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

Jumpstart Your Novel

No Longer Enrolling

  • $340.00 Non-Member
  • $325.00 Member

Class Description

Writing a novel can be an incredible journey of self-discovery. It can also be quite a struggle as you trek through the middle chapters, re-write your outline, and wonder if you will ever finish the thing. Not only is finding time to write difficult, but overcoming psychological blocks and narrative slumps takes patience and practice. We will read one complete novel over the course of the term, discussing and analyzing it in order to better understand fictional elements such as character development, scene building, conflict, chapter structure, and narrative arc. Students will come away with a clear understanding of how these elements work in fiction, as well as strategies for employing them in their own projects. Students will write in class based on prompts from the instructor. They’ll also continue to generate material for their ongoing novels, sometimes sharing work aloud. The focus is on support and feedback, rather than critique. This class is suitable for writers at all stages of the novel-writing process.

Primary novel:
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Excerpts from other novels, which may include:
LaRose by Louise Erdrich
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
White Tears by Hari Kunzru
The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman
There, There by Tommy Orange
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
How to Be Both by Ali Smith

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!