The nature of this program is straightforward, even rudimentary: this is a remote, rustic wilderness, with facilities to accommodate a select group of residents who sometimes share their work after dinner but are otherwise there to work uninterrupted. The environment is beautiful, extreme and unadorned. Each resident is required to work with their fellow residents to conserve water and electricity—and to help clean up after dinner. Norton Island is an outdoorsy experience that may come as a shock at first to those visitors who have spent time at other residencies.

Please note the following before applying.

Cabins have no running water or facilities. Bathrooms and showers are located at the main lodge, East Camp. Each cabin is charming and set far apart other cabins for maximum privacy and work conditions.

It gets cold at night. Sometimes it is cold during the day. While the rest of the world swelters in the heat, the Maine summers can be forgivingly mild.

Expect rain. And fog. Expect glorious days of sun, but expect rain and fog, too.

It is very dark at night. There are constellations in the heavens that you didn’t believe existed.

It is an island about one mile from the mainland. The closest mainland town is the fishing village of Jonesport, ME. Travel to and from the island is done by boats, which are used for emergencies, supplies and planned trips only.

Watch out for wildlife—most of it amazing, some of it icky, all of it harmless.

Travel (and travel expenses) to Bangor Airport (for those residents that are flying) or to Hopkins Point Road in Jonesport (for those residents that are driving) are the responsibility of residents. Transportation from Bangor Airport to Norton Island will be made available to non-driving residents, free of charge.

Norton Island maintains wi-fi satellite connection to the Internet. The wi-fi is only available in a single location, the West Camp lodge, which is open to residents during normal hours. There is not wi-fi access in cabins, nor across most of Norton island.

Most cellular phones pick up a signal on Norton Island. But not always. And not everywhere on the island. Signal strength varies with carrier, location and luck.