Like many of you, we at The Telling Room have been closely following Maine CDC's guidelines surrounding the coronavirus and have come to the decision that it would be impossible to conduct in-person camps and maintain safe social distancing this summer. We are just as disappointed as you. 

However, our staff and teaching artists have been hard at work reinventing our camp offerings to enjoy from the comfort of your home. These virtual offerings are filled with just as many possibilities for robust writing, online sharing, connecting with other young writers, and the same Telling Room verve you've come to rely on⁠— all with regard to not overwhelming with screen time. 

Time online will vary from camp to camp. All participants will need access to the internet as well as a device with video and/or audio capabilities. Stay tuned for a sample itinerary for a week-long camp. 
We have a limited number of scholarships available for these sessions. To find out about our summer camp scholarships, click here

We are so excited to be able to offer this exciting slate of virtual writing and publishing experiences to children and teens throughout the State of Maine. 

Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns at

2020 Summer Camps

Art and Writing Camp 

Do you like to make art projects and write?  Why not join us for Art and Writing Camp to do both? We’ll create our own worlds, use everyday objects to make something new in Inventors’ Workshop, and watch characters blossom under our fingertips. Each day has a project to make and writing based on what you create.  Because this camp is virtual, we’ll be sure to check that you have everything you need to make the art projects at home.

Note to parents: Use of scissors, glue and resultant mess are strongly indicated for this camp. Campers will be coached in how to manage their workspace while creating and encouraged to be thorough in their clean up. A Telling Room Teaching Artist will contact you to arrange pick up for art materials.

Session 1 Dates: M/W/F6/15-26, 1:30 - 3:30 PM - CLOSED, email to be added to the waiting list
Session 3 Dates: M/W/F7/20 - 31, 1:30 - 3:30 PM - CLOSED
Session 4 Dates: M/W/F8/3 - 8/14, 9:30 - 11:30 AM - CLOSED, email to be added to the waiting list

Ages: 6 - 10:
Cost: $175 



Budding Poets Camp  

Do you sometimes love a word just for the way it sounds? If the answer is yes, you’re probably already a poet, even if you’ve never written a poem. Come join us to find out! Together we’ll collect interesting words and play with different ways of putting ideas together, drawing inspiration from the things we each see and hear around us and the things we all love.

Session 1 Dates: M/W/F6/15 - 6/26, 9:30 - 11:30 AM - CLOSED, email to be added to the waiting list
Session 4 Dates: M/W/F—8/3 - 8/14, 1:30 - 3:30 PM - CLOSED

Ages: 7 - 11
Cost: $175

Fiction Writing Sessions 1 and 2

In this fiction camp, we’ll leave the real world behind and find new stories outside in our backyards and in our minds. We'll be inspired by fiction novelists, graphic novelists, short story writers, visual artists, videos, and even get to spy on our neighbors! We'll meet in the mornings for writing time, fiction lessons, and readings. Students will break for lunch and work independently in the afternoons, and end their camp day in their small groups. These small groups will be based on age and stay the same for the whole week to encourage friendships. For this online camp, students will receive a Telling Room Summer writing kit including a journal, pen, educational handouts, and art materials for some lessons. (REVISED for safety best practices) At times, students will be asked to do activities outdoors if technology allows.

Session 1 Dates: 6/22 - 6/26 - CLOSED, email to be added to the waiting list
Session 2 Dates: 8/17 - 8/21 - CLOSED, email to be added to the waiting list
Ages: 10 - 18 (small groups assigned by age)
Cost: $175


Creatively Queer Camp: Summer Epistolary Writing Experience

Epistolary writing explores characters addressing other characters in letters, poems, songs, stories and more. Epistolary writing has played a major role in the lives of LGBTQIA+ people throughout history. During this summer-long experience, students will read epistolary stories and historical letters of LGBTQ+ individuals and be inspired by the imagery of LGBTQIA+ visual artists and activists. We will connect weekly in a Monday night Zoom meeting and learn new creative and literary skills together. Throughout the week, students will write and make art for people in their small group and send out this work to each other via snail mail. In return, students will receive art, letters, poems, postcards and more in the mail from other students. Students will also be asked to keep a journal or sketchbook for themselves, to reflect on their summer LGBTQIA+ reading assignments and work creatively on writing or art projects of their choosing. Students will be encouraged to build friendships and share their creative processes and experiences with other like-minded teens throughout the state. 

Please Note: This camp is open to ALL YOUTH, but our goal is to provide a SAFE SPACE specifically for LGBTQIA+ teens and their “straight but not narrow” friends. We will ask all writers to approach discussions, writing prompts, and art projects with curiosity and kindness towards others.

Dates: 6/22 - 8/28  - CLOSED
Time: Weekly Zoom meetings Mondays 7 - 9 PM
 13 - 18 (small groups assigned by age)

Cost: $300



Young Yogis & Creative Writing

Little bodies often need movement breaks to sustain quiet reading and writing practices. In this camp, we’ll practice creative writing with vinyasa-style yoga traditions. Students will receive a Telling Room Summer writing kit (includes journal, pen, educational handouts, and some materials for yoga-related art activities specific to this camp). With morning and afternoon Zoom meetings, students will set up yoga spaces in their home and learn sun salutations, mindfulness tools, and Sanskrit vocabulary and history. We’ll build confidence by sharing our writing in small break-out groups, learn how to listen to our bodies, and relax our busy minds. Students will be asked to do some activities outdoors if technology allows. Beginners welcome!

Dates: 7/6 - 7/10 - CLOSED
 6 - 12 (small groups assigned by age)
Cost: $175


Read Me: Developing and Pitching Your Book Idea  

Do you have a book idea brewing, or maybe even a manuscript but no idea how to share it with the world? This five-day camp is for aspiring authors looking to wrap their arms around a book-length project. Students with a work in progress, or in mind, will learn how to create an effective outline, craft a compelling “blurb,” and pitch a book idea to prospective publishers, readers, friends, and family with a polished book proposal. A mix of live virtual check-ins and independent work time will culminate in a Friday pitch session with a small panel of peers and publishing experts. Perfect for students applying to The Telling Room's Young Emerging Authors fellowship, or National Novel Writing Month fans. Fiction, poetry, memoir, essay, graphic novel, cookbookall genres are welcome! Taught by Telling Room lead teacher and young adult novelist Kathryn Williams.

Dates: 7/13 - 7/17 - CLOSED
 10 - 18 (small groups assigned by age)
Cost: $175


Week in Review

Although we cannot go places together, there's still so much for us to see, do and review safely from the comforts of our own home. Maine galleries and venues are getting creative, which allows us to virtually visit some of our favorite nearby destinations, but also gives us the ability to go even further than in years past. We'll go on virtual tours at the Center for Maine Contemporary Arts, check out some local musicians through Space Gallery's home shows, explore online exhibitions at the Portland Museum of Art, listen to plays that have moved from the stage to radio, try some curbside takeout food and more. This camp is geared to aspiring journalists and critics alike. Campers will delve into the art of critical observation and persuasive writing in the form of the review. We’ll chat with local reviewers and journalists to get their tips of the trade. This camp will be led by Telling Room staff member Sonya Tomlinson, who spent nine years as traffic manager and contributing writer at the Portland Phoenix. Former campers have been published in the Portland Phoenix as well as the Portland Press Herald.

Dates: 7/27 - 7/31 - CLOSED
11 - 16
Cost: $175


World Building & Character Creation

Have you ever wanted to create a world where you and your friends can go on adventures? In this camp we’ll learn how to build worlds, draw maps, create characters, and develop storytelling skills. We’ll try our own quests by playing various games, including Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition. Open to all writers and adventure seekers!

Dates: 8/10 - 8/14 - CLOSED, email to be added to the waiting list
: 11 - 15
Cost: $175



You Don't Essay?

Want to get a jump on your peers and have some new skills to show off when you return to school in person? This workshop is for rising 7th through 10th graders who want to learn fun strategies for taking charge of their nonfiction writing. This will be Telling Room staff member Nick Whiston's 8th time teaching this camp, but the first time holding it virtually, so expect some new twists!

Dates: 8/17 - 8/21 - CLOSED
13 - 15
Cost: $175


College Essay Workshops Sessions 1 and 2

Yes, it's as simple as the title: You'll leave this workshop with a college essay you're proud of. As a bonus, you'll learn some strategies that you can apply to your future nonfiction writing. Telling Room staff member Nick Whiston has led this workshop countless times for The Telling Room and his previous organization, and also previously worked for the UC Berkeley admissions office. This workshop consists of two group sessions and then one-on-one and small group sessions, plus online writing feedback, all scheduled at the participant’s convenience.

Session 1 Dates: 8/24 and 8/26
Session 2 Dates: 9/1 and 9/3
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Cost: $300

Register here