About Frances Dowell

Frances began taking writing workshops while a student at Wake Forest University and went on to earn an MFA in Creative Writing from UMass-Amherst, where she taught in the undergraduate writing program under the tutelage of renowned teacher Peter Elbow (Writing with Power, Writing without Teachers). She continued her teaching career at Elon University in North Carolina, before leaving academia to write her first novel, Dovey Coe, which was published in 2000. Since then, Frances has made frequent school visits to talk about the writing process and to conduct workshops with students. For the last six years, Frances has taught creative writing workshops locally, and since 2015 has worked privately with a group of advanced older students. Her book about creative writing for kids -- The Big What If ... Or How to Build a Story -- was published in 2020.

Writing Your Personal Statement

By |2021-05-24T14:17:24-04:00May 24th, 2021|

Course Description Time: Open-ended. We’ll work on your statement until it’s application-worthy. One week we might meet three times via Zoom; another week our interaction might be entirely via email. Vaccinations permitting, we might meet [...]

For Parents and Teachers: How to Encourage Your Reluctant Writer

By |2021-03-23T12:16:04-04:00January 28th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

When I’m talking about writing during a school visit, I ask the teachers to close their eyes so I can take a quick poll of the assembled students: How many of you love to write? [...]

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Got Feedback? Here’s How to Use It

By |2020-09-26T12:34:36-04:00January 7th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? You get notes on your story or poem, read them over, and then revise based on the suggestions you’ve received. Just like that, you’ve got a bright and shiny [...]

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Surviving the Writing Workshop

By |2020-09-26T12:34:46-04:00October 28th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

It’s writing workshop day! Maybe you’re a sixth grader who’s never been through the process of getting feedback live and in person--and from six people all at once! Or maybe you’re thirty-two, sitting at shaky [...]

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Editors in the Classroom Workshop

By |2020-09-26T12:35:11-04:00October 6th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

One of the most important things an editor does is help the writer see what she’s actually written—as opposed to what she thinks she’s written. The editor points out to the writer what’s confusing about [...]

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