Plots and Subplots. At the American Library in Paris.

In this workshop, held December 3rd and 10th, 2016, Jessica Levine discusses story structure and the ways in which a main plot can be enriched by subplots. Participants  share brief plot summaries of a short story or novel they are working on. Whether you have only an idea for a story or a fully developed plot, you can expect time for brain-storming and feedback. The workshop is limited to 10 people. Please come with 11 copies of your story idea or plot summary, which should be a maximum of 300 words.


Paris Novel-Writing Workshop. At the American Library in Paris.

Two groups of this year-long workshop ran from late October 2014 through June 2015.

In this nine-part writing workshop for Library members we look at story structure and characterization, as well as stylistic issues. Participants share plot summaries or outlines of their novels in progress as well as excerpts of their work. The goal is to increase pacing and narrative tension so that the story has maximum momentum. Writers send each other material a week before meetings and come prepared with constructive criticism.

In the first three meetings we discuss plot outlines and a first section or chapter. Subsequent meetings will offer the opportunity to refine story lines and submit later chapters. The group will be limited to nine people, with three receiving critique at each meeting. Novelists at any stage are invited to join. What is required is a commitment to the nine sessions.


Testimonials about Jessica’s Workshops

“I really enjoyed our monthly writing group with Jessica Levine at the American Library in Paris. Jessica’s feedback was always thoughtful and constructive and she guided the group very professionally. I learned a lot about the craft of writing and was buoyed by the encouragement of my fellow group members. ” — Aoife Drew

“I was a member of Jessica Levine’s writing group at the American Library in Paris from October 2014 to June 2015. What a wonderful leader she was! Jessica has that ideal balance of giving direction and allowing independence that is essential to leading such a group. Her observations were always perceptive and on target: we all benefitted from her experience as a published author. She provided a structure for each session and then allowed it to be changed when necessary. I would recommend her most enthusiastically as a leader of a writing group – and as a talented writer whose experience and abilities were models for us all.”–Eric von Dorster

“Jessica’s framework, deadlines, feedback and experience made for a great combination–her workshop provided the impetus for me to make significant progress on my book.” –Kay Crider

“Jessica is a pleasant, gracious and knowledgeable teacher who has been generous with her time and talent… She navigates well among different levels of writing expertise within the class, which has helped fledgling writers feel as comfortable and enthusiastic as those with more experience.” –Mary Ellen Gallagher

“My novel before your workshop–nothing. My novel after your workshop–hopefully something!” –Peter Villani

“Being a part of Jessica’s writing group at the American Library in Paris brought out the writer in me that had been dormant for years. Her ability to graciously mediate a strong creative group as we constructively criticized each other’s pieces of writing was nothing short of brilliant. I left each session wanting to write more and develop more in all areas of the craft. It was an incredible experience that I take with me as I continue to slowly but surely write my first book. –Erin Zhurkin