The Things We Carry: Fiction Writing Through Objects - Remote!

Wednesday, July 7th, from 2:30pm-5:30pm (EST)
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
See Map
Level: Intermediate
Adult (18+)
This class is full

We’re surrounded by objects all the time: things we use, things we cherish, things we take for granted, things we forget about or don’t notice even when they’re right under our noses. Characters in fiction are surrounded by objects too—how can we as writers pay closer attention to the things in our characters’ lives and make the most of their storytelling potential? In this generative fiction writing class, we’ll do exercises to find inspiration in everyday objects, consider afresh the “value” of rare or treasured items, and experiment with different ways of excavating stories from an object. We’ll use objects to anchor or develop elements of fiction such as character, plot and setting. We’ll also read short excerpts from fiction by Tim O’Brien (of course), Rebecca Makkai, Ling Ma and Mohsin Hamid. Whether you’re looking to kickstart a new story or energize an existing draft, this class will give you some ideas for how to meaningfully enrich your stories with objects that could be more than what they seem.

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.

  • -


grubstreet Image
Yu-Mei Balasingamchow
See Bio

Previous Students Say

  • "Lots of Practical Tips"
  • "Very Well-Organized"
  • "Inundated with Great Info"


  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Workshop
  • Lecture
  • In-Class Reading
  • Class Discussion


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



Need a scholarship?

Learn more
Nonfiction Workshop: Writing About Race - Remote!
read more
Advanced Short Fiction Workshop: Global Perspectives - Remote!
read more
Short Fiction Essentials Series: Revising Your Draft
read more