Instructor: Lewis Robinson
Date & Time: Wednesdays, April 3 – June 19 | 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Location: USM’s Glickman Library, Portland
Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Maximum Attendees: 12
Fee: Member $450 [+ $5 materials fee] | Nonmember $600 [+ $5 materials fee]
Registration Closes: March 27

In this workshop for writers serious about getting new work on the page, participants will consider what ingredients make for a great story, what structures will best serve their characters and plot, and how the opening pages of their book can propel readers into the world they have created.

Throughout the ten weeks, the class will workshop excerpts of participants’ novels-in-progress, strategize how to gain and sustain momentum in their stories, and read and discuss a wide selection of novel beginnings.

Note to short fiction writers: you are welcome to attend this class, with the understanding that it is geared towards novelists; readings will be from novels, and your classmates are likely to be novelists.

+ SUBMIT After registering, participants are asked to submit the first chapter(s) of their novel, up to 5,000 words, OR a paragraph or two describing the premise of the novel they hope to write, by no later than 9:00 AM on March 27. Please email the manuscript to with the subject line: “ROBINSON WORKSHOP MSS.” Please help MWPA conserve paper by using standard formatting (1” margins, double-spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman) and keeping spacing between sections to a minimum (e.g. no title page). *Word docs (ideally) or PDFs only, please.

DATES The workshop will meet every Wednesday between April 3 and June 19, except April 17 and June 5, unless unforeseen scheduling issues should arise.

PAYMENTS MWPA members may pay for this workshop in one payment, or may pay in three installments of $151.70, due at registration and the first of each month (May, June). *PLEASE NOTE If you have selected to pay for this multi-week workshop on the installment option, once registration for the workshop has closed, you are responsible for paying all of the remaining installments. If you should, for any reason, leave the workshop after registration has closed, 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.)

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, The Baffler, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times Book Review, and on NPR’s program Selected Shorts. Robinson has taught at the University of Iowa, USM’s Stonecoast MFA Program, Colby College, and in Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program.

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.

Interested writers should feel free to ask to be put on the wait list for any workshop that has filled. There is always a chance that an enrolled participant will need to cancel and space will become available.

If you need to withdraw from a class after registering for any reason, please email or call the MWPA immediately. You may be eligible for a partial refund or credit, depending on how far in advance you cancel.

For any questions regarding this workshop, please contact Hannah Perry at

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 March 20 at 9:00 a.m.

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