Instructor: Kathryn Miles
Date & Time: Tuesdays, April 16 to June 18 | 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: April 8

Have you always wanted to excavate your family’s immigration story or to place your memoir in its historical context? Perhaps you’ve dreamed of a career as a food or travel writer? Probably, you are already committed to writing essays and articles that will change the world—and inspire an ethic of care in your readers. There has never been a better time to do just that.

Creative nonfiction is currently experiencing a renaissance: whether it’s first-person essays exploring identity politics, deep dive investigations, or genre pieces treating everything from mindfulness to true crime, readers are clamoring for narrative journalism and research-based essays.

In this master-class, participants will explore emerging trends and best practices in the field of commercial publishing while honing their own skills as nonfiction writers. Over the ten-week session, participants will have the opportunity to read and discuss contemporary works of nonfiction, engage in research and workshops, and practice pitching their work.

The course will begin with a workshop experience whereby participants will read and comment upon one another’s drafts. The class will then complete several short works (approximately 250-500 words each) exploring structure and voice. The second half of the course will focus on the composition, revision, and pitching of a research-driven essay or article of approximately 3000 words.

Along the way, participants will also discuss source cultivation, organizational strategies, and how to write for a target publication. The instructor will also address the business of writing nonfiction in the 21st century, including how to create and maintain a digital platform, the realities of working as a freelance writer in the digital age, and tips for finding and securing an agent.

+ REQUIRED TEXTS The Best American Essays 2018, Hilton Als, editor (Mariner Books)
Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers’ Guide, Mark Kramer and Wendy Call, editors (Plume)

+ SUBMIT After registering, participants are asked to submit a manuscript (an essay or longform journalism) of up to 3,000 words by no later than 9:00 AM on April 8. Please email the manuscript to with the subject line: “MILES WORKSHOP MSS.” Please help MWPA conserve paper by using standard formatting (1” margins, double-spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman) and keeping spacing to a minimum (e.g. no title pages). *Word docs (ideally) or PDFs only, please.

DATES The workshop will meet every Tuesday between April 16 and June 18, 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.)

Kathryn Miles is an award-winning journalist and professor of Creative Nonfiction. She is the author of four books including, most recently, Quakeland: On the Road To America’s Next Devastating Earthquake, which the New York Times called “a full-throated, and welcome, defense of the scientific method . . . [that] reignites our affection for humanity.” She is a staff writer for Outside Magazine, where she authors the popular “Trail Life” column. Her work has also appeared in publications including Best American Essays, Down East, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, Politico, Popular Mechanics, Time, and others.  Miles currently serves as writer-in-residence at Green Mountain College and teaches in several low-residency MFA programs. VISIT

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.

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 April 1 at 9:00 a.m.

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