Steve Adams

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As a writing coach I’ve worked with published, award-winning novelists, short-fiction writers, and nonfiction writers; unpublished but dedicated and experienced writers; and those new to the game who have always believed they had something to say, but didn’t know quite how or where to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

Pushcart Nominee featured in the Pushcart Anthology

Last year I was in a position to nominate a handful of stories for the Pushcart Prize. Lit people know how damn near impossible (the numbers are staggering) it is for a nominated story to make the Pushcart anthology. So I was absolutely thrilled to return from a trip yesterday and find inside the 2018 edition one of those stories – “A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness” by Jai Chakrabarti, originally published in A Public Space. Congratulations, Jai. Thank you for writing such a wonderful story.

Love Stories for Turbulent Times

Well, I'm stunned. I was crazy fortunate enough to place "Touch," a short memoir, in the 2014 Pushcart Prize Anthology, after it appeared in The Pinch. I never thought I'd see my work in such heady company, and now I've just found out that the Pushcart editors have selected that memoir to join 24 other prose pieces, all having to do with love, that they (as I understand it - I'm still figuring this out) selected from decades of Pushcart anthologies for a new anthology titled Love Stories for Turbulent Times. Could not feel more gratified or lucky; this piece is very important to me. 

The Evil that men do

I'm very happy to see my client, Michael Sandberg's, collection of short stories, The Evil That Men Do published by Deuxmers, up at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as in bookstores. He also got great reviews from the San Francisco Book Review, Manhattan Book Review, and Kirkus. Way to go, Michael!


“Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.”

— James Baldwin

Keep the channel open

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep directly open to and aware of the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."

— Martha Graham

Where a story is

"That's always where a story is: somebody who would like to say something but can't. You wait for that moment when the liberating word, the liberating sentence, arrives on the scene. And maybe it never does."

— Charles Baxter