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by Writing Workshops Staff

3 weeks ago

Meet the Teaching Artist: Get Unstuck, Start Writing Again with Jennifer Mattson

by Writing Workshops Staff

3 weeks ago

Meet the Teaching Artist: Get Unstuck, Start Writing Again with Jennifer Mattson

by Writing Workshops Staff

3 weeks ago

Jennifer Mattson is a seasoned creative writing instructor renowned for her dynamic approach to reigniting the spark of creativity in aspiring writers. With a wealth of experience as a writer, editor, journalist, and former network news producer for prestigious outlets like CNN and National Public Radio, Jennifer brings a unique blend of expertise to her classes. Currently teaching at New York University's School of Professional Studies, Jennifer's passion for storytelling and nurturing talent come together in her new Zoom Seminar, Get Unstuck, Start Writing Again.

Drawing inspiration from acclaimed creativity and writing experts such as Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron, Jennifer crafts an immersive experience that seamlessly blends practical tools, engaging exercises, and insightful discussions.

Whether you're a seasoned wordsmith craving a renaissance in your craft or a hesitant novice yearning to unleash your inner storyteller, Jennifer's class promises to be a sanctuary for exploration and growth. So, grab your pen and paper or fire up your laptop as we embark on a voyage of self-discovery and creative rejuvenation with Jennifer Mattson.

Hi, Jennifer. Please introduce yourself to our audience.

I am a writer, journalist and teach non-fiction writing and how to get unstuck. I love teaching and have been at New York University's School of Professional Studies for a decade. I am currently writing a memoir in essays.

What made you want to teach this specific class? Is it something you are focusing on in your own writing practice? Have you noticed a need to focus on this element of craft? Or is this just your jam and you love it?

I tend to teach the thing I need most. Writing is a practice, and just like anything else, and each person has a different way of doing it. Helping you figure it out is what I do in this class.

Give us a breakdown of how the course is going to go. What can the students expect? What is your favorite part about this class you've dreamed up?

I love anything experiential and any moment that helps a student better understand herself. The class is part lecture, some discussion and then a lot of experiential writing exercises.

What was your first literary crush?

Agatha Christie when I was 13. I always wanted to be a detective growing up.

What are you currently reading?

Molly by Blake Butler and People Who Lunch by Sally Olds.

How do you choose what you're working on? When do you know it is the next thing you want to write all the way to THE END?

If you're working on a book, it chooses you. It's always there in the back of my mind. Also, as a journalist, when I have a deadline, it forces me to stop procrastinating and get it done. I work best with a deadline, to be honest.

Where do you find inspiration?

Art. Meditation. Movies and TV. Travel. Reading. Most of my inspiration comes from living in the world. Sometimes I will read great dialogue or a great phrase will come to me -- and I'll immediately email myself on my phone and stick it in my "Book" folder. When inspiration strikes I try and capture it so I can go back to it later. Othertimes, I'll just start writing.

What is the best piece of writing wisdom you've received that you can pass along to our readers? How did it impact your work? Why has this advice stuck with you?

It's not writing wisdom, but it is life advice. "Never, ever ever ever ever give up." - Winston Churchill 

What is your favorite book to recommend on the craft of writing? Why this book?

I do have a list for my students that I give out at the end of each semester. There isn't just one book that will solve all your writing problems. But I will say Writing Down the Bones is a book I go back to over and over. It never gets old.

Bonus question: What’s your teaching vibe?

I'm pretty chill and try to create a warm, welcoming, safe space in order to help you write. I'm here to help. That's my vibe.  

Learn more about working with Jennifer:

You can learn more about Jennifer's upcoming seminar, Get Unstuck, Start Writing Again, and sign up if interested.


Instructor Jennifer Mattson teaches creative writing at New York University's School of Professional Studies. She is a writer, editor, journalist, and former network news producer for CNN, CNN International, and National Public Radio, and the former managing editor of Asia Society. Jennifer’s writing and reporting have appeared in The Atlantic, Salon, USA TODAY, The Boston Globe, CBS News,, The Women’s Review of Books, and Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. She writes an online column for Psychology Today and reports on mindfulness, wellness, news, yoga, healthy living and mindfulness, books, arts, and culture. 

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