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  • Workshop
  • Online: Zoom
  • Intermediate
  • 9 Weeks

Writing the Smart Page-Turner

No Longer Enrolling

  • $550.00 Non-Member
  • $525.00 Member

Class Description

The GrubStreet favorite is back! Exciting plots and larger-than-life characters are the cornerstones of so-called "popular" or "genre" fiction, but in an era when Michael Chabon wins science fiction's Nebula Award and Cormac McCarthy wins the Pulitzer for his apocalyptic novel The Road, the lines between genre and literary fiction are blurrier than ever. Whether you're writing mystery, science fiction, erotica, love stories, fantasy, supernatural, or suspense, the principles of writing popular fiction are key, and in this course you'll learn how to craft clear prose, characters we can empathize with, and a story that moves, while developing a distinct literary "voice."

In class, we'll workshop your stories and/or novel chapters, explore the terrain, mechanics, and techniques of different genres, work on idea-generating exercises, and discuss the current markets for your work. We'll look at a variety of texts, including but not limited to works by Nobel Prize winners, classic graphic novels, screenplays, stage plays, bestsellers from other countries, and PIXAR's rules of good storytelling. The goal is to gain a solid grounding in the demands of popular fiction, as well as a better understanding of the literary potential of your favorite genres. We'll be looking at works from literary and genre authors such as Junot Díaz, Judith Guest, Ray Bradbury, Sarah Kane, Brad Meltzer, Rosellen Brown, Raymond Chandler, and Annie Proulx.

Did you know that we have scholarships available for all GrubStreet classes? To apply or find out more, check out our scholarships page.

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!