From Life to Fiction: Online

6 weeks online; no live meetings. Class opens September 16th.
Online (WetInk)
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Level: Intermediate
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

When we set out to write a story often we have no idea where to begin. In this class we will look at the wealth of possibility in our lives, in our family life, our work life, or perhaps with a story from a loved one's life that seems perfect fodder for your fiction. We'll use life as the starter for stories to which we apply our imagination, the skills in our writers’ toolbox, and the joy that comes from being in charge of how the story ends.

Each week, we will explore an event or story from our lives through a fictional lens, considering that different life stages are terrific moments for stories (the best stories often come from times of transition or unbalance). We will look at memoir excerpts and short stories for inspiration, and to explore elements of craft such as plot, tension, structural choices, POV, scenic details, etc. Authors may include Saeed Jones, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Glen David Gold, Jaquira Diaz, and Lucia Berlin. Finally, we’ll put what we learn into practice through a series of written exercises to help generate fresh work (e.g. map-drawing, journaling questions, memories of ‘firsts,’ etc.), and assignments that will stretch our boundaries to create something totally new. In the first half of class, you’ll complete short exercises, for which you’ll receive brief, informal feedback. In the second half of class, you’ll have the opportunity to workshop a draft of a full piece.

By the end of class, you will have several story beginnings, one developed draft of a story, and a trove of prompts and ideas to keep you motivated and writing, even in moments when you feel stuck.

This class is appropriate to both beginning writers, and writers who need a dose of fresh energy in their work.

*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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Natalie Serber
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Previous Students Say

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


  • Get Feedback
  • Generate New Work
  • Craft Lessons


  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



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