The Telling Room has gone virtual until it feels safe for our staff, volunteers, teaching artists, students and community to gather. Like many of you, we've been actively following the progression of COVID-19 in Maine, in other parts of the country and across the globe. In the interest of following guidance from local, state and federal authorities regarding measures that best promote public health, we have suspended our daily in-person operations until further notice.

SPRING 2021We invite students looking for a virtual writing afterschool program to join SWARM! a statewide writing and publishing program for ages 10-18. 


Writers Block

A fun and supportive place to develop your writing among a group of peers.

The Telling Room is pleased to offer this free afterschool program to ages 7 through 18. We host three weekly sessions focused both by age and interest. Please read each description below carefully to determine which group will be the best fit.

Writers Block is a fun and supportive place to develop your writing among a group of peers. The mix of structured and unstructured writing time lets students explore and practice elements of the craft, whether fiction, essay, poetry, or visual storytelling. As in all our programs, we will encourage students to share their work. Writers Block is open to those new to The Telling Room as well as experienced writing veterans.

All sessions take place after school from 3pm to 5pm at our writing center at 225 Commercial St. Each semester is filled with a lottery system. Any student placed on a wait list will get prioity registration for the following semester.

We invite anyone interested in this or other programs to sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about all program opportunities.


Writers Block Program Options

Word Play
Ages 7 - 10

Each Monday, we will open our Main Studio space to students ages 7 to 10 who are looking for a fun place to write and create alongside a group of peers. We will use a number of generative exercises to find inspiration in play, art, our imaginations, and the world around us. Students will write, draw, act, and share their work aloud.

Story Sleuths
Ages: 10 - 14

Story Sleuths is designed for students who are looking for various creative ways into the writing process. During the first few sessions, we will dive into different generative exercises finding inspiration through play, our imaginations, and the world around us. Our investigations might take us for walks around the wharves or a trip to an art gallery. Last year students even interviewed strangers for a podcast! During the second half of the program, students will pick one of their story starts and work towards a polished piece. This group will be a fun and collaborative experience for both the reluctant writer and more experienced veterans who are looking for fresh starts in their work.

Works in Progress
Ages 12 - 18 

Works in Progress is designed for students working on a specific long-term writing project for which they'd like inspiration, creative space, and feedback. Like all of our Writers Block sessions, WIP will offer a mix of structured and unstructured writing time and instruction on the craft. Using a workshop model, students will share their work with peers and a Telling Room teaching artist and learn how to give and receive feedback. This is an open and supportive writing community for the first-time writer or the experienced veteran. Students will be expected to do outside reading.


Any questions can be directed to Marjolaine at


Please consider donating to help make this unique afterschool literary arts program free for all students.