Welcome to Writers Block

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

“The best way to be a writer is to be a writer.” - Augusten Burroughs

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.

In order to serve more students, in 2018-2019, Writers Block is moving to a trimester system (fall, winter, spring).


Registration for our spring trimester is now closed as all of our sessions are full. Check back in early September to register for our fall semester. 

In the meantime we invite interested families to sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about all program opportunities.​




2018-2019 Options


For students ages 7-10

Word Play

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: October 1 – December 10
Winter: January 7 – March 4
Spring: March 18 – May 13

Any questions can be directed to Marjolaine at marjolaine@tellingroom.org 



For students ages 10-14

Story Sleuths

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 the Portland Museum of Art, or into the world of embodied storytelling. 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: October 3 – December 12
Winter: January 9 – March 6
Spring: March 20 – May 15

Any questions can be directed to Marjolaine at marjolaine@tellingroom.org 



For students ages 12-18

Works In Progress

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 4 – December 13
Winter: January 3 – March 7
Spring: March 21 – May 16

Any questions can be directed to Kathryn at kathryn@tellingroom.org


Please consider donating to help keep this unique after-school literary arts program free for all students.