Writing Fiction from Real Life - Remote!
For writers who feel overwhelmed by the notion of starting a story from nothing, the real world can provide a useful gateway into the fictional world. Plus, the art of shaping credible fiction often means that we look to the actual world around us for ideas and cues. This four-week class will use personal experiences and observations to craft compelling fiction and characters. The first two classes will focus on in-class exercises, explorations, and low-key mini workshops of student work. The final two classes will focus on workshopping one longer work (up to 15 pages) by each student, along with in-class exercises and readings, as time allows.
This course offers a model for workshopping your manuscripts in which, instead of remaining silent, you will be an active participant in the conversation about your piece, with a focus on concrete revision options. Classmates will be encouraged to incorporate content-based feedback (e.g. “what are the socio-cultural implications in this piece?”) with craft-based feedback (e.g. “how is the structure working in this draft?”) This approach 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. By the end of the course, students will have built several scenes and story starters along with one fuller draft ready for revision. They will also have a toolkit of practical approaches for translating real-life elements into fuel for their fiction. We'll look at stories by writers such as Chimimanda Adichie, Amy Hempel, Peter Orner, Ann Beattie, Nancy Hale, Lorrie Moore, James Baldwin, Raymond Carver, and Edwidge Danticat.
Please note: Class does not meet May 19th.
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:
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.
Previous Students Say
- "Supportive Environment"
- "Great for Newbies"
- "Diverse Reading Assignments"
- Generate New Work
- Study Published Writing
- Craft Lessons
- In-Class Writing
- Short Fiction