Instructor: Susan Hand Shetterly
Date & Time: Saturdays, October 7, 21 & November 4 | 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Location: Belfast Free Library
Level: Open
Maximum Attendees: 12
Fee: MWPA Member $225 | Nonmember $375
Registration Closes: September 27

This intensive three-part workshop will address central aspects of writing a memoir, including character, narrative arc, beginnings and endings, intentions and revelations, how to pace a story, and how to think about a story based on memory.

In addition to discussing the drafts of workshop participants, participants will also read a few pieces by established writers to understand how they tackle a number of issues. Between the second and third classes, attendees will begin to revise their drafts based on the feedback they have received. During the final class, participants will share revised versions of their original drafts, and Hand Shetterly will offer guidance for future rewrites.

Participants should arrive at the workshop wearing the hats of both writer and editor. They should be ready to take notes on their peers’ suggestions for their work and engage fully in the work of others, both to learn what they need to know for their own work, and to help others achieve the best way to tell their particular stories.

+ SUBMIT After registering, participants are asked to submit a manuscript (a memoir excerpt or personal essay) of up to 3,500-words (approximately 12 pages) by no later than 9:00 a.m. on September 27. Please email the manuscripts as attachments (Word files are preferred, but PDFs are acceptable) to “” with the subject line: “HAND SHETTERLY WORKSHOP MSS.”

Susan Hand Shetterly has written about wildlife and wildlands for over thirty years. Her book, Settled In The Wild, won the The Maine Literary Award for Best Nonfiction from the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance in 2011. She has also received two Maine Arts Commission fellowships, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is the author of the essay collection The New Year’s Owl, and several children’s books, including her book about migrating fish, Swimming Home.

A contributing writer to Maine Times from 1980 to 1996, Susan´s articles have appeared in various magazines, including Birder’s World, Audubon Magazine, Yankee, and Down East.

Susan lives in rural Maine, and for fifteen years she held a wild bird rehabilitator’s license. Now she works with land trusts to save habitat. She has been a writer in residence at the University of Maine and at Yaddo. She teaches writing workshops.

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 September 25 at 9:00 a.m.

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