Online: Zoom

Unputdownable Fiction: Energize Your Writing

6 Thursdays from 10:30am-1:30pm (EST), starting July 21st.
Online: Zoom
See Map
Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

You should probably go to sleep, it’s late, you have a lot of stuff you need to do before work tomorrow—but you can’t stop reading this one book. You try, you think about putting it down, but you’re inside the story, you can see every detail, you’re rushing forward wildly, eyes growing heavy, mouth parched, but still you read.

If this has happened to you, you know the peculiar power of a story seething with energy. Where does that propulsive, unputdownable magic come from? Does it reside in the sentences? Is it in the situation, or the characters, or what we call plot, one event leading inexorably to the next? Or some combination of all of this?

In this class, we aim to find out. Over the course of four weeks, we’ll look at how energetic writing—writing that hooks you and causes you to miss your bus stop, send fewer messages to friends, neglect the teetering pile of dishes in the sink—functions on both an atomic and galactic scale. Our reading list may include, but is not limited to, Elena Ferrante, Cormac McCarthy, Raven Leilani, Ocean Voung, Danez Smith, Rumaan Alam, Sally Rooney, and Ottessa Moshfegh. By examining various aspects of these writers, we’ll come up with some grand theories about energy in writing, and practice putting that energy in our own work

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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Shelby Kinney-Lang
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Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Diverse Reading Assignments"
  • "Inundated with Great Info"


  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • Lecture
  • Class Discussion


  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



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