Special Note:

How Will AI Change Writing?—Join our FREE Writers' Stage event "Writing for Change: Exploring The Question of AI" next Wednesday 4/17.

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  • Workshop
  • Online: Zoom
  • Intermediate

Cortiscrawl: Writing Fiction with the Brain in Mind

No Longer Enrolling

  • $225.00 Non-Member
  • $215.00 Member

Class Description

In this class, we'll see how understanding a bit more about the brain can boost our own fiction writing. We'll revisit staple topics like detail, conflict, figurative language, character, dialogue, and point of view from this vantage point, learn how we can tap into the dreaming brain for inspiration, and even look at writer's block and hypergraphia (the compulsion to write) from a fresh angle. Through the lenses of neuroscience and neuropsychology, we'll also explore issues such as empathy, Theory of Mind, and memory. We'll look at writing from Garth Greenwell, Sheila Heti, Eduardo Halfon, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, and Valeria Luiselli.

Each brain finding will be accompanied by an exercise or activity that puts a particular aspect of neuroscience to work on the page. These prompts will be designed to be generative, but also to help in reconsidering work-in-progress given a fresh perspective, so students will also be encouraged to bring ongoing writing projects. Students will walk away from this class with an array of practical techniques for their writerly toolkits: new ways of playing with metaphor, approaching dialogue, rendering internal monologue, and transforming life experience into fiction.

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. 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!