BLUE HILL — Registration is open for four online writing workshops offered Oct. 24-28 by Word, the annual Blue Hill literary arts festival. Word will offer workshops by John Cariani (playwriting), Gretchen Eberhart Cherington (memoir), Myronn Hardy (poetry) and Anica Mrose Rissi (young-adult/middle-grade fiction).

Workshop fees start at $25. Registration is required, and space is limited.  Registration links can be found at

Registration also is required for Word’s free events — Friday’s 7 p.m. conversation between novelists Jonathan Lethem and Kate Christenson, Saturday’s memoir discussion with Monica Wood and Kerri Arsenault, also at 7 p.m., and Sunday’s 4 p.m. online Poetry Crawl featuring Ekhlas Ahmed, Linda Aldrich, Colin Cheney and Deborah Cummins.

Books by all speakers and workshop presenters are available for purchase at Blue Hill Books (

Rissi’s workshop, “From Spark to Flame: How to Grow Your Idea into a Compelling Middle Grade or Young Adult Novel,” is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24, 10 a.m. to noon. The group will explore how to feed the spark of initial ideas and inspirations and grow them into layered, complex stories.

Rissi grew up in Deer Isle and spends part of the year there now. She is the author of more than a dozen books for kids and teens, including the Anna, Banana chapter books; “Love, Sophia on the Moon” and “Nobody Knows But You.” As a former book editor turned full-time writer, she has spoken with kids and adults across the country about all stages of the writing process.

Also on Saturday, Oct. 24, Myronn Hardy will offer “The Sonnet: A Contemporary Response” from 1-3 p.m. Starting with a time-honored traditional form, participants will experiment with their own innovations that speak to contemporary life real and imagined. 

Hardy, a faculty member at Bates College in Lewiston, is the author of four award-winning volumes of poetry as well as short stories that have garnered two Pushcart Prize nominations. He has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Annenberg Foundation, Djerassi, Cave Canem, Instituto Sacatar and Fundación Valparaiso.

The daughter of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Richard Eberhart, Gretchen Eberhart Cherington will offer a two-part workshop on writing family-based memoir. The workshop’s first session will be Sunday, Oct. 25, 1-2:30 p.m., and the second will be Wednesday, Oct. 28, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Appropriate for all levels, the workshop will cover key elements of contemporary personal or family memoir along with craft tips and techniques to guide or enhance participants’ own memoir writing.

Cherington’s memoir “Poetic License” focuses on life among her parents’ social circle of literary giants, exposing the difficult realities behind the myths. Her family spent summers on Cape Rosier.

Another two-part workshop, John Cariani’s “How to Write a Play When You Don’t Want To (Or Feel Like You Can’t or Have No Idea How To Get Started)” will start Monday, Oct. 26, and  conclude Tuesday, Oct. 27, 7-8:30 p.m. on both nights. Cariani has developed exercises to get writers “motivated, unblocked, unstuck, and inspired — exercises that will free you from your mind and help you connect to the ‘play’ part of the word ‘playwright.’”

An award-winning stage, film and television actor who grew up in Presque Isle, Cariani is the author of four popular plays. His debut play, “Almost Maine,” is one of the most frequently produced plays in the country. He recently adapted it into a children’s novel, published last spring.

In addition to registration links, will offer other details about the festival as October progresses, including news of a literary scavenger hunt under development.

Word is funded by the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation and the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as other generous donors. Word’s media partner is WERU-FM.

For more information go to or call 207-374-5632.