Writing that Moves: Drama, Voice, and Energy in Narrative

Saturday, July 29th, 10:00am-5:00pm
GrubStreet HQ
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
14 seats max

The progression of drama moves a narrative forward. In great writing, energy, freshness, and life are also found down in the roots of the sentences—in all those things that contribute to narrative voice: language, syntax, imagery, humor, detail. In this seminar, we'll look at work by Aleksandar Hemon, Mavis Gallant, and others, considering how these writers, at both macro and micro levels, propel us as readers and keep us interested and invested. Some readings will be emailed in advance. You should bring to class a story-in-progress, or an outline or fragment of a story. We will discuss your work and consider ways you might infuse the writing with dramatic energy so your narratives pulse with life. You will come away with a greater awareness of the tools at your disposal for invigorating your prose, engaging your readers on various levels, and creating momentum in your stories. While our examples will come from literary fiction, the principles discussed will also be useful to non-fiction writers as well. Students of all levels are welcome.

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Stacy Mattingly
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Previous Students Say

  • Super Well-Organized
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  • Writing Homework
  • Reading Homework
  • Class Discussion
  • Lecture
  • Workshop
  • In-Class Writing
  • Craft Lessons


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Book-Length Memoir
  • Personal Essay
  • Literary Journalism
  • Nonfiction

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