Longfellow participants get feedback from published writers, learn how to workshop and have the opportunity to create their own chapbooks. Submitted photo

FARMINGTON — University of Maine in Farmington will be bringing back its Longfellow Young Writers program after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. The program, however, will be coming back in a new form, with it now being a weeklong camp titled Longfellow Young Writers Camp.

The camp will take place in July, starting on Sunday, July 16, and concluding on Saturday, July 22. It will take place on the UMF campus and feature UMF’s own assistant professors of creative writing Amy Neswald and Lewis Robinson, who is also the director of the Longfellow Program.

“Longfellow Young Writers’ Camp will give high schoolers the chance to discover new approaches to their creative work. They will get feedback from published writers, learn how to workshop, have the opportunity to make chapbooks, read at an open mic, explore the natural beauty of the western mountains of Maine, and get a taste of residential life on the UMF campus,” Robinson said in a press release.

Starting at UMF in 2020, Robinson wanted to bring back the Longfellow program after its demise due to COVID-19 restrictions and regulations.

“The creative writing program at UMF right now is thriving, and we were just attracting a lot of great students,” Robinson said in a phone interview. “There’s just a kind of a wealth of creative writing enthusiasm there right now. I think one of the reasons why I was excited to start it up again was to enlist a bunch of our great [Bachelor of Fine Arts] undergrads to help do some of the teaching.”

Currently, the camp will have six adult faculty members and ten BFA undergrads whom, Robinson states, are helping with the camp. “They’ll be counselors in the dorms, but they’re also going to be teaching the things that the faculty can’t teach,” he said.


Registration for the program has already begun and will continue until Monday, May 1. In total, the program will cost $675, but according to Robinson, scholarships are available to help students cover the cost.

Applications for scholarships must be filed by Saturday, Apr. 15. The full tuition must be paid by Thursday, June 15.

Students that are eligible for the program must be in grade 9-12 range, but the program is open to any student able to secure transportation to the campus.

The camp will also feature Kristen Case, UMF professor of English, author Ron Currie and Jaed Coffin, University of New Hampshire associate professor of creative writing.

Students will be given the opportunity to experience multiple forms of creative writing, from fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and even songwriting.

More information as well as the link to apply to the camp can be found at www.umf.maine.edu/longfellow.

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