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  • Workshop
  • BPL - Egleston Square Branch
  • Adult (18+)

Writing Fiction From Real Life

No Longer Enrolling

  • $0.00 Non-Member
  • $0.00 Member

Class Description

This class is free and you do not need to pay or apply for a scholarship. Instead, to join this class fill out this form. DO NOT register using the "Add to Cart" link.

"People say to write about what you know," Toni Morrison is said to have once told a group of young writers. "I'm here to tell you, no one wants to read that, 'cause you don't know anything. So write about something you don't know. And don't be scared, ever."

Morrison is right, of course, but--AND--many writers turn to fiction as an imaginative way to make sense of what they’ve lived and seen. We write fiction as a way to uncover truths about complex lives, to bridge distances, to write towards an understanding of people and experiences that we haven't been able to fully know or comprehend. This can, indeed, be scary.

This six-week class will build on personal experiences and observations to craft compelling fiction and characters. All classes will include in-class exercises, readings, and explorations of writing craft, as time allows. We’ll read work by authors such as Edwidge Danticat, Sandra Cisneros, Krys Lee, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Claudia Rankine, and Samanta Schweblin. During the first two classes, students can expect to receive informal, on-the-fly feedback on student work. During the last four classes, we’ll focus on workshopping (in which the group gives structured feedback) one longer work from each student. The length of the work you can submit will depend on the number of students enrolled in the class.

By the end of the course, you will have several scenes and story starters--maybe even one fuller draft ready for revision. You will also have a toolkit of practical approaches for translating real-life elements into fuel for your fiction.

**Note: This class does not meet on Friday, November 23rd due to Thanksgiving.

Families welcome. Coffee and snacks provided. Teens are welcome to attend with an older relative. We will provide simple activities to keep young children occupied.

Who Should Register?

Write Down the Street has a special focus on making the creative writing workshop more accessible to those who have been underrepresented in it due to cost, racism, immigration status, language access, lack of access to transportation, and other barriers. We believe that these voices must be spotlighted with the range and fullness they deserve.

These programs are offered tuition-free thanks to the support of generous donors who are committed to our mission of ensuring all voices are heard.

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.