Summer Writing Workshop with Joe Haske

Hessel, Michigan, United States

Jun 17 - Jun 19, 2020


TUITION / COST:$75 per student
SCHOLARSHIP:None Available

CONTACT: Avery Arts & Nature Learning Center
PHONE: (906) 484-1333

Professor Joe Haske, author of North Dixie Highway, will offer a three-day writing workshop for new and established writers at Avery Arts & Nature Learning Center in northern Michigan. Fiction and nonfiction writers will receive professional instruction in writing book-length prose manuscripts.

Located on the shores of Lake Huron, Avery Arts & Nature Learning Center offers a tranquil, inspirational backdrop for writers of all levels to hone their craft. The primary retreat in mid-June will explore the initial stages of planning and composing a book-length prose manuscript. Additionally, the workshop will emphasize setting and the role of the natural environment in crafting a sense of place, as well as various other elements of prose style and technique. Attendees will benefit from the seclusion, hospitality, and natural splendor of this cozy, northern Michigan community in Hemingway country.

The workshop will take place Thursday, June 18, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday, June 19, from 5:30 p.m to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, June 20, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Participants will have the opportunity to visit the area's gorgeous Marquette Island.

To register, visit or call (906) 484-1333.


Featured Writers Include:

Professor Joseph D. Haske is a writer, critic and scholar, whose debut novel, North Dixie Highway, was released in October 2013. His fiction appears in journals such as Boulevard, Fiction International, the Texas Review, the Four-Way Review, Pleiades, and in the Chicago Tribune's literary supplement, Printers Row. His poetry and fiction are also featured in various anthologies, such as Stray Dogs and The Way North, as well as in French, Romanian and Canadian publications. Haske edits various literary venues, including Goliad and American Book Review. He received the Boulevard Emerging Fiction Writer award in 2011 for his short story, Smelt.


Fiction, Creative nonfiction


3206 W. Cedar Road
Michigan, United States

Avery Arts & Nature Learning Center

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.

From art classes to writing workshops, our programs enable creative people to meet in a beautifully restored 1937 school house, enjoy lodgings close to nature, and 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, with the central part of the building featuring a large, multi-purpose room to serve as an auditorium (with a stage and its own side entry), lunch room, and gymnasium. The school closed in 1959, when a new facility was built in nearby Cedarville to accommodate elementary and secondary school students from both areas.

A printing company took over the building, turning the classroom that housed kindergarten through second grade on the west end of the building into a print shop, and added on a garage, which eliminated the common room’s west wall of windows. The business closed in the late 1960s. The property was purchased in the early 1970s to convert into a private residence. Subsequent to the owner’s death, it was listed for sale in 2014.

A group of community supporters formed The Hessel School House Corporation, as a non-profit entity, to purchase the property in January 2016, aided by a benefactor’s loan. Through substantial donations by members of the Avery/Follansbee/Broughton Family, and their request that its primary purpose be to serve the community as a learning and event center under the name of The Avery Arts & Nature Learning Center, the building was completely restored.

Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula is a remarkably unique corner of America due to its extraordinary wealth of natural beauty and surrounding waters, which contributed to its deep history and fascinating cultures of Native American and French-Canadian heritage, and to its early settlers from the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Italy. The latter were drawn to the region by its rich opportunities involving agriculture, fishing, logging, and the limestone of the Niagara escarpment. The enduring evidence of their strong work ethic and craftsmanship remains today in the simple values that are still being embraced.

Thus, the entire area, and particularly the Les Cheneaux Islands, offers tremendous appeal to writers who are looking for not only solitude but nourishment of one’s soul and inner creativity. The Hiawatha National Forest and abundant state forest land, as well as the interlacing nature preserves that are protected through Little Traverse Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy, serve the need for the ultimate escape from urban distractions. The rural areas and small towns, having changed very little through the generations, offer a wonderful range of unique personalities and characters to excite a writer’s imagination.

Avery Arts & Nature Learning Center programs are based on the critical need to maintain the fragile balance between nature and man that makes the eastern Upper Peninsula special. Education through stimulating the senses is at the heart of this. In addition to our art and nature programs, we offer workshops, seminars, and retreats to attract writers (and potential writers) locally, nationally, and internationally. Our programs cover a variety of genres and serve people at different levels of age, education, and skill. At the forefront, we promote a strong emphasis on nature and taking advantage of the area’s remoteness, unique ecology, and intertwined cultural histories.