Reading Like a Writer: Online

6 weeks online; NO LIVE MEETINGS. Class opens on June 16th.
Online (WetInk)
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Level: Intermediate
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

Stephen King told us, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that."

Close reading is an essential skill for all writers, allowing you to uncover how your favorite stories and essays tick. But there's a difference between close reading for the story itself, and close-reading as a writer. As writers, we must evaluate the story as we read it. In this online class, we'll discuss the questions you need to ask yourself for this evaluation: what effect do the author's craft choices have on the story? How are they managing elements like time, structure, and character development? Most importantly: how can we learn from the most effective techniques and use them in our own writing? We'll review excerpts of published stories by a wide range of authors, while concentrating on one story element each week.

Each week, we will explore a different element of writing, such as voice, style, form, and research and reporting. We will also read work in a variety of genres from authors such as Vivian Gornick, Geoff Dyer, Beth Ann Fennelly, Samantha Irby, Susan Sontag, Cathy Park Hong, Wayne Koestenbaum, William Hazlitt, Virginia Woolf, Hanif Abdurraqib, Cheryl Strayed, Brian Doyle, Joan Didion, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Terry Castle, and Roxane Gay to see those elements in action. We'll practice effective craft techniques with a weekly writing prompt based on the lesson. Then you'll have the opportunity to share your work to give and receive feedback. By the end of class, you'll have the tools to examine a piece of writing with a writer's eye and strategies to implement them in your own writing right away.

*NOTE that while our handy dandy "Schedule" tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Weekly lessons and assignments open each Wednesday. Students will receive an invitation to Wet Ink, our online class platform, before 5pm on 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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Lisa Levy
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Previous Students Say

  • "Diverse Reading Assignments"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • Reading Homework
  • Class Discussion
  • Inspiration
  • Craft Lessons
  • Get Feedback
  • Generate New Work


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



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