Steve Adams

Writing Coach, Editor, and Writer

My name is Steve Adams. I’m a writing coach and a writer.

As a writing coach I’ve worked with published, award-winning novelists, short-fiction writers, and nonfiction writers; unpublished but dedicated and experienced writers; and those new to the game who have always believed they had something to say, but didn’t know quite how or where to begin.

My many years of writing and analyzing a broad range of forms (fiction, essay, playwriting, screenwriting, poetry) give me structural insight into manuscript evaluation, and my study of, and in-depth exposure to, music, acting, dance, theater arts, and visual arts affords me a varying set of perspectives from which to approach the process of writing and the disciplines that support art. I find coaching writers a form of work almost as rewarding as writing itself.

Story telling

"Story-telling is and always has been story telling first, as painting is and has always been painting first. This is what I mean when I say that this work is much closer to the cave than it will ever be to the drawing room. So forget everything you know, learn to be stupid before the blank page, and just tell stories. Remember Proust talking about a great painter who had the gift of becoming 'stupid before the empty canvas.'"

— Richard Bausch

Other people

Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.

—   Barbara Kingsolver

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”

—  Mary Oliver

Second year in a row!

I came home from an extended road trip to amazing news -- one of the handful of stories I'm able to nominate annually for the Pushcart Prize has, for the second year in a row, won it and will be reprinted in the annual anthology. Out of the thousands of nominations, the odds of this happening once are ridiculous, but two years in a row is just crazy. More than anything I just feel lucky to have somehow managed to find such great writing and to have had any part in helping point readers to it. 

Freedom

"In all my life, I have never been free. I have never been able to do anything with freedom, except in the field of my writing."

— Langston Hughes

Putting your work in the world

Woke up to this very unexpected news: "A brief excerpt from your story at New Flash Fiction Review has been selected to project as part of The Creative Process's upcoming exhibition for the European Consortium For Humanities Institutes and Centres and shown at University of Leuven in Belgium (from April 4th to June)."

I honestly have no idea how this happened. NFFR is an online journal focused on flash (very short) writing. It seems crazy that the last 10 lines of my essay, “Why You Move to New York, v. mid-80s” will be part of an art exhibit in Belgium. But that's the thing about being a writer. It may feel at times that your work is disappearing into a black hole out there, that no one's reading it. But by even getting it in the smallest outlet it can do work in the world you may never know about, and can't possibly have imagined.