Damariscotta Lake Writers’ Conference - July 31 thru August 5, 2016

A conference for educators who write

Nineteen miles up the tidal estuary of the Damariscotta River (Abenaki for “river of little fish”) is the outlet of Damariscotta Lake, a meandering fourteen mile body of water surrounded by hemlocks, old growth pines, camps, rolling hills, and farms. Only a few hours north of Boston and an hour and a half from Portland, Damariscotta Lake straddles the best of Maine’s natural beauty: a lake within striking distance of the state’s iconic fir-lined coast of islands, coves and bays. A perfect sanctuary for writing. Since 1926, Camp Kieve for Boys has occupied a protected peninsula at the lake’s heart, but in recent years the camp’s vision has expanded to include the Kennedy Learning Center, an architecturally rustic but fully modern conference facility perched on a quiet shoreline just over the hill. This is where the Damariscotta Lake Writers’ Conference will house eighteen teachers —from both public and independent schools— and provide them with not only the aesthetic and psychic space that writing needs, but a collaborative community of kindred spirits: committed teachers who are also committed to the writing life.

The demands and pace of teaching coupled with life’s other responsibilities work against a sustained descent into craft and the deep revision necessary to push a work-in-progress to the next level. So, rather than being a conference for the teaching of writing or an exploration of pedagogical strategies, the DLWC will provide an opportunity for teachers to step back from the din of the school year and focus on their own writing. A hybrid of artist colony and traditional writers’ conference, the DLWC is a five-day retreat that combines the luxury of uninterrupted independent work with the collaborative resources of workshops and classes on craft taught by emerging writers… all in a beautiful natural setting. Aside from the on-site program of classes, workshops, voluntary readings, and opportunities for feedback, the academic centerpiece of the week is the Hog Island Lecture, for which participants climb aboard Kieve’s lobster boat, the Snow Goose, to spend a day with an established writer in an interactive class and informal gatherings.

Given the intimate size of the conference, applicants must submit an excerpt from a current manuscript in either poetry, fiction, or creative-nonfiction. Participants will be chosen by a committee (see Application Guidelines).

“Thanks so much for creating such a great conference. I'm heading home energized, refocused, excited, and better prepared for the hard work ahead.” (Amber)

Whether it’s direction, feedback or solitude your writing needs—or all—we have the ideal place.

Photo of Damariscotta Lake and Hog Island, site of the Writers' ConferencePhoto of Damariscotta Lake and Hog Island, site of the Writers' ConferencePhoto of Damariscotta Lake and Hog Island, site of the Writers' ConferencePhoto of Damariscotta Lake and Hog Island, site of the Writers' Conference