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

Surprising, Yet Inevitable: The Art of the Ending

No Longer Enrolling

  • $75.00 Non-Member
  • $65.00 Member

Class Description

According to Aristotle in his Poetics, the best endings are both "surprising, yet inevitable": We shouldn't see the events of the ending coming, but once it unfolds, it's the only way it could have ever happened. In this class, we'll look at some examples of "surprising, yet inevitable" endings and parse out certain techniques and strategies that the authors use. We'll discuss, among other things, how to tie plot threads to together at the end, how we can make our endings meaningful and resonant without being overly sentimental, and how to create subtle yet powerful symbolism that both ties your story's overall themes together and packs a final punch. Participants should bring an in-process short story they are having trouble resolving and be prepared to work briefly on the last few paragraphs. Participants will also be asked to read an essay by George Saunders in advance of the class. Open to writers of all levels.

NOTE: You might also be interested in Hooked From the First Line: The Art of the Opening, taking place earlier this day.

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!