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About Joan

Learn more about Joan Dempsey, a writer and teacher who helps serious creatives writers master the craft of revision.

Are You a Writer, Too?

I've been serious about my creative writing since 2000, when I took my first fiction workshop at Grub Street Writers in Boston, and I've been writing ever since.

Teaching is a great way to learn, so after I earned my MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University Los Angeles, I stayed on and also got my Post-Graduate Certificate for the Teaching of Creative Writing.

And I've been teaching ever since, too.

If you've ever asked yourself any of these questions --

  • Is my writing any good?
  • Am I just wasting my time?
  • Can I actually create something worth publishing?
  • How do I know where to begin to revise my work?
  • Do I need an editor, or can I edit my work by myself?

-- you've found the right place to get some guidance.

I believe that every writer can learn how to create valuable, publishable work.

Is it easy? No.

But is it possible? Yes!

Learning how to be a good (even a great!) writer takes diligent, applied effort, perseverance, lots of practice and an honest willingness to cope with inevitable rejection. Creative writing is not for the faint of heart, but it is abundantly rewarding!

Want to become the best writer you can become? Sign up for my free monthly newsletter.

Each month you'll get tips, tools and resources from successful authors that you can immediately apply to your own writing. Let me do the work of curating the best information out there about revising and self-editing your own work; your job is to take the information seriously, and learn only what makes the most sense for you to learn.

I look forward to getting to know you and your work.


Still Curious About My Background? Read my CV.

As Heard on NPR

Twenty years ago, I had the good fortune to try out for a professional woman's baseball team, and what I considered even better good fortune is that Bill Littlefield of NPR's Only a Game saw fit to have me read on air the piece I wrote about what led to that experience. (No, I didn't make the team, but I never really expected to. Now had I been twenty years old at the time ... )

Some of My Favorite Books

Giovanni's Room
At the Jim Bridger: Stories
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
The Prince of Tides
This Is How It Begins
The Virgin Suicides
The Finishing School
A Civil Action
A Prayer for Owen Meany
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
The Poisonwood Bible
Several Short Sentences About Writing
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Raven Boys

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Focus on life as an author, and all about books.

Focus on the craft of writing and the writing life.