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

Writing Provocative Stories

No Longer Enrolling

  • $75.00 Non-Member
  • $65.00 Member

Class Description

Great writing should make us uncomfortable. Not because the content is necessarily graphic or shocking, but because the writer is being painfully honest, confronting the failures, dark impulses and moral ambiguities that we spend much of our day-to-day lives avoiding. Whether it’s a story of personal trauma, addiction, sex, or social or racial tensions, writing about such themes can stir reflection and recognition in readers and create space for new dialogues. In this seminar, we’ll explore this kind of bold, challenging writing, examining what makes a provocative piece of nonfiction or fiction succeed, along with the pitfalls of writing stories that touch nerves—especially in our current era, when opinions feel so urgent and the stakes so high. To drive discussion, we’ll read daring work by authors such as Roxane Gay, Miranda July, Edwidge Danticat, Patricia Lockwood and Gary Schteyngart. And we’ll do in-class exercises to push our writing into territory that is similarly candid and unafraid.

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!