paying all of the remaining installments. If you should, for any reason, leave the workshop once it has begun, you are still responsible for paying all of the remaining installments.

CEU The MWPA is proud to offer Continuing Education Units (CEU) for this workshop. The CEU is a nationally recognized method of quantifying the time spent in the classroom during non-credit learning. Ten hours of instruction equal one (1) CEU. (*Please note that by definition, CEUs are non-credit continuing education and therefore not transferrable as academic credit.)

Dawn Potter directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, held each summer at Robert Frost’s home in Franconia, New Hampshire. She is the author or editor of seven books of prose and poetry, most recently The Vagabond’s Bookshelf: A Reader’s Memoir. Her memoir Tracing Paradise: Two Years in Harmony with John Milton won the 2010 Maine Literary Award for Nonfiction. Her essay “The Humanity of Trump Voters” was the Times Literary Supplement‘s number-one most clicked-on article of 2016.

New poems and essays have appeared in the Beloit Poetry Journal, Sewanee Review, Threepenny Review, and many other journals in the United States and abroad. Dawn works widely as a visiting writer, leading classes for K-12 students, teacher development programs, and undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to writing, editing, and teaching, she sings and plays fiddle with the band Doughty Hill.

All MWPA workshops require advanced registration. We accept registration by phone, mail, and online via PayPal. We cannot guarantee registration in the final 24-hours before a workshop, and can rarely accommodate day-of registration.

Call 207-228-8263 and register with your VISA or MasterCard.

If you prefer to pay by mail, please print this registration form (downloadable PDF) and mail it to the MWPA with a check or credit card information.



The MWPA is proud to offer one full scholarship to this workshop for members-only. Scholarships are awarded on a combination of need and merit. Application Due in the MWPA office on January 12 at 9:00 a.m.

Registration in any MWPA workshop, program, or event constitutes your agreement to our terms and conditions.