This workshop is designed for writers working on revising a piece of fiction or narrative nonfiction, which could be short or long (book length). Over the course of two weeks, you will engage in exercises designed to identify and flesh out the heart of your work, with a focus on approaching it as readers will. We will practice being mindful of where the energy is in our work and learn skills for crafting our revision process around it. By the end of class, you will have either completed a revised draft or be well underway, with skills to approach revision of other projects going forward.
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.”