The Writing Cycle: Generate, Critique, Revise
Great writers are skilled revisers. And skilled revisers are, above all, sharp and insightful readers. The latest in our ongoing initiative to re-imagine traditional workshop models, this 10-week course is designed for writers of fiction and creative nonfiction and focuses on both ends of this equation: you’ll learn how to substantively critique one another’s writing and how to revise your own. Each participant will generate a mid-length story or essay to work on during the course. Guided by instructor feedback and incremental deadlines, you’ll push that first draft through a round of thoughtful rewriting, eventually getting feedback from the whole group. Alongside that process, we’ll discuss the basics of giving and receiving constructive, respectful feedback, using published works by authors such as Edwidge Danticat, Jaquira Díaz, Alexander Chee and George Saunders to ground our conversations. We’ll also cover a specific element of craft—such as perspective, character, scene or structure—each week. By the course’s end, you’ll have a solid draft and a strong foundation in the language and dynamics of critique and revision, preparing you for future workshops and a more sustainable independent writing practice.
This course offers a new model for workshopping your manuscripts, using a unique, student-centered method of offering feedback. Unlike in traditional workshops, you will receive written comments from the instructor and classmates on your manuscript before it is discussed in class, thus eliminating any “surprise verdict” on your work. Instead of remaining silent, you and the instructor will co-lead the conversation about your story with a focus on concrete revision options. Classmates will be encouraged to incorporate content-based criticism (e.g. “how does this character challenge or reinforce stereotypes? what are the socio-cultural implications in this piece?”) with craft-based criticism (e.g. “how does the author show this character’s change over time?). Writers are encouraged to bring questions rather than defenses to the critique. In short, this new structure aims to give the writer a stronger voice in their own critique, for readers to thoughtfully examine and learn from their initial feedback during the workshop, and for everyone to leave class with a clearer revision strategy for their work.
Please note: Class does not meet on October 10th and November 28th.
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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- In-Class Writing
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