Online: Zoom

The Art of Backstory

Friday, April 15th, from 10:30am-1:30pm (EST).
Online: Zoom
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
This class is full

The story you're writing doesn't really start on page one. The heart of your story is buried in your characters' past, long before the reader meets them. Understanding your characters' past can help you develop their motivations (why they want what they want) and solve plot problems (what they do next). In this class, we'll review craft techniques for developing effective backstory, and examine excerpts of published works to illustrate how authors weave backstory into the narrative. By the end of class, you'll have the tools to share your characters' past without slowing the momentum of your story.

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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Jackie Cangro
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  • Generate New Work
  • Study Published Writing
  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • Class Discussion


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Professional Development & Skills

Commitment Level



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