Online: Zoom

Cinefiction: Improving Your Stories Through Film

6 Wednesdays from 6:00pm-9:00pm (EST), starting July 20th.
Online: Zoom
See Map
Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

We've all heard about adaptation, and the phrase, "The book was better than the film" has become something of a cliche. But for those of us who are avid viewers of movies and TV shows, one might wonder what we can learn from directors, screenwriters, cinematographer, and even actors. In this class, we'll go over some basic terms from film technique and theory, and then apply these to the craft of fiction. From characters and dialogue to scene-building, from perspective to tone, we'll examine how films can inform and enhance our writing, and consider the ways that the visual language of film can be reverse-adapted to the page. We'll focus on a different film each week; films will be available on various streaming services, but the majority will come from the Criterion Channel, so it is recommended that students factor a membership for the duration of the class as an additional materials fee. (Criterion also has great additional resources, such as interviews with directors and commentary, that we might avail ourselves of).

Writers who might benefit from taking this class are fiction writers who are fans of film but haven't determined how they can avail themselves of film techniques yet in their fiction, and anyone who loves to discuss film and television with the same enthusiasm that they devote to their favorite books.

Class Format

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!

Scholarship Information

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

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Tim Horvath
See Bio

Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "High-Energy Class"
  • "Great for Newbies"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • Generate New Work
  • Craft Lessons
  • Class Discussion
  • Reading Homework
  • Writing Homework


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



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