New Class!

Writing: Working with Silence

Friday, November 9th, from 10:30am-1:30pm
GrubStreet HQ
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Level: For Everyone
12 seats max
What relationship does your work have with what is not on the page? How do you use the power of the unsaid to highlight the power of the said? When do you use silence and when do you break silence in your writing? And what are the social and political implications of writing in and through silences. 
These questions are particularly urgent today. 
From poems that work with white space on the page, to thrillers that leave readers eager to turn the page, to memoirs where the younger self might not yet have the tools to name what is happening, a wide variety of writing employs the technique of not saying. In this seminar, we’ll explore how to work explicitly with what is not said on the page to give more depth to what is said.

We’ll explore ways in which the unsaid can add new layers and dimensions to your writing. We’ll classify different reasons and techniques for leaving things out—from writing about trauma to working with the spiritual to creating a wordless understanding with the readers—and we'll look at specific examples in a wide range of authors such as Elena Ferrante, Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Jimmy Santiago Baca, and others.
There will be time to explore these ideas through class writing prompts and time to get feedback on your writing.

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Nadia Colburn
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Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "High-Energy Class"
  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • Get Feedback
  • In-Class Reading
  • Class Discussion
  • In-Class Writing
  • Lecture


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Book-Length Memoir
  • Personal Essay
  • Poetry

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