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

The Atmosphere Workshop

No Longer Enrolling

  • $65.00 Non-Member
  • $55.00 Member

Class Description

P.G. Wodehouse joked that when telling a story, he never knew whether “to cut the thing down to plain facts or whether to … shove in a lot of atmosphere.” Atmosphere is notoriously elusive. A combination of weather, feeling, and fate, it implies both the celestial and the earthbound. It impinges on plot and character, and suggests mood as well as the existence of intellect, intuition, and soul. Without it, our stories—whether personal or imaginary—fall flat at the outset.

In this seminar, we’ll 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 and tease out the underlying themes and directions in your work. By the end of the seminar, you’ll leave with several strategies for adding dimension to dry prose and working with the details of climate, physiology, psychology, and emotion to make your stories all the more alluring.

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!