Writers Program

We harness the sheer power of the Les Cheneaux Islands area, the talents of teachers, and the drive of students seeking excellence in this craft.

Imagine an endeavor that brings writers, artists, and naturalists of all ages together with experienced teachers and mentors in Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula, where Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was inspired to write Hiawatha, where Ernest Hemingway’s Nick Adams stories unfolded, where Aldo Leopold spent the summers of his youth, and Jim Harrison hunted grouse and woodcock. Our programs enable creative people to meet in a beautifully restored 1937 schoolhouse and enjoy lodgings close to nature, from art classes to writing workshops. They have all about them the inspiration of the deep woods of “Up North,” the rich maritime history of the northern Great Lakes, and the freedom to roam the forests and walk the shores as they enjoy the relaxed pace of life that has characterized this idyllic northern Michigan community for well over a century.

Our venue, Hessel School House, was built in 1937 to house grades kindergarten through fifth in two classrooms. The central part of the building features a large, multi-purpose room to serve as an auditorium (with a stage and its side entry), lunchroom, and gymnasium. The school closed in 1959 when the school in nearby Cedarville expanded to accommodate elementary and secondary school students from both areas.

2022 Programs:

Reading for Pleasure - A Novelist’s Point of View

Saturday, September 10, 2022
1:00 PM — 4:00 PM

Registration Closed

Join us for Reading for Pleasure – A Novelist’s Point of View with International best-selling author, Sue Harrison. Novelist Sue Harrison’s latest book is quite different from her famous trilogies that took place in the Ice Age. The Midwife’s Touch begins in the Missouri Ozarks in the mid-1800s, centering on an unusual twist of mind. Sue will bisect her novel for the participants, so they can get a “bird’s eye view” of why a novelist chooses to write a certain way or a certain scene.

Fee: $50 (Includes coupon for her new book scheduled to be released in early 2023.)

Sue Harrison | International Best-Selling Author

Author of: Mother Earth Father Sky, My Sister the Moon, Brother Wind, Song of the River, Cry of the Wind, Call Down the Stars and her latest release, The Midwife’s Touch, early 2023.

The Development of a Novel

September 19 – 23, 2022
Five Day Workshop

10:00 AM — 4:00 PM

Registration Closed

Mon / Tues — September 19, 20,
Wed — Break for homework
Thurs / Fri — September 22, 23

This workshop will cover: Book Proposals, Origins of Originality, Plot Lines, Chapters vs. Stories, Sense of Place, Your Vision, Your System, Frame & Form, and The Benefits of Criticism, Aphorism, Group Reading.

Fee: $325 (lunch included)

Joe Haske | Nationally Recognized Literary Writer and Educator

National award-winning author, Joseph D. Haske, is Director of the Avery Learning Center Writers Program, which he helped launch in 2018 with 3-day workshops for new and established writers. He is flying in from Texas specifically to present this in-depth workshop designed for the writer who wants to fulfill his/her intense desire to publish a literary work of novel length.

Joe Haske is currently an English Department Chair at South Texas College in McAllen, Texas. He was awarded the Boulevard Emerging Fiction Writer Award in 2011, and his debut novel, North Dixie Highway, was released in October of 2013. His fiction has appeared in prestigious journals such as Boulevard, Fiction International, The Texas Review, the Four-Way Review, Pleiades, and in the Chicago Tribune 39’s literary supplement, Printers Row. His poetry and fiction are also featured in various anthologies as well as in French, Romanian, and Canadian publications.