Conference Updates

Summer Writing Programs Provide Creative Outlet in Beautiful Setting

Star Island’s ability to inspire creativity is uncanny. And those seeking to hone their creative writing skills would be hardpressed to find a more picturesque and inviting place for writing workshops than Star Island. About an hour’s boat ride from Portsmouth, NH, Star Island not only plays host to a number of writing programs each summer, it also provides quiet spaces to sit down with your thoughts and bring pen to paper.

Mainly through Celia Thaxter’s Victorian-era salon, the Isles of Shoals have hosted a number of famous American writers. Nathaniel Hawthorne, noted for his novels The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables, visited the Shoals in 1852 keeping a journal of his experiences and encounters with island folk. Other famous writers and friends of Thaxter include Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Sarah Orne Jewett, and John Greenleaf Whittier.

Celia Thaxter was also a noted writer in her time becoming famous after a poem was published in the Atlantic Monthly. Further poems and essays added to her portfolio over the years while she lived on the Shoals and later on the mainland. Thaxter’s brother Oscar Laighton was also a poet.

You can use the same natural beauty found at the Isles of Shoals that inspired Thaxter and her friends to imbue your writing. We have ample space for poets, essayists, and songwriters. Your creative fibers will be nurtured on Star. Check out these programs to experience writing on the Isles of Shoals:

Writers in the Round

WITR Conference Icon

Thursday, September 10 to Sunday, September 13

This program offers poets and songwriters a supportive, creative atmosphere to stetch your wings. Writers in the Round hosts classes, small group discussions, a chance to workshop your creations, and time to hone your material. You’ll find inspiration in Star Island’s natural beauty, and through collaboration with other writers.

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Writelines Conference Icon

Monday, September 7 to Friday, September 11

When you finish attending Writelines, you’ll feel uplifted with a desire to continue writing. How do you get to that point? Through constructive workshops and carefully chosen prompts. Writelines is that supportive workshop environment that allows you to experiment with your writing whether you are new to the craft, or an avid writer.

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Star Arts

Arts Conference Icon

Saturday, June 20 to Saturday, June 27

This weeklong program provides a wealth of opportunity for the creative soul with writing workshops serving as one highlight. This summer, the writing workshops at Star Arts will focus on the art and history of the haiku. Participants will read many poems, and try their hand at haiku writing through prompts and free time.

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Free Write

Saturday, June 20 to Sunday, September 20

Whenever you come to Star Island during the summer you can find a quiet place to sit down, relax, and get your thoughts on paper. You don’t even have to be spending the night on Star to enjoy this. Find a spot on the expansive front porch of the Oceanic Hotel to sit and jot down sentences in your notebook. Walk a trail to the back of the island and perch yourself on the rocks to gaze out over the open ocean then funnel your thoughts onto paper. After lunch, retreat to your room and write memorable dialogue you overheard to inspire a scene you’ve been working on.

Beyond the above programs that offer specific writing workshops, you can attend any summer program and find time to write. Star Island is your home to explore your creative spirit.

Looking for something else? We have programs focused on a myriad of topics like history, religion, and the arts. Click here to explore our complete 2015 program list.