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

When the Community Becomes a Character: The Power of Place in Fiction

No Longer Enrolling

  • $75.00 Non-Member
  • $65.00 Member

Class Description

In fiction, creating a sense of place--especially of a township, city, or other kind of community--involves instilling in readers an acute impression of a location's physical description, mood, atmosphere, and collective imagination, and the ways in which this collective imagination, with its imbued norms and expectations, affects the lives and conflicts of the story's characters.

In this workshop, writers will participate in generative exercises designed to create a sense of place in this wider sense: not just as the passive "setting" in which characters act, but as an active participant in the characters' lives through the force of its sociological existence. We will have time to generate and edit 3-5 pages of double-spaced prose in which characters based in a community engage in a conflict.

We will consult excerpts from the novel Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng; and the short story "Tuesday Siesta," by Gabriel García Márquez.



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!