Shaping Your Story: A Narrative Structure Intensive (Online)

6 weeks online; no live meetings. Class opens September 15th.
Online (WetInk)
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Level: Intermediate
Adult (18+)
12 seats max
Only 3 spots left!

Great fiction is molded by the plot structures we channel our storytelling through. These structures literally determine the shapes and containers of our fictional worlds and bring them to life from the inside out. In this 6-week generative deep-dive, we'll study and experiment with different ways to build stories, including linear and nonlinear plots, flash fiction, epistolary, fragmented texts, and hybrid/experimental modes. Each week, we'll study representative authors, including Lydia Davis, Kelly Link, Jamaica Kincaid, Caitlin Horrocks, Clarice Lispector, Bhanu Kapil, Shira Erlichmann, and Jamaica Kincaid. We'll get curious trying out these structures in our own writing, toward the aim of generating one story draft per week, each of which will receive supportive feedback from fellow students and the instructor. This fun, boot-camp style course will leave you with the inspiration to continue developing your six story drafts, plus an expanded tool kit with which to craft future stories.

This course is appropriate for all fiction writing levels, though familiarity with basic elements of story such as character, setting, point of view, etc. will be helpful. Students should be prepared for approximately 2-5 hours of work per week.

*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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Carolyn Zaikowski
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Previous Students Say

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


  • Generate New Work
  • Get Feedback
  • Craft Lessons


  • Short Fiction

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