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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

The Reversals Workshop - Remote!

No Longer Enrolling

  • $75.00 Non-Member
  • $65.00 Member

Class Description

While life’s twists are not always what we bargained for, as fiction writers, sometimes it is satisfying to take the reins in our own hands and steer off-course. As we hover over the giant chessboard of plot, playing “what if” with our characters, we often delight most when we succeed in surprising ourselves.

Reversal is an ancient cornerstone of drama. In Oedipus Rex, Sophocles brought us irony, and in his Poetics, Aristotle nailed “peripeteia”—a sudden change which arises from a recognition (""anagnorisis”)-- the discovery of a piece of knowledge that serves as the key to oneself or one’s circumstances. The essence of the Proverbs and the thread which kept Scheherazade alive as a story-teller, reversals abound in great literature—from the novels of Charlotte Bronte, Thomas Hardy, Theodore Dreiser, Richard Wright to the plays of Anton Chekhov and Lorraine Hansberry-- and can result in childhood quests for identity, the romantic ending we crave, the embarrassment of riches or the relentless coming of karma which brings us to our knees.

This workshop will be a game of Plotto, inspired by the upside-down world of 2020. After a lecture on the fundamentals of situation and irony, in-class exercises will give you the chance to practice flips and turns and the endless charms of the unexpected and the outlandish on your characters, and their trajectories.

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:

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.

Scholarships Format/Location

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 detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!