Hewnoaks Workshops

Hewnoaks will host a selection of workshops in summer 2024 organized by outside partners. If you want to initiate something to take place at Hewnoaks please email Executive Director Marc Mewshaw with your inquiry at info@hewnoaks.org.

Upcoming workshops

Hewnoaks + Birds & Muses Residency for Women-Identifying and Nonbinary Writers

Saturday, June 1 – Saturday, June 8, 2024
at Hewnoaks on Kezar Lake, off Route 5, Lovell

Note: admission to this workshop is by application only and there is an application fee of $30, which will be credited against enrollment fees if accepted. Scroll to the bottom of this post to find the link to the application!

Hewnoaks and acclaimed writer & mentor Kate Moses of Birds & Muses are excited to announce a week-long residency for women, femme, trans and nonbinary writers, to be held June 1-8, 2024 at Hewnoaks’ historic artists’ retreat on Kezar Lake in Lovell, Maine. Sharing Hewnoaks’ mission to provide artists with unencumbered time to think, work, and experiment, and Birds & Muses’ purpose of providing women writers with experienced guidance and sanctuary for their work, this writing-intensive residency is designed for those embarked on literary narrative projects – fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction, and hybrid works (also including poetry, drama, or images) – at any stage of the writing process, whether in an advanced draft of a long-form manuscript, in the early phase of exploring a nascent literary idea, or anywhere in between. All participants will receive individualized conferencing with Kate and can choose from the daily group craft & process sessions appropriate to their current needs.

About Kate and Birds & Muses

An internationally recognized writer of award-winning, best-selling literary fiction and creative nonfiction, Kate is best known for her acclaimed novel Wintering, published in 17 languages, her memoir Cakewalk, and her tenure as a founding editor of Salon’s Mothers Who Think. With four decades of experience in book, magazine, and online publishing, nonprofit arts administration, community organizing for women and nonbinary artists, and advanced-level teaching of writing, Kate established Birds & Muses in 2017 to share her expertise with aspiring women-identified and nonbinary writers through ongoing, one-on-one mentorship and hands-on, collaborative editorial guidance. In addition to her individual mentorships Kate hosts small-group, writing-intensive retreats and directs Bookgardan, an annual, 13-month writing mentorship program for women writers, now in its sixth year.

Accommodations & Fees

The residency fee includes accommodations, all meals, and the program & curriculum for the week for each participant. Travel to & from the residency and optional longer manuscript reviews are not included.

For an image gallery that provides an overview of the property’s amenities and ambiance, click here.

Click below for image galleries of each cabin, including photos of bedrooms.

Sans Souci (1 available)
  • Private queen bedroom in single-occupancy cabin
Alpine Hut (1 available)
  • Private full-size bedroom in single-occupancy cabin
Viking Court Queen (4 available)
  • private queen bedroom in 5-bedroom cabin
Viking Court Twin (1 available)
  • private twin bedroom in 5-bedroom cabin
Pine Clad (2 available)
  • private bedroom in 2-bedroom cabin
Rambling Timbers (1 available)
  • private queen bedroom in a large, 3-bedroom lodge

Enrollment, Accommodations & Meals

Enrollment for this 7-night residency will be first-come, first-served and limited to 10 participants, who will be housed on Hewnoaks’ serene and lovely 19-acre campus on the wooded eastern shore of Kezar Lake, purpose-built as an idyllic, secluded artists’ retreat by its founders in the early 1900s. Hewnoaks’ cabins, which vary from single- to small group-occupancy, all have expansive lake views and retain much of their original rustic, arts-and-crafts décor and character.  All cabins have simple kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms, with the main lodge a common gathering place for group meetings and meals. In keeping with the goal of providing protected, unencumbered time for the making of art, there is no WiFi in the cabins and cell service is virtually nonexistent, with a communications room for WiFi and a landline in the main lodge. Lodging option choices will be first-come, first-served upon enrollment.

The residency includes all meals, with a simple, seasonal vegetarian menu utilizing local foods wherever possible; cabin kitchens will be stocked with fixings for on-your-own breakfasts and lunches. Group dinners will be prepared by residency staff and served in the main lodge. As with all Birds & Muses retreats, Kate’s homemade granola and chocolate chip cookies will be on tap.

An important note about the Hewnoaks campus and facilities: while situated on a magnificent overlook with direct shore access, Hewnoaks is not for everyone. Built over a century ago, Hewnoaks offers basic, Maine camp-style accommodations in charming, if quirky and somewhat ramshackle cottages. Like many seasonal properties, maintenance issues sometimes arise. For this reason, Hewnoaks caters to adventurous spirits who are unperturbed by close proximity to nature (read: bugs and woodland creatures), and comfortable in no-frills lodgings in rural settings. It is very dark at night and can be very quiet. Our historic property has steep hills and unpaved paths; participants with limited mobility may have difficulty navigating the property. If you have questions or concerns about this, please email program staff at info@hewnoaks.org.

The Program & Curriculum

The Hewnoaks-Birds & Muses Residency will offer sanctuary and time in which to write, make room for the imaginative wandering that leads to writing, and provide guidance and mentorship as desired and appropriate for each writer. This opportunity is designed for writers deeply committed to their craft, whether they are published or yet to be published. It’s important to note that this is not a pampered retreat but a focused environment where serious writers can intensively immerse themselves in process and develop their work.

And a significant benefit of a group residency is the shared power created by like-minded, engaged artists coming together to do their work; there’s a lasting artistic contrail from that sense of belonging. To that end, every evening after dinner the group will be invited to gather to share their work by reading to each other – an obligation-free, stress-free alternative to the workshop model that has become a beloved, foundational practice for Birds & Muses writers.

Each participant will receive a 90-minute individual conference with Kate about their writing and project, and may submit 20 pages of writing for discussion. (Longer manuscript reviews may be scheduled outside of the residency week for an optional fee of 4¢ per word.)

The curriculum of the daily group seminar-style craft & process sessions will be finalized based on the needs of the enrolled residents, but will include daily generative prompts designed to open up the possibilities of each writer’s project, wherever they are in their process. Morning sessions will offer a foundational introduction to literary craft unique to Birds & Muses teaching: a non-academic and decidedly more artistic, intuitive, and emotionally/sensorily based approach to literary artistry than is typically taught. Generative assignments will help writers at this stage recognize areas of passion and curiosity that could lead to bigger or more refined projects. Afternoon sessions will take the form of discussion of aspects of late revision and literary professionalism, such as guidance toward publication and seeking support for their work.

General Enrollment: Enrollment is by application on a first-come, first-served rolling basis starting April 5, with a final application due date of April 26. (We expect this residency to fill very quickly and encourage you to apply without delay to avoid disappointment.) Accepted applicants will have 1 week from acceptance to pay the full fee. This fee includes a 25% deposit. Partial refunds of 75% of the retreat fee will be offered for cancellations up to 3 weeks prior to the start of the residency. Cancellations made after that cannot be refunded, no matter how compelling the reason, unless the residency sponsors are able to fill that spot from the waiting list of applicants, in which case 75% of the retreat fee will be refunded.The final acceptance notifications will go out no later than May 1, with full fees due no later than May 8. 

All fees, including the 25% deposit, will be fully refundable if the residency must be canceled by the organizers for any reason. We reserve the right to cancel the retreat up 72 hours prior to its scheduled start due to inadequate enrollment, inclement weather, force majeure, facilities issue or other unforeseen circumstances. Under no circumstances will refunds for travel expenses be made.

Given the uncertainties that can arise, we highly recommend securing travel insurance for anyone booking airline flights. This precaution ensures that, in the event of cancellation, your travel investments are protected.

Deposit & balance payments: will be accepted through the Quickbooks Invoice (The bank transfer option is fee free. Payments made by credit card, Venmo, or Paypal will require a 3% processing fee).

All participants will be required to fill out 2 waivers upon enrollment.

Click the button below to apply!



Past workshops

Connecting to the Local Ecology through Cyanotype Image-Making Workshop

Friday, August 25, 2023, 12:00 – 1:30 pm
at Hewnoaks on Kezar Lake, off Route 5, Lovell

Participants will observe the landscape and collect elements that can be used to create unique blue and white images using sunlight. Collaborate with nature to create stand-alone prints, or turn into collages, cards, etc. No experience necessary. Join us to learn this skill and be stunned by the unique piece of artwork that captures the essence of the land around you.

This event is co-sponsored by Greater Lovell Land Trust and Hewnoaks Artist Residency and will be led by artist and Hewnoaks residency manager, Brian Smith.

SALT: Creative Sound Design for Podcasts (and other things)

July 21-23, 2023
at Hewnoaks on Kezar Lake, off Route 5, Lovell

Come take a MECA&D CS SALT documentary studies class at Hewnoaks!

Salt invites you to an immersive weekend of deep listening, field recording, and audio editing, led by Steven Jackson. This three-day class is ideal for aspiring or early career audio producers and sound designers who want to expand their craft, pick up some new techniques, and shake up the way they listen. Students can expect sound journaling, low-stakes quick-turn projects, feedback in a workshop setting, lecture, lots of listening.

For more information, click here.

Haiku at Hewnoaks

Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 2:30 – 5:00 pm
at Hewnoaks on Kezar Lake, off Route 5, Lovell

As part of a wellness series, the  will offer an indoor/outdoor haiku workshop with poet Kristen Lindquist. Ms. Lindquist will talk about the history of the form, which evolved as a nature poem, and how it’s written today in the US. Participants will then venture outdoors for a ginko, which is a haiku walk during which we will write and share haiku.

A Hewnoaks and Nature Inspired Artist Sketchbook Workshop

Friday, July 26, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
at Hewnoaks on Kezar Lake, off Route 5, Lovell

As part of a wellness series, Pamela Moulton, visual artist and Hewnoaks Summer Manager, will lead an indoor/outdoor sketchbook journaling workshop that will offer a peek into Hewnoaks’ secret places. We will explore nature and Hewnoaks’ hidden corners through observation, intentional curiosity, and focused awareness. We will look at inspiring artist sketchbooks and experiment with mark making using traditional and scavenged drawing materials, so be prepared to forage and get creative. This workshop is open to all ages and no experience necessary. This walk is limited to 15 participants.

Degree of Difficulty: Easy/Moderate


Connect to Our Natural World Through Poems and Short Prose with Judy Steinbergh

As part of a wellness series, we’ll explore and reflect on our personal connections to the environment through the elements, seasons, birds and other wildlife. With inspiration from our surroundings, and short pieces in various styles and forms by poets and naturalists, we will draft our writing and share with the group. Adults and teens welcome. This poetry workshop is sponsored by the Greater Lovell Land Trust, Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, and Hewnoaks Artist Colony.

Tuesday, July 16, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
at Hewnoaks Artist Colony on Kezar Lake, off Route 5, Lovell

Connecting to the Landscape Through Poetry Workshop

July 17, 2018 Tuesday: 10:00 am – noon
at Hewnoaks on Kezar Lake, off Route 5, Lovell

The Greater Lovell Land Trust, Charlotte Hobbs Library and Hewnoaks Artist Colony invite you to join us at HewnOaks to explore and reflect on our personal connections to the landscape, elements, seasons, birds, and other wildlife. Under the guidance of Poet Judith Steinbergh, and with inspiration from our surroundings, plus short pieces by poets and naturalists, we will draft our writing and share with the group. Adults and teens are welcome. Limit: 20 participants.