Summer Conference

Hopkins Conference on Craft and Science Writing Residency
2017 Hopkins Conference on Craft and Science Writing Residency, July 2 – 9

Hone your craft, expand your community — in vibrant Bar Harbor, Maine.

The Johns Hopkins Conference on Craft, sponsored by the Writing, Science Writing, and Teaching Writing Programs at Hopkins, returns to picturesque Bar Harbor this summer. Conference participants will stay in a low-cost waterfront dorm on the beautiful campus of the College of the Atlantic, participate in rich discussions of their writing, and enjoy easy access to neighboring Acadia National Park.

This 11th edition of the conference, which has traveled from Italy to Shenandoah National Park to Annapolis, Maryland, combines special writing craft exercises, individual writing time, and the stunning location of Bar Harbor and adjoining Acadia National Park. Students earn full graduate credit for this course. Information on rates, lodging, and other details can be found below.

  • Science Writing students take 491.710 In the Field: Science Writing in the Woods, Coasts, & Labs of Mt. Desert Island. This course, which fulfills the Science Writing residency requirement, immerses students in the region’s thriving conservation science and marine research.
  • Students in the Writing Program can take AS.490.784 Reading and Writing New England. This is a joint Fiction/Nonfiction reading and discussion experience focusing on stories, essays, poems, and books set in or by authors from this region. 
  • Students in the Teaching Writing Program can take AS.492.690 Residency: Best Practices in the Teaching of Writing. This Writing Residency will include discussions on current issues in the teaching of writing, teaching demonstrations by students, and a writing workshop.

As is the tradition for the summer conference, all groups join for some of the week’s activities, including discussion and analysis of a single assigned book.

Students pay the regular 2017-18 tuition for the course, plus an academic fee and a housing/food/facilities charge for events, some meals, and seven nights lodging in a dorm room. Registration is now open. The preferred registration deadline is February 7; students may register after that date if space is available.

Students may take a second summer course, in addition to the conference; full-semester Writing or Science Writing courses will allow makeup work for any absences caused by the one-week conference course.

Program alumni and outside applicants are encouraged to register for the non-credit section of their chosen course, for half the regular graduate tuition and a reduced academic fee. Alumni and others interested in the conference should email for more information and registration details.

Registration, Cost and Other Details

How to Register or Apply

Current Writing, Science Writing or Teaching Writing Program students seeking full course credit should register in the usual online manner, using the JHU SIS registration system and number for their course below:

  • AS.490.784.91 Reading & Writing New England (Writing Program)
  • AS.491.710.91 or AS.491.710.92 In the Field: Science Writing in the Woods, Coasts, & Labs of Mt. Desert Island (Science Writing Program)
  • AS.492.690 Residency: Best Practices in the Teaching of Writing (Teaching Writing students)

Writing or Science Writing Program alumni not seeking credit should contact for details on registration. Alumni who still have a JHED ID may register through JHU SIS. The non-credit course numbers are:

  • AS.490.784.94 Reading & Writing New England
  • AS.491.710.94 In the Field: Science Writing in the Woods, Coasts, & Labs of Mt. Desert Island

Alumni of Writing or Science Writing, or non-degree or certificate seeking students, who would like to take the Residency in Teaching Writing should contact Mark Farrington at for more information.


The cost for this year’s conference is the regular Summer 2017 Johns Hopkins MA in Writing / MA in Science Writing tuition rate of $2918 (plus a possible increase of as much as $146), plus a course academic fee of $275. Participants also pay a Room/Board/Events charge of $605, which includes seven nights in a shared or single dorm room, breakfast and some other meals, and various events. Students who will provide their own lodging pay a Board/Events charge of $225. Attendees pay their own travel costs to and from Bar Harbor, plus other meals beyond those specified in the week’s schedule.

Families and friends of attendees may stay in the dorm and attend selected events. Guests pay a room/board/activities fee of $450.

The academic fee and room/board charges are non-refundable after February 7.

Costs / Graduate Credit
Tuition $2918 (2017-18 regular tuition rate)*
Course Fee $275
Room/Board/Events Charge $605 (includes 7 nights dorm room / shared bath, plus events, some meals, etc.)
Total $3798


Costs/ Non-Credit for Alumni, Others
Tuition $1459
Course Fee $175
Room/Board/Events Charge $605 (includes 7 nights dorm room / shared bath, plus events, some meals, etc.)
Total $2239

* Tentative tuition rate. Johns Hopkins may announce a tuition increase for 2017-18 of as much as $146.

Travel to Bar Harbor

Students can fly or drive to Bar Harbor. The town is 268 miles from Boston and 154 miles north of Portland, Maine. The closest airport is the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, 12 miles away. More flights are available through the Bangor International Airport 50 miles from Bar Harbor. Further information about carpools and other travel details will be provided to course participants.

Location and Schedule

The conference will be held in waterfront classrooms, gardens, and grounds at College of the Atlantic’s beautiful campus in Bar Harbor. Students should plan on arriving at the College of the Atlantic in time for an opening reception and class session at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 2. Checkout will be Sunday, July 9, by 10 a.m., with all conference courses and events concluding at a closing reception and ceremony on the evening of Saturday, July 8. The conference will help arrange carpools later. Generally, the conference will follow a 9-5 schedule, with breaks for meals, personal writing time, and other activities. Besides the opening and closing events, the conference plans several evening activities, including a movie night and student reading. Other group activities will be planned informally.

Course Descriptions

In the Field: Science Writing in the Woods, Coasts, and Labs of Mount Desert Island 491.710.91/.92 (491.710.94 non-credit)
Mount Desert Island, Maine, home to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, is a place of exquisite natural beauty. With several thriving environmental science centers and a world-class genetics laboratory, the island is also a hub of cutting-edge research. Participants immerse themselves in the region’s stimulating natural and intellectual environments while honing their reporting skills, refining their writing artistry, and gathering information for stories. Possible field excursions, where participants can observe and interview researchers on the front lines of science, include visits to Great Duck Island, where biologists study a diverse population of nesting seabirds, and beautiful Acadia, where naturalists work to conserve the park’s plants and wildlife. Course participants engage in writing workshops and craft exercises, and discuss nature literature. In the Field fulfills the residency requirement for the M.A. in Science Writing.

Reading and Writing New England 490.784.91 (490.784.94 non-credit)
From Emerson, Frost, Melville and Wharton, through such contemporary writers as John Updike, Tracy Kidder, Richard Russo, and Elizabeth Strout, New England is rich in literary heritage. This cross-concentration reading and craft course for the Hopkins Conference on Craft in Bar Harbor, Maine, will focus on a writer’s analysis of essays, poems, stories, or books set in, or written by writers from this region. We’ll cast a particular eye toward setting and a sense of place, and we’ll look at these works both in terms of how they grow out of the New England literary tradition and how they connect to any literature written about, and set within, a particular region or culture. Participants in this course will write both creative and reflective responses to the readings and discussions. They also will join other conference participants in afternoon craft exercises or individual writing time.

Residency: Best Practices in the Teaching of Writing 490.690.91
This residency, for Teaching Writing M.A. degree and certificate candidates only, will bring students together in a face-to-face, classroom environment. They will design and present mini-lessons involving writing they have used, or wish to use in their classrooms, study and discuss theories and best practices in the teaching of writing, and participate in a writing workshop focused on their own writing. Teaching Writing students will join with students in the Writing and Science Writing Programs for readings, roundtables, field trips and other residency events. Some pre- and post-conference coursework will be required.

For additional information


Hopkins Conference on Craft and Science Writing Residency Seafox Residential Building

The Seafox Residential Building, site of conference dorm rooms