Guided by critically acclaimed author Susan Conley, this exciting mixed-genre writing workshop helps writers think explicitly and intentionally about their book.

Sep 2, 2024 - Sep 6, 2024

Levels: All
Workshop Fee: $1395
Workshop Duration: 1-week (Monday-Friday)
Workshop Location: On-campus
Class Size: 12

A collection of Susan Conley's books
Instructor, Susan Conley is the author of five critically acclaimed books, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to her class.

Thinking in Book is a mixed-genre, non-fiction and fiction workshop in which we talk and think explicitly and intentionally about your book— the book you most want to write and how. To “think in book” sometimes requires a shift in thinking so that you can say very intentionally in the workshop: here is the book I’m writing. This is my goal. Here is my probable structure. 

We will work with innovative prompts in the workshop each day to generate new material within the framework of the project we’ve named—this may mean finishing one specific essay or chapter(s) of a memoir or the beginning of a novel or short story.

Together we will also examine craft tools each day and consider them in a new light: amazingly useful, handy tools like tension and escalation and overstory and understory and dialogue and plot and vibe and voice. While the workshop will be generative and exciting in the way that writing is when we land on the unexpected, we will also be keeping an eye on the structure of the book project each of you is imagining, and we will be very clear about the “lane” your book wants to live in.

Past Thinking in Book workshop student testimonials

“Susan was fantastic! She was an expert in facilitating the writing practices and drawing out so much from us. The group was wonderfully supportive.” – Elizabeth H.

“Susan’s masterful guiding of our process. She dove into the craft of writing in depth, structure choices, and elevated the writing process from subject to consideration of the entire project. a broadening of perspective while still keeping us right in the critical aspects of scene, place, overarching interrogation of the piece, as well as integration. And always, always she brought us back to our readers. A profound intensive, immersive experience. Forever changed.” – Kim J.

“Susan is the best writing teacher I have ever had — maybe the best teacher I have ever had, period. Just a transformative class.” – Nancy Y.

“Susan Conley is a brilliant teacher. Not only does she love teaching her material her students come away inspired to move forward in their work” – Sally D.

“Away from the disrupted noise of the city find the peace of your artistic spirit sleeping for too long inside of you” – Daniel T.

Reviews of Susan’s recent book, Landslide

Vanity Fair’s Best Book of the Month: “Susan Conley weaves in the complicated changes occurring throughout the state, from the destruction of the local fishing industry (climate change, new laws, new development) to shifting population demographics. A less artful alternate title for this book might be Growing Pains. There’s a lot of love in this book, none of it treacly, as Jill navigates between memories of the early days of her own relationship and the challenge of raising boys in 21st century America.” — Vanity Fair

“In this enveloping novel, a mother of teenage boys tries to find her footing in coastal Maine after her husband is injured in a fishing accident. Little cracks have sprouted in every inch of the fortification around this family’s life…” — New York Times Editor’s Choice

Best New Novels of Winter 2021: “When a fishing accident leaves her husband hospitalized in Canada, Jill must hold down the fort with their teenage sons in their small Maine town. Her sons keep getting into all manner of adolescent trouble, money is tight, and Jill starts to worry that her marriage is crumbling. A compelling portrait of family life, deferred dreams and middle age.” — New York Post

“Stunning… Conley is masterful in her storytelling. She writes confidently about Jill’s growing lack of confidence in her own parenting skills. She nails the angst and doubt faced by parents of teenagers. Additionally, she assigns Jill the task of narrating on behalf of her wolves, which is no small feat … Conley has navigated the fissures of a family in crisis with her usual restraint and humor — all of it set against a backdrop of the state’s rugged coastline. The result is a slice of contemporary Maine life that’s as engaging as it is universal.” — Joan Silverman, Portland Press Herald

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Instructor: Susan Conley

Susan is the author of five critically acclaimed books, including her recent, best-selling novel Landslide, which was a New York Times Book Review’s Editor’s Choice, a Today Show Summer Read,…