Writing Fiction From Real Life: Online

6 weeks online; NO LIVE MEETINGS. Class opens July 28th
Online (WetInk)
See Map
Level: Intermediate
Adult (18+)
12 seats max
Only 2 spots left!

We all bring our own experiences to the page when we write. We are telling stories through the lenses of our own perception of the world around us, even when we aren’t aware of it. But the skill of pointing our lens in a specific direction and using it to our advantage is a challenge. Whether you have a story you know you want to tell but aren’t sure how to translate it into fiction, or you want to strengthen your writing by folding in real life conversations, characters, and experiences, this class can help.

This six-week class will use personal experiences and observations to craft compelling fiction and characters. We will explore strategies to translate our real life experiences into all kinds of fiction, from realistic fiction to science fiction and fantasy. The first two weeks will focus on in-class exercises, explorations, and feedback. The last four weeks will focus on workshopping work by each student, along with exercises and readings.

By the end of the course, students will have built several scenes and story starters along with one longer length draft ready for revision, whether it’s a short story or the beginnings of a novel. They will also have a toolkit of practical approaches for translating real-life elements into fuel for their fiction. Readings may include but are not limited to Sarah Gailey, Ocean Vuong, Brandon Hobson, Ruth Ware, Toni Morrison, and Akwaeke Emezi.

*NOTE that while our handy dandy "Schedule" tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Weekly lessons and assignments open each Wednesday. Students will receive an invitation to Wet Ink, our online class platform, before 5pm on the first day of class.


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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Fox Terry-Welsh
See Bio

Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "High-Energy Class"
  • "Great for Newbies"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • Generate New Work
  • Craft Lessons
  • Class Discussion
  • Reading Homework
  • Writing Homework


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



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