A writer’s voice should be as distinctive as a chef’s signature dish or anyone’s fingerprint. Or musicians. You know a Van Morrison or Bob Marley song by the opening refrains. Think snowflakes. No two are alike. Nor should the voice of the writer. Whether you are writing fiction or memoir, your voice should be distinctive and recognizable. The most distinguished writers of the past 30 or so years—such as Alice Munro, Junot Díaz, Joyce Carol Oates, Tim O’Brien—have voices. You can almost recognize these writers by their voice alone, as if they’d called you on the phone. A writer can have many imitators—and there are lots of impersonators and counterfeiters out there—but a real writer’s voice is recognizable. While this workshop will, of course, look at story, plot, characters, and so on, we will also focus on voice. Prompts and exercises will be devised to help you find and refine your own. What is your most natural voice? What do you need to strip away in order to put your most honest, true self on the page?


Note: This workshop is full. Please contact us if you wish to join the waitlist; do not make payment in the meantime. Winners of our named awards are guaranteed space in the workshop of their choice.

Admission to this workshop will be based on a writing sample: 10 pages (double-spaced) of your writing and a statement as to why you’d like to be in this workshop. Please prepare your submission as a single file in .doc format and name the .doc “MorrisSub_YourName.doc”; you will upload the file when you register for the workshop. A $100 deposit (fully refundable) is required to register for any workshop. The full cost of the workshop is $450.

About Mary Morris

Mary Morris is the author of 14 books—six novels, including Revenge, three collections of short stories, and four travel memoirs, including most recently The River Queen. Her numerous short stories and travel essays have appeared in such places as the Atlantic, Narrative, the New York Times, and Travel and Leisure. A recipient of the Rome Prize, Morris teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

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