New Class!

Setting as Character: How to Bring A Place to Life - Remote!

Friday, May 28th, 10:30am-1:30pm (EST)
Remote! (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
This class is full

Whether you're writing space opera or a young adult memoir, a crime novel or a short story set in Albany…every story has setting. Mary Karr's contemporary Texas, bursting with a million human comedies and tragedies. Frank McCourt's economically depressed Ireland. The imaginative far-future worlds of N.K. Jemisin. All of these have one thing in common: the setting isn't just where the story happens, it is an integral part of the story. In fact, the settings act much like characters. 

In this short workshop, we will review different theories and pieces of craft advice to help us build well-rendered settings…in any genre. We will look at how contemporary authors have created active, ""living"" settings that ""work"" like characters on the page. Finally, we will take some time to practice these techniques, with the goal of creating settings that feel both real and alive for our reader—no matter how fantastical they may seem. This workshop is great for fiction and narrative non-fiction writers. However, writers revising a book-length project will probably get the most out of the course. 

This class will be hosted using live Zoom meetings! You will be able to participate in class via Zoom videoconference from wherever you’re most comfortable. All you’ll need is a laptop or a phone! 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 via Zoom–no need to download anything or sign up for Zoom in advance! If you have questions about remote learning, please feel free to reach out to [email protected] for more information.

For a glimpse at how remote learning works, look no further than the deep Zoom discussion of writing and literature below:

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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Peter Medeiros
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  • Generate New Work
  • Study Published Writing
  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • Class Discussion


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Book-Length Memoir
  • Nonfiction

Commitment Level



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