New Class!
Online: Zoom

Happy Accidents: Harnessing Chance for Inspiration (2-Part)

2 Saturdays, from 10:30am-1:30pm (EST), Starting August 20th.
Online: Zoom
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

Tracy K. Smith took an eraser to the Declaration of Independence. Mary Robison jotted fragmentary notes on index cards and moved them around until a novel appeared. James Merrill used a Ouija board to write 560 pages of poems. We, too, can short-circuit the logical side of our brains to unleash the unconscious, and produce prose or poems that surprise even their writer!

In the first installment of this two-part class, we will experiment with techniques like erasure, eavesdropping, and exquisite corpse to help students relinquish some control to outside forces, constraints, and the unconscious during the drafting and revision stages of their pieces. The goal is to create work that functions less by logic than by juxtaposition, association, the element of surprise--what Robert Bly called poetic "leaping." The second installment will be a workshop of a short draft produced or inspired by the previous week's experimentation. In both classes, we will also read and discuss short texts by authors like Jericho Brown and Padgett Powell.

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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Walter Smelt
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Previous Students Say

  • Generative
  • Inspired Me to Write More


  • Generate New Work
  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • Lecture


  • Short Fiction
  • Poetry

Commitment Level



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