The Writer’s Mind (Afternoon)

with John Searles


  • How does a writer know when an idea is substantial enough to “go the distance” of a complete novel?
  • How does a writer get from inspiration to a completed draft?
  • How does a writer approach what they’ve written with a fresh eye in order to begin revising?
  • What does a writer do when they become stuck?

This course will examine these questions and many more by looking at the unique ways a writer’s mind works. Student will then be encouraged to apply what they’ve learned to their own writing.

Our goals: To help you harness your imagination, develop a disciplined approach to creativity, find your voice, learn to read like a writer and use that knowledge to master the craft and of storytelling with a specific focus on structure, point-of-view, character, dialogue, revision and more.

Students should bring a five page scene to class for sharing with the group….and be prepared for occasional in-class writing exercises.

4 Afternoons:  Monday 11/11–Thursday 11/14 | 1:30-4:30pm


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John Searles is a New York Times bestselling and award-winning writer. His books are published in over a dozen languages and have been voted best of the year or top picks by Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, Salon and the American Library Association. The film adaptation of his novel, Strange But True, is currently streaming on Amazon Prime with an-all-star ensemble cast including Brian Cox (Succession), Amy Ryan (Only Murders In The Building), Nick Robinson and Margaret Qualley (Maid), Greg Kinnear and Blythe Danner. John’s recently published novel, Her Last Affair, was praised as “delightfully creepy” by People, “a tense, intricately woven tale of heartbreak, retribution and redemption” by Publishers Weekly and “a twisted thriller that explores despair and loneliness with cinematic flair” by Kirkus. For more than 20 years, John was the Books Editor of Cosmopolitan magazine. He appears frequently on NBC’s Today show as well having appeared on CBS This Morning, CNN, NPR’s Fresh Air and other national shows to discuss his books as well as his favorite reading recommendations.