Hooked from the First Line: The Art of the Opening

Saturday, November 3rd, 10:30am-1:30pm
GrubStreet HQ
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Level: For Everyone
This class is full

We have all picked up books or stories that have enthralled us from the first lines. The result? We, readers, are hooked! But how does a writer cast this kind of spell? What do successful openings have in common? In what different ways can a reader be hooked? What are the reasons a reader keeps reading, or doesn't? In this class, we'll consider these questions as well as study a range of different openings with an eye towards how they hook us - or don't - from the first lines. In addition to discussing a number of different strategies for successful openings, we'll try our hands at writing a few opening lines of our own that you can build on later. Open to writers of all levels and genres.

NOTE: You might also be interested in Surprising, Yet Inevitable: The Art of the Ending, taking place later in the day. 

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Joy Baglio
See Bio

Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • Revision Assignments
  • In-Class Reading
  • Workshop
  • Class Discussion
  • In-Class Writing


  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



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