Mary Jones

Instructor Biography:

MFA, author of the short story collection The Goodbye Process. Ms. Jones’ stories and essays have appeared in Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, EPOCH, Alaska Quarterly Review, Columbia Journal, The Hopkins Review, Southwest Review, Gay Mag, Brevity and others. The recipient of a summer prose fellowship from The University of Arizona Poetry Center, her work has been cited as notable in The Best American Essays and appeared in The Best Microfiction 2022.

Instructor Statement:

I believe there are two components to successful writing—craft and creativity. As a teacher of creative writing, I see it as my job to nurture both. I build my lessons around elements of craft—plot, dialogue, setting, point-of-view, and so on—as I feel a solid understanding of these elements is essential to good writing. In my critiques I like to find places where the students are most engaged and encourage them in that direction. One of the best descriptions of writing I’ve heard comes from poet John Rybicki who calls it “lunging at vacancy.” My goal is to teach students how to move forward in uncertainty, and to understand that writing is a process—one that involves messy first drafts, long hours of work, and lots of revision.

Our Students Say it Best!

“Mary Jones is amazing, knowledgeable, helpful and inspiring. She taught me more in six weeks about writing than I learned in years of college. Her lectures are very interesting and were my favorite part of each week. She has a way of summarizing what you need to know in an easy-to-digest-and-apply manner.” —Writers’ Program Student

“Mary Jones is absolutely excellent. Exceptionally good – and this is my 4th class with the Writers’ Program with UCLA Extension. She replies right away to requests, and her answers are to the point, thoughtful and very helpful.” — Writers’ Program Student

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