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  • Seminar
  • In-Person: Seaport
  • Adult (18+)

The Art of Building Suspense

No Longer Enrolling

  • $85.00 Non-Member
  • $75.00 Member

Class Description

Writing suspense is an art form in and of itself. Forming the plot groundwork and then escalating tension is key to creating the genuine suspense felt while reading a heart-pounding novel. In this seminar, writers will learn how to avoid common timing issues, how to write an intentionally paced story, and how to masterfully raise the stakes to achieve the art of suspense.

As a class, we’ll read works created by authors such as Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Edgar Allen Poe. We’ll discuss suspense-building techniques while learning to stoke interest, pace a story, and withhold key information. Together, we will participate in a “stoking the fire” exercise designed to teach the art of creating suspense. Writers will leave with a miniature short story ending on a cliffhanger. Writers working in horror and mystery are welcome.



Class Format

This class will take place in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood.

Covid-19 Update:

GrubStreet's space will be mask optional when Boston's Covid-19 Community Level is low or medium. When the Covid-19 Community Level is high, our space will require masks. Please check GrubStreet's Covid-19 page for the latest info on masking and Community Levels before visiting in-person.

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 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 in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood.


Covid-19 Update:

GrubStreet's space will be mask-optional when Boston's Covid-19 Community Level is low or medium. When the Covid-19 Community Level is high, our space will require masks. Please check GrubStreet's Covid-19 page for the latest info on masking and Community Levels before visiting in person.


Space Accessibility:

Our space is ADA accessible with automatic door openers, ADA-compliant restrooms, desk and table spacing, braille signage, and elevator. Our classrooms can be equipped with ALS for hard of hearing individuals. We cannot guarantee a scent-free environment. For more accessibility requests, please contact our Operations team at [email protected] or (617) 695-0075.