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

The Atmosphere Workshop - Remote!

No Longer Enrolling

  • $150.00 Non-Member
  • $130.00 Member

Class Description

“One cannot do in a thunderstorm what one does on a hot day in Jordan,”
--John Gardner, The Art of Fiction.

Atmosphere is a notoriously elusive thing. A combination of weather, feeling, and fate, it implies both the celestial and the earthbound. It impinges on plot and character, suggesting mood as well as the existence of intellect, intuition, and soul. Without it, our stories—whether personal or imaginary—fall flat at the gate.


In this workshop, we will look at examples from contemporary and classic literature, both fiction and nonfiction, to analyze the feeling we derive from the best writing. Exercises with imagery, description, dreams, memory recall, and dialogue will help you to evoke atmosphere in your writing, and to subtly tease out your underlying themes and directions. By the end of the workshop, you will leave with several approaches to add dimension to dry prose, and will have worked with the details of climate, physiology, psychology, and emotion to generate new passages and alluring beginnings.

Some authors to be included in discussion/read in excerpt: Jesmyn Ward, Tananarive Due, Ralph Ellison, Charles Dickens, Lawrence, Durrell, Teju Cole, Sjon, Anthony Doerr, and Anton Chekhov

Class Format

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!

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. 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!