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Naomi Jackson

“Stamina”: Making a Way through the Messy Middle of a Novel or Memoir

Naomi Jackson, photo by Tyler Joe
Naomi Jackson, photo by Tyler Joe
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workshop description

“Stamina” is not just the title of a popular soca song from Barbados. It is also the necessary ingredient for writing book-length works of fiction or creative nonfiction. This workshop is designed for writers who are knee-deep in a novel, memoir, or creative nonfiction project, perhaps struggling to resist the temptation to overwrite the opening chapters instead of focusing on the difficult, but ultimately rewarding work of generating new pages and creating an overall structure for their projects. We will examine the various ways in which writers gather, expend, and refuel their stamina, as well as organize their emotions, time, and creative energy to bring them to bear on projects that stretch across years or a lifetime. In this workshop, we will review and provide constructive feedback on selected excerpts (new pages) from novels and memoirs in progress.


This workshop is no longer available.

•    This workshop is open to all levels on a first-come, first-served basis and requires no advance submission. The cost is $550. A deposit of $100 is required to register, with the balance due by December 1. Registration is now open.

•    Students should submit up to 20 double-spaced pages—either memoir, fiction, or even a combination of the two—by Dec. 15. Excerpts from longer works are fine. We’ll all read the submissions, along with some assigned works, in advance of the session

Financial Assistance is available to those who would not otherwise be able to attend—click here for guidelines and application.

about Naomi Jackson

Naomi Jackson, named one of Publishers Weekly‘s “Writers to Watch,” is author of The Star Side of Bird Hill, published in June 2015. Set in Barbados, the novel was longlisted for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and the International Dublin Literary Award. It was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and was named an Honor Book for Fiction by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. The novel is winner of Late Night Library’s 2016 Debut-litzer Prize.

Jackson studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is a graduate of Williams College. She traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Cape Town. Born and raised in Brooklyn by West Indian parents, Jackson has taught at the University of Iowa, University of Pennsylvania, City College of New York, and Oberlin College.