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.