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

Location, Location, Location

No Longer Enrolling

  • $130.00 Non-Member
  • $110.00 Member

Class Description

From the most epic historical novel to the slimmest character study, every fiction has its own geography. Some writers map the dimensions of a single room; others describe discrete neighborhoods, cities, or nations; others still survey the natural world, free of boundaries: forests, deserts, or deep space. The writer is responsible for guiding the reader into such spaces, establishing their parameters, and effectively transitioning between them.

In this day-long course, we will attempt to improve our chops in this area by reading several short pieces and enjoying a number of exercises. Our aim is to identify different conceptual and narrative strategies for evoking and sustaining a sense of place. In the process we will try to answer some good questions: Do readers share the same subconscious concepts of certain spaces? If so, to what degree can the writer exploit such concepts? If not, how can the writer establish a space on his or her unique terms? Is there anything to be gained by disorienting the reader?

Our in-class reading may include works of fiction by Harry Mathews, Jorge Luis Borges, and Willa Cather, and/or excerpted nonfiction by Gaston Bachelard and Rebecca Solnit. Bring to class some paper suitable for writing and for sketching a map, plus the memory of a special place in your own past.

Part of GrubStreet's Elements of Craft series, dedicated to exploring craft issues on a deeper level. For more on this series' offerings, 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!