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Short Story Incubator—Applications extended - the new deadline is Monday, July 29 at 11:59pm ET.

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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Teen (13–18)
  • YAWP/Teen

Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP): Beautiful Compression: Turning Drafts into Sparkling Gems

No Longer Enrolling

  • $0.00 Non-Member
  • $0.00 Member

Class Description

This class will be hosted remotely! You will be able to participate in class via Zoom videoconference from wherever you’re most comfortable. All you’ll need is a laptop or a phone! 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 via Zoom–no need to download anything or sign up for Zoom in advance! If you have questions about remote learning, please feel free to reach out to [email protected] for more information.

Class Description: “I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter,” 17th-century mathematician Blaise Pascal famously wrote. While the initial process of getting words onto the page can feel like the most important part of our job as writers, most authors will tell you they didn’t even know what their story or poem or memoir was about until the third draft--which might have been one-fourth the length of the original. In this generator, we’ll look at the finished works and drafts of famous writers, complete writing exercises designed to get you in the right frame of mind to whittle your piece down to the essentials and work on tightening some of your existing writing.

Takeaways: Students will leave with beautifully compressed versions of work written beforehand as well as a tight draft of the first scene in a new piece of fiction.

Who Should Register?
For writers ages 13 - 18 ONLY. Writing notebooks are available, but feel free to bring your own.


Remember, parents/guardians must also complete this permission form online before the start of the class. Otherwise, registrations could be voided and the cancellation policy will apply. If the student is 18, simply let us know at [email protected]

*If you are registering on behalf of your teen, add their email information in the “For a Friend or Child?” field on the right-hand side of the screen before you check out. This will send them a direct link and reminder to create their own profile with GrubStreet.

(After adding the class to your cart, click “Checkout” and click “Add” next to “For a Friend or Child?” on the right-hand side to fill in their email. This is an easy way of linking the class to your child and encourages them to create their own account.)

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!