Participants in Island Readers & Writers’ ARROW Retreat will observe the natural world and create artwork and writings inspired by their exploration. PHOTO COURTESY OF IRW

Registration opens for free IRW student retreat

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Rising sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders who aspire to be writers, artists and naturalists are invited to participate in Island Readers & Writers’ free summer ARROW Retreat, scheduled to take place here Monday through Thursday, June 25-28, from noon to 5 p.m.

“ARROW” stands for “art, reading, reflection, observation and writing.” At the retreat, participants will explore where they are in space and time using personal writing, printmaking and bookbinding. No previous writing or art skills are necessary; just a sense of adventure and an interest in discovering how they see and observe their environment.

Leading the young explorers on their artistic retreat is middle-grade novelist and editor Genevieve Morgan, as well as artist and printmaker Liz McGhee.

Morgan is an award-winning author of The Five Stones Trilogy, including “The Kinfolk,” “The Fog of Forgetting” and “Chantarelle.” She also is the author of the nonfiction book for high schoolers “Undecided: Navigating Life and Learning after High School.” Her fiction has won the Silver Moonbeam award for preteen fantasy and has been a finalist for the Maine Literary Awards. As a volunteer and teacher, she has worked for many years with kids and teens as the president of the board of The Telling Room in Portland. She is a contributing writer to “Edible Maine” and edits literary fiction and memoir for Islandport Press. This will be Morgan’s second partnership with the organization, as she led Island Readers & Writers’ Young Writers’ Workshop at two Washington County schools in spring 2017.

McGhee studied photography at Bowdoin College, and received her masters in book arts and printmaking from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She has taught continuing education classes in printmaking and book arts in Philadelphia, Maryland and Portland, and experiential environmental education to students from elementary school through college in Maryland. For 13 years, McGhee was the program manager for Spindleworks, an art center for adults with disabilities in Brunswick. She is currently a member of Pickwick Independent Press in Portland.

The four-day ARROW retreat will be based out of the Island Readers & Writers’ office in Southwest Harbor, but participants also will explore the Wendell Gilley Museum, the causeway and nearby hiking trails such as Flying Mountain. An exhibition of participants’ work for families and the public will be held on the final day of the retreat at the Wendell Gilley Museum.

Online ARROW registration opens at midnight on Friday, May 4, at, and closes at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 25. Preference will be given to registrants residing on MDI and/or attending MDI Regional School System schools.

For more, visit the IRW website or call 244-5111.

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