Special Note:

How Will AI Change Writing?—Join our FREE Writers' Stage event "Writing for Change: Exploring The Question of AI" next Wednesday 4/17.

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

Now Where Were We? Spotlight on Setting - Remote!

No Longer Enrolling

  • $75.00 Non-Member
  • $65.00 Member

Class Description

In fiction, the most effective settings play a significant role in shaping the characters and story, but don't overwhelm it. How to achieve this striking balance, where readers can feel as though they are transported into the world of the story and don't skim over passages, i.e. the parts that Elmore Leonard called "the parts readers skip"? In this class, we'll examine a wide range of settings and uses of setting, each tailored to the particular work and enhancing the characters' trajectories, the plot, the themes, and the tone of the work. We'll look at interiors and landscapes, as well as considering other planets, fantasy realms, and the role that time and history play in establishing compelling settings. Authors will include among the following: Jorge Luis Borges, Claire Vaye Watkins, Italo Calvino, Pitchaya Sudbanthad, Toni Morrison, Tommy Orange, Karen Tei Yamashita, Edward P. Jones, Garth Greenwell, Arundhati Roy, Fernanda Melchor, Matt Bell, Rebecca Makkai, Valeria Luiselli.

In this class, we'll look at a bunch of examples, but will intersperse these with writing exercises: Writing about a room, writing an outdoor scene, exploring a distant landscape by underscoring the distance, writing about a character by embedding them within or tethering them to a particular landscape.

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. 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!

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!