Pen Central is the Seacoast’s (Portsmouth/Kittery)  hub for writing workshops, tutorials, consultations, editing, and readings.

We are dedicated to nurturing beginning, practicing, and established writers. Our fiction, memoir, and poetry workshops offer a community for learning, inspiration, and mutual support.

Our writers come from all walks of life. They come to explore a desire to write, hone their craft, and revise for publication.

We’d love to hear from you about what kind of writing workshops you’re interested in! Please take a moment to respond to our brief survey.


Try This!

Flash Fiction

Write a micro story of about three sentences using the following words in any order:  turtle, suspicious, blue, key

Who’s telling the story?  How does it end?

Six Word Memoir

Tell your whole story, in six words. Here’s an example: “Torched the haystack. Found the needle.” Tom Boardman

Summer Haiku

This is a “word snapshot” that captures one moment in summer, the first line could have 5 syllables, the second line could have 7 syllables, and the third line could have 5 syllable. Or not.

Using Charles Simic’s poem “My Shoes” as a model, write a poem about a well-used pair of summer shoes or slippers… the idea being to capture not only something of the life of the wearer (you) but also something of the spirit of your summer. Have fun fully describing the shoe or slippers and (in the process) suggest why it is that these shoes matter. What do they hold of summer, of you?

My Shoes

By Charles Simic

Shoes, secret face of my inner life:

Two gaping toothless mouths,

Two partly decomposed animal skins

Smelling of mice nests.

My brother and sister who died at birth

Continuing their existence in you,

Guiding my life

Toward their incomprehensible innocence.

What use are books to me

When in you it is possible to read

The Gospel of my life on earth

And still beyond, of things to come?

I want to proclaim the religion

I have devised for your perfect humility

And the strange church I am building

With you as the altar.

Ascetic and maternal, you endure:

Kin to oxen, to Saints, to condemned men,

With your mute patience, forming

The only true likeness of myself.