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

Outlining Your Short Story: A Roadmap to More Effective First Drafts

No Longer Enrolling

  • $75.00 Non-Member
  • $65.00 Member

Class Description

When we sit down to write, we often don’t know where our stories are headed. We rely on intuition, our characters’ voices, or language to begin heading in a viable direction. However, having a roadmap of some kind—even if eventually discarded or drastically changed during the writing process—can help anchor our first drafts and keep us from meandering down hopeless paths.

In this seminar, we will discuss concrete strategies to develop successful short story outlines before we’ve even started writing. We will look at examples of carefully threaded stories and do some in-class exercises to gain a better of understanding of how our outlining process can become sustainable and applicable to different kinds of narratives. We will learn to separate bad ideas from those with genuine potential for a compelling plot, conflict, and nuance. By the end of the class, you will have some useful tools and approaches to map out your next piece of writing, and the one after that!

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!