This workshop is designed for writers who either have an idea for a novel or are in the early stages of drafting. Over the course of four weeks, participants will engage in a series of generative exercises and assignments that will give shape to the essential novel elements: character, plot, structure, point of view, scene development, and meaning. By the end of the class, participants can expect to have an ample start on their drafts, a clear idea of the novel’s direction, and a game plan for moving forward. Memoirists welcome.
Mary Adkins is the author of the novels When You Read This (Indie Next Pick and “Best Book of 2019” by Good Housekeeping) and Privilege (a New York Post Best Book of the Week and Today.com's 7 Best Summer Reads). Her third novel, Palm Beach, will be published by Harper in 2021. Her essays and reporting have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, and more. A graduate of Yale Law School and Duke University, she teaches storytelling for The Moth worldwide and lives in Nashville with her husband and son.
“Mary was a very positive and sensitive instructor. Her awareness of the personality of new/inexperienced writers and the possible negative impact that workshopping a piece in a group setting can have on an enthusiastic but nervous writer made my experience a very thoughtful and informative one. While I know the wonderful and kind participants played a role in the thoughtful and constructive process we experienced, it was Mary's approach and sensitivity that lead the way. I found Mary to be approachable, kind, enthusiastic, and incredibly knowledgeable; moreover, she really wants you to succeed as a writer. Great experience.”
“Mary was great! Very engaging, and introduced some new ways of thinking about how to approach the often daunting task of starting to write a first novel.”
“Novel Jumpstart was great! I really appreciated Mary Adkins' teaching style—knowledgeable and confident while also being very enthusiastic, supportive, flexible, and open to meeting the specific needs of our group. I feel very lucky to have been in the class I was. We really connected well as a group and are making plans to continue engaging each other around writing beyond the class.”