Essentials of Style: Online

4 weeks online; no live meetings. Class opens May 5th.
Online (WetInk)
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Level: Introductory
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

So you have a story that needs to be told. But how are you going to tell it? As writers, words are our building materials. The way we put them together — the length of our sentences, the sound of the words we choose, the size of our paragraphs — is what we call style. A unique style can make a story stand out from the pack. But instead of adopting a flashy style for style’s sake, we’ll figure out how each story wants to be told. We’ll explore what you’re already doing with words and where you might want to push them further. Each week, we’ll focus in on a different aspect of style –– like sound and rhythm, structural constraint, mindful minimalism and maximalism, and formal vs. informal tone. We’ll read a wide range of writers with varying aesthetics (including authors like Ocean Vuong, Renee Gladman, Lydia Davis, Jamaica Kincaid, Cristina Rivera Garza, and Lucy Corin) to inspire and inform our work. And, since honing your personal style means experimenting with language, we'll put the tools we learn from these stories into practice in our own writing through weekly prompts that get us to think creatively about language. Four times throughout the course of the class, you’ll also have the opportunity to receive feedback on your work, to help you figure out how to develop your own style.

We’ll come away from the course with a better understanding of the array of stylistic choices available to us as writers, and a newfound understanding of how to apply them to our own work. This class is for writers who are just starting out writing short stories, as well as more experience writers who are looking to introduce a little flair into their prose.

*Please note that while our handy dandy "Schedule" tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Assignments and deadlines will be given by your instructor. Students will have access to the online class portal starting at 5pm on the first day of class. Instructions for logging onto the online portal will be emailed to registered students before 5pm the first day of class.

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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Caroline Belle Stewart
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Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Great for Newbies"
  • "Diverse Reading Assignments"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"
  • "Inundated with Great Info"


  • Get Feedback
  • Generate New Work
  • Craft Lessons


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



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