Special Note:

Short Story Incubator—Application deadline extended to Monday, July 29 at 11:59pm ET.

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

What’s the Big (or Little) Idea?

No Longer Enrolling

  • $130.00 Non-Member
  • $110.00 Member

Class Description

Do you have an idea for a memoir, cookbook, travelogue, self-help book, or other nonfiction project, but it’s not yet a great idea? Are you knee-deep in a project in which dozens of ideas are competing for space, and you don’t know how to make them cohere? Or do you already have a strong project, but it lacks a certain something that will make it stand out among the hundreds of pitches that agents and editors field each week?

This workshop will introduce numerous strategies and writing exercises that will help you discover, broaden, narrow, heighten, deepen, or redefine the core concept for your nonfiction project, with the goal of identifying a singular, clarifying idea that will organize it, tell you what belongs and doesn’t belong in it, and make it “pitchable.” Whether you are just beginning or are feeling mired in a long-term effort, you will leave this session with a fresh perspective on your project. Bring to the workshop any working material, and please email [email protected] with a project title/subtitle, a one- or two-sentence “tagline,” and, if possible, a 200-word synopsis by 5:00pm on October 8th.

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!