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

Place as Compass, Place as Map

No Longer Enrolling

  • $65.00 Non-Member
  • $55.00 Member

Class Description

For writers of fiction and nonfiction alike, this workshop will investigate the notion of place and how environments can shape, guide, and pull against a narrative. Rather than setting being an afterthought, a checkbox on a revision to-do list, we will consider place as the central pillar to storytelling, a visual storyscape that provides access to the emotional undercurrents of narrative and character. As writer Rebecca Solnit said, “A sense of place is the sixth sense, an internal compass and map made by memory and spatial perception together.” Our goal is to explore the terrain of this sixth sense, unearthing the intersection of perception and memory in the physical world of our prose. And our goal is to inhabit places—both fictive and real—to the extent that our minds can see, touch, and smell the very fibers, thereby inviting prose that feels authentic. We will pour over noteworthy examples before responding to a series of prompts that utilize both memory and images. The session will conclude with small workshops and a group sharing. You will leave with several seedlings or fragments, and a greater understanding of how place can serve as a compass or map in your future narratives.

Open to writers of all levels. A great precursor to a multi-week workshop. Please bring several images of place or setting to use in class exercises.

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!