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. Please visit our Programs page for more information and to learn about our virtual programming.

FALL 2020 We invite students looking for a virtual writing afterschool program to join SWARM! a statewide writing and publishing program for ages 10-18. 


Writers Block

Registration is now closed for Spring Semester. 

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.

For the 2019-2020 school year we will be offering both a fall and winter semester.

Each year we strive to create more equitable systems to allow any interested student to participate. For this reason, this fall we will try out a lottery system to determine spots for each session. 

Spring semester will run from February 3rd - April 30th.

Students will be run by lottery to determine spots if we receive more requests than we have capacity for. You will receive a confirmation by 4:00pm on January 20th. Any students placed on the wait list will have priority regiestration for the Fall 2020 semester. 

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

2019 - 2020 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.

Fall: September 30 – December 16
Winter: February 3 -- April 27 


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.

Fall: September 30 – December 16
Winter: February 3 -- April 27 


Any questions can be directed to Marjolaine at 



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.

Fall: October 3 – December 19
Winter: February 6 – April 30

Any questions can be directed to Marjolaine at


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