Online: Zoom

Short Fiction & Nonfiction: From Theme to Scene

4 Tuesdays from 6:00pm-9:00pm (EST), starting August 9th.
Online: Zoom
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Level: Introductory
Adult (18+)
13 seats max

Do you have a strong premise for an essay, short story, or a longer piece of prose? Are you stumped about where to begin? Well, the basis for compelling prose is the scene! This four-week course will provide students with exercises to flesh out their ideas into fully-developed, conflict-driven scenes with vivid descriptions, credible characterization, and impactful dialogue. We will also work on outlining techniques to plan potential scenes and scene-sequences that develop into a formidable story arc over the course of an essay, short story, etc. Whether you are working on a collection, or just getting started, the course's generative exercises will focus on the fundamentals of storytelling which run across all genres. Using ideas on the mechanics of fictional and nonfictional prose from writers like Matthew Salesses ("Craft in the Real World"), Dinty Moore ("Crafting the Personal Essay"), and Stephen King ("On Writing"), we will have plenty of inclusive resources to draw from for guidance and inspiration. By the end of this workshop, writers will have written a sequence of scenes for a story or essay with a way forward to finish the project. 

Class Format

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. 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!

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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Deanne J Battle
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Previous Students Say

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


  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Workshop
  • Revision Assignments
  • Reading Homework
  • Writing Homework


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

Commitment Level



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