Start From Scratch: Write a Story in Six Weeks (with Lindsey Crittenden)

Lindsey Crittenden

Lindsey Crittenden



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.

During these six weeks, each student will craft a short story from beginning to end, starting with in-class exercises and prompts. Homework will consist of weekly reading assignments as well as your own writing. Please be prepared to share your work in class, as we will regularly do so in a supportive and constructive manner (with guidelines provided by the instructor). If you’ve written short fiction before, or are looking to start, this class will give you concrete help in developing (or tightening) your craft.

Our small class size will facilitate sharing and support.

Note: this class is generative rather than revision-oriented. While you may already have a draft, please be prepared to write (and share) new material.

Lindsey Crittenden‘s stories have won awards and been published in Cimarron Review, Mississippi Review, Glimmer Train, Quarterly West, Santa Monica Review, and other publications. She is the author of an award-winning collection of short fiction, The View from Below, and she loves working with students in developing and shaping their stories. An Honored Instructor at U.C. Berkeley Extension, she has taught and developed curricula for creative writing classes since 1995.


Number of sessions: 6

Time: 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Dates:  Mondays, April 23, 30; May 7, 14, 21; June 4 (no class 5/28)

Course fee: $410 early bird (by 4/16); $450 thereafter

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