Joshua Bodwell is the Executive Director of the non-profit Maine Writers and Publisher’s Alliance, whose mission is to enrich the cultural life of Maine by supporting writers, publishers, and the literary arts. The MWPA is the only state-wide literary arts organization in the Pine Tree State. Over 1,000 literary-minded Mainers are members – from nationally-ranked magazine editors and chapbook publishers to New York Times bestsellers and unpublished students. MWPA sponsors annual booksignings in Boothbay Harbor and Portland, and recently organized the Maine Literary Awards to honor the many talented writers in the state.
But MWPA’s most popular offerings are always their workshops and writing retreats. Taking place from Lubec to Kennebunk and everywhere in between, the MWPA classes bring together professionals, teachers and eager-to-learn novices to create better fiction, memoirs, poetry, and essays. Open to members and non-members alike, they’re a terrific chance to take writing to a new level… even if, as Joshua explains to us, your writing goal is murder.
I rarely attend any sort of literary event in Maine these days without being asked if the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance (MWPA) is going to offer more workshops and writing retreats geared toward the state’s many aspiring crime writers.
Luckily, I have a short answer: Yes!
The MWPA has heard the crime call loud and clear, and is working on a plethora of offerings for late 2012 and continuing into 2013.
First up, the always engaging Julia Spencer-Fleming will be leading a weekend-long workshop entitled “What Happens Next?: Adding Suspense to Your Fiction” at our 2012 Fall Writing Retreat. The retreat will be held from Friday, November 2 through Sunday, November 4 at the stunning seaside Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport. It’s a weekend of workshops, seminars, readings, and writing in stunning setting.
Click these links for more details on the retreat and Spencer-Fleming’s workshop:
Back in May, Paul Doiron took home the inaugural Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction for his second novel, Trespasser. In May 2013, Doiron will join the guest faculty of the MWPA’s 2013 Black Fly Writing Retreat on the shores of Big Lake in the Grand Lake Stream.
If you’re interested in working with Doiron in this picturesque location, put the dates May 2 – May 5 on your calendar, and visit www.mainewriters.org to sign up to receive our email newsletter about workshops!
Finally, we’re planning crime writing-related workshops for the winter of 2013 with both Kate Flora and James Hayman. Stay tuned for more on those two soon!