Counterintuitive Short Stories: Defying Expectations - Remote!

6 Thursdays from 6:00pm to 9:00pm (EST), starting May 14th
Remote! (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: Intermediate
Adult (18+)
This class is full

In this fast-paced, intensive course we’ll explore the challenge of writing short stories that surprise, confound, or upend expectations. Each week, you’ll respond to writing prompts to produce six scenes or short pieces (1000-1500 words) that stand alone or may serve as the basis for longer work. Through writing new stories and participating in light workshop sessions, we’ll push our writing in new directions, find what’s interesting in standard situations, and give ourselves and readers a jolt of the counterintuitive.

Through examination of enjoyable disasters, hilarious sadness, exciting boredom, or frivolous gravitas we may challenge preconceived ideas and perhaps even our sense of how stories work. Each week, we’ll read short stories or excerpts from established writers as a basis for discussions of craft: character development, plot, setting, conflict, dialog, etc. Authors we’ll read may include David Eagleman, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Ted Chiang, Lucia Berlin, Toni Morrison, AM Homes, Valeria Luiselli, George Saunders, Mary Robison, and others.

This class will be hosted using live Zoom meetings! You will be able to participate in class via Zoom videoconference from wherever you’re most comfortable. All you’ll need is a laptop or a phone! 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 via Zoom–no need to download anything or sign up for Zoom in advance! If you have questions about remote learning, please feel free to reach out to [email protected] for more information.

For a glimpse at how remote learning works, look no further than the deep Zoom discussion of writing and literature below:

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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Ellen Gandt
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Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Great for Newbies"
  • "Diverse Reading Assignments"


  • Generate New Work
  • Study Published Writing
  • Craft Lessons
  • Homework
  • In-Class Writing
  • Workshop


  • Short Fiction

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