New Class!
Online Survey

Stringing the Beads: Voice in Fiction (Online)

6 weeks online; no live meetings. Class opens May 1st
Online (WetInk)
See Map
Level: Intermediate
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

As writers, we encounter many voices in our lives—real-world voices like those of our friends and families, the literary voices of our favorite writers, and of course that loudmouth inner critic. Sometimes a writer's own voice can get buried under all of these. It’s a common refrain in creative writing circles that authorial voice cannot be taught, but this disclaimer can leave writers feeling aimless and lacking confidence, thinking voice is just the product of innate ability—or magic! But voice can be learned. Anne Lamott tells us that to find your voice “you clear a space for the writing voice, hacking away at the others with machetes, and you begin to compose sentences. You begin to string words together like beads to tell a story.” This course provides opportunities for students to learn their own voices through exercises, readings, and feedback, stringing together the beads of story in a supportive and attentive environment. We will focus on developing the voice of your story through consideration of related craft elements like tone, point of view, setting, theme and character backgrounds. We'll also look at how stylistic and grammatical choices like punctuation, formatting and use of white space can change the rhythm of your writing. We’ll read writers like Arundhati Roy, Zadie Smith, Jeanette Winterson, Ray Bradbury and more as we investigate how writers represent varied character voices and allow their tone to change with each new story, while maintaining a grounded sense of their own authorial perspective. You’ll leave the course with a more grounded sense of yourself as a writer and some new ideas to explore.

This course is appropriate for both writers of short fiction and novels, and will be most useful for intermediate or advanced writers who have some prior experience of workshop.

*NOTE that while our handy dandy "Schedule" tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Assignments will be given on a weekly basis. 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.


grubstreet Image
Stephanie K Brownell
See Bio

Previous Students Say

  • "Inundated with Great Info"
  • "Supportive and Informative"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • Study Published Writing
  • Generate New Work
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Craft Lessons


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



Need a scholarship?

Learn more