Guided by feature writer and educator Jenny O’Connell, hone your creative writing skills and take your stories from concept to publication.

There are no available registration dates at this time.

Whether you’re writing an experiential account of your ascent of Kilimanjaro or a step-by-step guide to making your great aunt’s famous pierogies, the ingredients are the same: Compelling magazine features are driven by passion, character, and action. They engage the senses, dropping the reader boldly into the story. They have a tight angle and a strong hook. And they tap into something bigger than all of us.

Led by Jenny O’Connell, in this five-day intensive, you’ll uncover the stories you want to tell, and learn how to take one of those stories from brainstorming to publication. Through an exploration of creative writing techniques such as sensory writing, setting, character, and dialogue, you’ll hone the tools that bring stories to life. Guided by Jenny’s expertise in experiential education, you’ll walk the Rockland Breakwater to practice setting and hook writing, and conduct peer interviews aimed at wholehearted characterization and locating the “heat” in dialogue. At the end of the week, you’ll leave with a developed story, polished with peer feedback, and a solid idea of the next steps for pitching it for publication. One-on-one meetings with the instructor are available.

Jenny often writes features for Maine Magazine, Backcountry, and Decor Maine. View Jenny’s publications.

Header image by Rafael Baeza.

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Instructor: Jenny O’Connell

Jenny O’Connell is an adventure writer, freelance journalist, and outdoor guide from Portland, Maine. Her debut book project, Finding Petronella, traces her 2014 solo trek across Finland following the footsteps of a female legend beyond the Arctic Circle. A 2019 Maine Literary Award finalist and Pushcart Prize nominee, Jenny's award-winning nonfiction has appeared in Backcountry Magazine, Creative Nonfiction, SLICE, Appalachia Journal, Hippocampus, Camas, and Stonecoast Review, among others. She's a regular contributor of outdoor features and creative profiles for Maine Magazine and Decor Maine. Jenny teaches creative writing at Seguinland Institute and The Telling Room, and professional development seminars at Stonecoast, where she earned her MFA. She guides writing-based adventures in the 100 Mile Wilderness and the wild waters of Maine.