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Memoir Writing Workshops

Down East Adventures

Regular price $1,250.00

Unit price per 


Memoir Writing Workshop - $1,250

THE ART OF THE TINY TRUTH: A Flash Nonfiction Workshop

Flash nonfiction essays are extremely short — often 750 words or fewer — true stories told concisely and movingly. This dynamic micro-essay form can lead to inspiring results whether being used for reflective, memoir-like pieces or more urgent, in-the-moment pieces. Flash nonfiction essays can tackle the absurd and the profound, and are an invaluable method for nonfiction writers looking for a “side door” into stories that are too daunting to enter from the front. This class will begin with a brief lecture by the instructor, followed by writing prompts and instructor-led group critiques. The writing prompts and exercises will be intended to liberate attendees’ creativity, provide literary distance and perspective, and open their eyes to possibilities that may not seem immediately obvious. Students will also have one-on-one slots to discuss development of their flash essays into something larger, or where to take the work they’ve produced in the writing workshop.

Tentative Itinerary

This workshop begins in the evening with a cocktail reception followed by a short lecture and excerpt reading from one of Mira’s works. The next morning after breakfast on your own, join the group for generative writing prompts. After lunch, provided by the Rangeley Inn, Mira will be available for one-on-one conferences in the afternoon. The last morning’s session will be more writing prompts followed by a group gathering and send-off.

This workshop includes

  • 2 nights accommodations at the Rangeley Inn
  • Cocktail reception with appetizers on the first night
  • Lunch on the second day
  • Sessions all three days with Mira Ptacin

Instructor Bio

Mira Ptacin is an award-winning creative nonfiction and children’s book author (and New York Times bestselling ghostwriter. Shhhh!). She’s the author of the memoir Poor Your Soul (Soho Press, 2016) as well as the history book The In-Betweens (Liveright–W.W. Norton, 2018). Ptacin was the recipient of the Maine Literary Award in both 2014 and 2017, and her first book was praised by Kirkus Books, NPR, and Huffington Post as one of the best books of 2016. 

Her work frequently appears in the New York Times, the Sunday Book Review, Down East magazine, The Atlantic, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Poets & Writers, Harper’s magazine, and more. Her work has been featured in The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous & Obscure (Harper Perennial, 2012); Get Out: Twenty-One Writers Respond to America’s War on Women’s Rights and Reproductive Health (Cherry Bomb Books, 2013), and the anthology Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving NYC (Seal Press, 2013). Ptacin is also founder, host, curator, and executive director of Freerange Nonfiction, a Manhattan- and (soon-to-be) Maine-based reading series and storytelling collective, which has been praised by CBS News as one of the “Five Best Things to Do in New York,” selected by New York magazine as a “Critic’s Pick,” and was voted “Best Nonfiction Reading Series” by Electric Literature. Mira received her MFA in nonfiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She teaches creative nonfiction at Colby College as well as memoir writing to inmates at the Maine Correctional Center, and lives on Peaks Island, Maine, with her husband and two children. See:

More about Rangeley Inn

Nestled in downtown Rangeley, on Haley Pond, the Rangeley Inn is perfectly situated for exploring Maine’s lakes and mountains. Witness the grandeur and charm of Rangeley’s past in this beautifully restored landmark property dating to the late 19th century. Offering tastefully renovated historic guest rooms, suites, and waterview units with private decks. Enjoy free use of kayaks on Haley Pond. Breakfast available for purchase daily, on-site bar and lounge open nightly. Walking distance to shops, galleries, and eateries in the center of Rangeley.


The payment is 50% refundable in the event you have to cancel, as long as the cancellation is made 21 days before the trip. After that time, your payment is non-refundable. Alternately, 100% of your payment will be refunded if a replacement can be found prior to the trip.

COVID-19 Info

Please refer to the CDC website for the latest guidance on COVID-19 and travel.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
Nancy Marshall
Amazing Experience

Everything was amazing about this retreat! The location at the Rangeley Inn was perfect: the accommodations, the food, the service and the ambiance were all great. Mira Ptacin, the instructor, deserves an A++ for being empathetic, inspiring and instructive when it came to our writing. And finally, the other participants! They could not have been more compatible. How did you do that, DownEast? Amazing! I have already registered for next year!

Nancy M.
Amazing experience!

The Memoir Writing Retreat was such an amazing experience. The instructor, Mira Ptacin was so encouraging and supportive, and the others in the group were wonderful! We all loved each other and were so sad to say goodbye at the end of the 2 1/2 days!

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