New Class!

Discovering Meaning Within Story Structure - Remote!

Saturday, May 1st, 10:30am-1:30pm (EST)
GrubStreet HQ (Remote)
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
This class is full

One of the purposes of storytellers within society is to explore ideas through a narrative and ask significant questions about what it means to be human. When the storytelling is strong, the audience never sees the truth coming, and the message slides by their defenses with ease.
The true storyteller is not a propagandist making messages to wash the brains of an audience. The true storyteller is a shaman entering a narrative to uncover the unconscious ideas which shape our perceptions of the world. In other words, while the propagandist puts the message in first, the shaman tells the story and is changed by it, then reports back to the rest of us.
But if the theme is so hard to see, how can we find it in our own work?

This seminar is designed to uncover the central idea behind your own story and to give you concrete ways to make it more complex and powerful. We will analyze the story structures and meanings of several films and novels. We will show how characters' arcs influence the themes and how to build a spine that flows through the entire work. And we'll discuss how to find your theme and how to hide it so even the most jaded reader will not see it coming.

This seminar is perfect for novelists, screenwriters, and playwrights or anyone wondering how to begin analyzing story.

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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    Mark Fogarty
    See Bio


    • Class Discussion
    • In-Class Reading
    • Lecture
    • In-Class Writing
    • Get Feedback
    • Generate New Work


    • The Novel
    • Short Fiction
    • Young Adult & Children's Literature
    • Screenwriting

    Commitment Level



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