Upcoming classes: Fiction
TUESDAYS, APRIL 17 —MAY 1 | No matter how compelling the characters, dialogue, or action, great scenes need a sense of place that all too often gets short shrift. And when your subject is a place itself, the task is only more demanding. It’s easy to fall back on list-making when writing about place, and that’s a tool that can be used to great effect, but there are so many more approaches to be explored. We’ll dive into some great writing about place, and will look at specific techniques great writers use to capture the world around them, focusing on writing about the real world, but looking at fiction as well.→ READ MORE
TUESDAYS, APRIL 17 —MAY 22 | In this class you will birth, nurture, and release a brand-new flash fiction story. You will engage in extensive revisions of your work, and then during our last two weeks together, submit your finished piece to three literary journals for publication, or to three literary contests for judging. A laptop, tablet, or iPad is required for this workshop. If you write longhand, please also bring your journal or notebook along with your computer (not in place of it). Students registering for this class should be prepared to create new work from scratch in a concentrated, serious environment.→ READ MORE
THURSDAYS, APRIL 19 — JUNE 7 | This course is designed for students who have experience in a fiction writing workshop and want to go deeper in developing their writing. In our intimate workshop, we will discuss the direction your work is taking and how you can move it towards publication. Your will have the opportunity to have your work discussed in the workshop at least four times. We will discuss craft issues as they relate to strengthening your individual writing. You will be expected to read and give feedback on other students’ work. This class can be taken more than once.→ READ MORE
MONDAYS, APRIL 23—JUNE 4 | In this class, we’ll spend six weeks building stories from the foundation up. We’ll celebrate the trouble at the heart of good short fiction. We’ll look at ways to get characters in and out of (or deeper into) hot water. We’ll look closely at short stories that achieve unity of purpose, precision of craft, and an emotional wallop. From James Joyce’s “Araby” to Aimee Bender’s “The Rememberer,” we’ll examine not only how each story builds from the first word to the last but how tightly the structure depends upon – and enhances – our understanding of character.→ READ MORE
TUESDAYS, APRIL 24—MAY 29 | Is it true or is it fiction – and does it matter? Often the lines between memoir and fiction can be blurry. And most great literature has at least some element of truth in it, from books like Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior to Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar to modern examples like Lydia Davis and Chris Kraus’s work. By blending the elements we create a more layered and interesting narrative.
Do you have true stories that you would like to turn into fiction or fiction that you would like to add more of your own history to?→ READ MORE
SATURDAYS, MAY 5 —12 | All writers know that suspense is crucial to good fiction and creative nonfiction. Without wanting to know “what comes next,” readers will stop reading. This course shines a lens on traditional and radical techniques for keeping readers involved. Among them are: (1) The uses of uncertainty (2) Withholding information (3) Breaking out of traditional narrative forms (4) External and internal conflict.
We’ll explore suspense in long and short forms of fiction and nonfiction, examining plot, character, image, and idea-driven writers such as Elmore Leonard, Alice Munro, Italo Calvino, and the essayist Natalia Ginzburg.→ READ MORE
SATURDAY, MAY 19 | Come to the Grotto for an exhilarating day of learning a variety of skills to bolster your writer’s toolkit! We will feature six of our instructors, each teaching a 50-minute class focusing on a specific tool that you can use immediately. You’ll experience six rapid-fire sessions taught in a round-robin style, with a delicious catered lunch at midday. At the end of the day, we’ll celebrate with wine and refreshments, and our signature Three-Minute Reading – an optional (but encouraged!) open-mike event to highlight some of the fabulous writing generated throughout the day. Join us for a fun, dynamic journey through the Grotto’s classrooms!→ READ MORE