E.B. Bartels

Nonfiction mafia.

Category: Teaching

There is still time to sign up for Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Online!

If you are regretting not signing up for my Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Online course at GrubStreet, have no fear! The new class start date is May 1 so you still have plenty of time. Sign up today!

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Learning from Women and Gender-Non-Conforming Writers (Online)
ONLINE, May 1 – June 5

  • Based on my interview series Non-Fiction by Non-Men.
  • Open to all writers of all levels.
  • 6-week course.
  • Scholarships available!
  • Did I mention it is ONLINE so you can take it from ANYWHERE?!

As writers, we are constantly trying to generate empathy––to have our readers understand what it is like to be in our shoes. Therefore, some of the richest material out there has come from stepping beyond the boundaries of the “traditional” canon and taking a look into the lives and lesser-heard perspectives of marginalized writers. With that in mind, in this class, we will celebrate and learn from some of the incredible contemporary women and gender-non-conforming writers of nonfiction, with a special emphasis on queer and trans women, and women of color, and use their work as a jumping-off point for our own. (Note: while our readings will focus on women and gender non conforming folks, by no means is this course only for students who identify as such. We welcome students of any gender identity to take the course!)

Each week, we will study both the works of these writers and interviews with each of them discussing their craft, taken from the site Fiction Advocate’s interview series Non-Fiction by Non-Men. The reading list will include but is not limited to: Eula Biss, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Nicole Chung, Edwidge Danticat, Daisy Hernández, Samantha Irby, Margo Jefferson, Morgan Jerkins, Suki Kim, Scaachi Koul, Michelle Kuo, and Nina MacLaughlin.

You will also use what you learn to write your own essays, inspired by the works we have read. Each week, students will be assigned readings by several contemporary women and/or gender-non-conforming authors, a writing assignment based on a prompt shaped by the readings, and a couple classmates’ essays to read and provide feedback on. The instructor will also provide feedback on your essays each week.

You will leave this course with the beginnings of several new pieces of your own nonfiction writing, a broadened knowledge of the range and possibilities in writing contemporary nonfiction, a better sense of the many diverse voices expanding the boundaries of nonfiction, and an understanding of useful techniques and strategies for conducting interviews, figuring out your own writing process, and understanding the craft of creating nonfiction. Plus, you will have the chance to be a guest interviewer in the Non-Fiction by Non-Men series and publish an interview of your own on Fiction Advocate.

(Though this class highlights primarily female and non-binary writers, we have several other classes featuring writers often underrepresented or marginalized by the literary industry, including an upcoming class on writing queer fiction , and a few others that are still in the works. If there is a particular topic or identity you’d like to see explored, please email programs@grubstreet.org.)

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Spring & summer classes at GrubStreet!

It’s that time of the year: robins are out, snow is melting, and it’s time to sign up for spring and summer classes at GrubStreet! Here’s what I am teaching:

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6 Weeks, 6 Essays (Online)
ONLINE, April 17 – May 22

  • Open to all writers of all levels.
  • 6-week course.
  • Scholarships available!
  • Did I mention it is ONLINE so you can take it from ANYWHERE?!

Sometimes the smallest moment (or the shortest essay) holds the greatest revelation. In this online class you will write six personal essays between 500 and 1,000 words. You’ll generate a lot of material, refine your skills, explore challenges in style and voice, and take a fresh look at your life experience. By working in a shorter format, you’ll also find ways to tighten your prose and improve your storytelling skills. We’ll look at examples of published essays and discuss as a class, as well as hold smaller discussions of each other’s work to provide feedback and support. You will come out of the course with fresh drafts of multiple essays and the insight, inspiration, and knowledge of craft to begin tackling revision.

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Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Learning from Women and Gender-Non-Conforming Writers (Online)
ONLINE, April 17 – May 22

  • Based on my interview series Non-Fiction by Non-Men.
  • Open to all writers of all levels.
  • 6-week course.
  • Scholarships available!
  • Did I mention it is ONLINE so you can take it from ANYWHERE?!

As writers, we are constantly trying to generate empathy––to have our readers understand what it is like to be in our shoes. Therefore, some of the richest material out there has come from stepping beyond the boundaries of the “traditional” canon and taking a look into the lives and lesser-heard perspectives of marginalized writers. With that in mind, in this class, we will celebrate and learn from some of the incredible contemporary women and gender-non-conforming writers of nonfiction, with a special emphasis on queer and trans women, and women of color, and use their work as a jumping-off point for our own. (Note: while our readings will focus on women and gender non conforming folks, by no means is this course only for students who identify as such. We welcome students of any gender identity to take the course!)

Each week, we will study both the works of these writers and interviews with each of them discussing their craft, taken from the site Fiction Advocate’s interview series Non-Fiction by Non-Men. The reading list will include but is not limited to: Eula Biss, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Nicole Chung, Edwidge Danticat, Daisy Hernández, Samantha Irby, Margo Jefferson, Morgan Jerkins, Suki Kim, Scaachi Koul, Michelle Kuo, and Nina MacLaughlin.

You will also use what you learn to write your own essays, inspired by the works we have read. Each week, students will be assigned readings by several contemporary women and/or gender-non-conforming authors, a writing assignment based on a prompt shaped by the readings, and a couple classmates’ essays to read and provide feedback on. The instructor will also provide feedback on your essays each week.

You will leave this course with the beginnings of several new pieces of your own nonfiction writing, a broadened knowledge of the range and possibilities in writing contemporary nonfiction, a better sense of the many diverse voices expanding the boundaries of nonfiction, and an understanding of useful techniques and strategies for conducting interviews, figuring out your own writing process, and understanding the craft of creating nonfiction. Plus, you will have the chance to be a guest interviewer in the Non-Fiction by Non-Men series and publish an interview of your own on Fiction Advocate.

(Though this class highlights primarily female and non-binary writers, we have several other classes featuring writers often underrepresented or marginalized by the literary industry, including an upcoming class on writing queer fiction , and a few others that are still in the works. If there is a particular topic or identity you’d like to see explored, please email programs@grubstreet.org.) 

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Happy Hour Writing Session
Friday, May 10, 5:30pm-6:30pm

  • ***100% COMPLETELY FREE!*** 
  • Meets in person at the GrubStreet Headquarters in Boston.
  • There will be alcohol!
  • Did I mention it is 100% completely free???

What’s more satisfying than leaving work behind on a Friday afternoon? Rounding out the week with a free writing session, of course! Maximize that Friday feeling and kick off your writing weekend. Leave work behind on Friday, May 10th, from 5:30pm-6:30pm and come on over to Grub HQ. In 60 jam-packed minutes, you’ll meet fellow writers and get your creative juices flowing with some great writing exercises. Free drinks (beer, wine, coffee, water) and snacks provided. 

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Jumpstart Your Memoir
May 28 – July 2, six Tuesdays from 10:30am-1:30pm

  • The perfect class if you want to figure out how to start your memoir!
  • Open to all writers of all levels.
  • Meets in person at the GrubStreet Headquarters in Boston.
  • 6-week course.
  • Scholarships available!

This course has a very clear mission: to get you started on your memoir. Through a series of targeted writing exercises, we will explore the terrain of memoir writing: mining for material, constructing settings, shaping vivid dialogue, and honing your voice. We will discuss the process of memoir writing and review the strengths and weaknesses of the work we produce in class using a workshop format. We will also read and discuss short published texts in regards to the craft. In addition, we will review excerpts of powerful memoirs and learn how to apply similar methods in our own works. The class will offer a supportive and productive atmosphere for writers of every experience level.

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Writing the Risky Sh*t
Monday, July 29 – Friday, August 2, 10:30am-3:30pm daily

  • 5-day teen writing camp.
  • Open to writers aged 13-18 years old.
  • Scholarships available!

Class Description:
This class is for writers in all genres who like “depressing” books. If you’re drawn to reading and writing about the most difficult things that life throws at you, let’s spend five days getting right into the darkest sh*t possible. Together, we’ll learn that dark writing doesn’t have to be bad or gushy writing. There are ways to write about tough sh*t without sounding like sh*t.

In this week-long writing camp, we’ll discuss how to tackle heavy topics that come up in life and, therefore, in writing: violence, depression, mental illness, abuse, trauma, racism, classism, sexism, antisemitism, xenophobia, not to mention sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. We will discuss what works, what doesn’t, and why, by looking at a range of fiction and nonfiction, poetry and prose. We’ll explore works by writers like: Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Alison Bechdel, Alexander Chee, John Green, Mira Jacob, Mary Karr, Carmen Maria Machado, Grace Talusan, Angie Thomas, and Nayyirah Waheed, and more.

Takeaways:
You’ll leave this course with at least five drafts of new stories, essays, or poems, a complete toolkit of approaches on how to write about the hard stuff, a long reading list of new writers to check out, plus a sense of relief having spent a week getting in touch with all of your #feels.

Scholarships:
Classes marked as “full” can still have scholarship spots available. So apply!
GrubStreet is happy to be able to offer some full scholarships for our teen writing camps. Please wait to hear from our Scholarship committee before registering for the class, as scholarships cannot be applied retroactively. Scholarships are distributed on a rolling basis, right up to 48 hours before class start. However, the sooner you apply, the better your chances of receiving a scholarship.

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Please let me know if you have any questions! I hope to see you around GrubStreet this spring and summer!

Calling all animal-loving writers!

Do you like animals? OF COURSE.

Do you like writing? YES, DUH.

Then I have the *perfect* class for you: Of Mice and Writers: Writing About Non-Human Animals. It’s happening a week from today on Friday, February 1, from 10am-5pm, at GrubStreet.

Here’s the course description:

For as long as stories have existed, humans have included non-human animals in their tales (or should I say… tails). From Anansi the Spider to Aesop’s fables, from E.B. White’s pig to Jean Craighead George’s wolves, from Helen Macdonald’s hawk to Samantha Irby’s cat to Sy Montgomery’s octopus to Porochista Khakpour’s dog, animals show up in all forms of literature: fiction and nonfiction, adult and children’s, poetry and prose, ancient and contemporary. This session will explore how authors approach writing about animals, both domesticated and wild, in both fiction and nonfiction, and address some of the common questions that come up when writing about non-humans: avoiding sentimentality, grappling with anthropomorphism, and developing animal characters that are more than thinly-veiled allegories. In addition to reading literary excerpts featuring animals, this session will include several writing exercises to help you tackle writing about your own feathered, scaly, or furry friend.

Do you wish you could take this course but you’re under 18? GREAT NEWS.

I am also teaching a *free* version of this class for teen writers as part of GrubStreet’s Young Adult Writers Program on Saturday, February 9, from 12pm-4pm. It’s called Writing Critters: Writing About Non-Human Animals.

Sign up today! You know your pet is just begging you to write their biography!

There’s still time to sign up for The Personal Essay in Progress!

Are you wishing you had signed up for The Personal Essay in Progress at GrubStreet? Feeling major regret in your creative writing class choices for 2019? Worrying you’ll have FOMO because you’re missing so many great workshop discussions about the craft of essay writing? Was ten weeks too much of a commitment? Well, you’re in luck! The class start date is now February 5th (two weeks from today!) and runs for eight weeks, on Tuesdays from 6pm-9pm.

The Personal Essay in Progress at GrubStreet!

Are you working on some essays of your own? Do you need guidance, motivation, deadlines, and/or a workshop of cheerleaders and helpful editors to keep you going? Spots are still available in The Personal Essay in Progress at GrubStreet! Class starts 1/22 (a week from tomorrow!) and runs for ten weeks, on Tuesdays from 6pm-9pm.

 

Is your New Year’s resolution to write more? Take a class at GrubStreet!

If your New Year’s resolution for 2019 is to write more, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! This winter at GrubStreet, I am teaching four in-person classes (one ten-week course, one six-week course, one six-hour seminar, and one Young Adult Writing Program session) plus one six-week online class. With so many options, one of these is bound to fit your interest and schedule, right?!?

If you don’t trust me, trust Terrence. He endorses all of these courses.

Terrence is working on an essay about the challenges of being cold-blooded.

The Personal Essay in Progress
January 22 – March 26, Tuesdays from 6pm-9pm

  • Class for writing students already working on their own essays!
  • Open to intermediate and advanced writers.
  • Meets in person at the GrubStreet Headquarters in Boston.
  • 10-week course.
  • Scholarships available!

This workshop is designed for writers who are already working on a variety of personal essay projects and want to receive regular feedback on them in a supportive and constructively critical environment. Typically, each week, three students will bring in up to 5 pages (approx. 1,500 words maximum) of a personal essay draft to be workshopped the following week. Depending on enrollment, each student should expect to present work for the workshop at least three times. Based on students’ needs, goals, and issues as they arise, the workshop will also include discussions on craft of personal essay writing, and reading of exemplary works in the genre.  The instructor will offer written feedback on one complete draft of any single essay. For intermediate and advanced students. Since the content of personal essays often reflect intimate issues, controversial views, and real-life situations, we will ensure that conversations around the work -and its content- takes place in a safe, supportive, and respectful space. The goal is for you to leave with finished pieces that, through solid feedback, reflect the best approach for you and your work. The workshop will also include discussions on craft of personal essay writing, and reading of exemplary works in the genre, including but not limited to: James Baldwin, Eula Biss, Alexander Chee, Brian Doyle, Morgan Jerkins, and Zadie 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.

Terrence wants to know more about travel essays so he can write about his journey from the kitchen to the living room.

6 Weeks, 6 Essays
January 25 – March 1, Fridays from 6pm-9pm

  • The perfect class if you want to learn about and experiment with different types of essays!
  • Open to all writers of all levels.
  • Meets in person at the GrubStreet Headquarters in Boston.
  • 6-week course.
  • Scholarships available!

In this fun, intensive class, over the course of six weeks, writers will produce six short essays (between 500 and 1,000 words each). Each week we will look at model essays, including pieces by, but not limited to, Eula Biss, Roxane Gay, Brian Doyle, Margo Jefferson, Natalia Ginzburg, David Sedaris, Leslie Jamison, and Daisy Hernández. Students will respond to prompts based on the works we have read and bring copies of their completed essays to class each week, where they will read them aloud and receive on-the-spot feedback in brief workshop sessions. At the end of the class, students will leave with a path forward to possible publication for their half-a-dozen essay drafts!

Did you know that we have scholarships available for all GrubStreet classes? To apply, click the “APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP” button in the top right corner of this page. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your scholarship application and await our Scholarship Committee’s decision before registering for the class. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

This is the perfect class for Terrence as it’s difficult for him to get into Boston sometimes.

6 Weeks, 6 Essays: Online
ONLINE, January 23 – February 27

  • Just like 6 Weeks, 6 Essays but ONLINE!
  • Open to all writers of all levels.
  • 6-week course.
  • Scholarships available!
  • Did I mention it is ONLINE so you can take it from ANYWHERE?!

Sometimes the smallest moment (or the shortest essay) holds the greatest revelation. In this online class you will write six personal essays between 500 and 1,000 words. You’ll generate a lot of material, refine your skills, explore challenges in style and voice, and take a fresh look at your life experience. By working in a shorter format, you’ll also find ways to tighten your prose and improve your storytelling skills. We’ll look at examples of published essays and discuss as a class, as well as hold smaller discussions of each other’s work to provide feedback and support.You will come out of the course with fresh drafts of multiple essays and the insight, inspiration, and knowledge of craft to begin tackling revision.

*Note that while our handy dandy “Schedule” tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Assignments and deadlines will be given by your instructor. Students will have access to the online class portal starting at 5pm on the first day of class. Instructions for logging onto the online portal will be emailed to registered students before 5pm the first day of class.

Did you know that we have scholarships available for all GrubStreet classes? To apply, click the “APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP” button in the top right corner of this page. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your scholarship application and await our Scholarship Committee’s decision before registering for the class. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

Terrence is personally invested in this course for obvious reasons.

Of Mice and Writers: Writing about Non-Human Animals
Friday, February 1, 10am-5pm

  • NEW course!
  • Open to all writers of all levels.
  • Meets in person at the GrubStreet Headquarters in Boston.
  • One-time six-hour class (with an hour break for lunch).
  • Scholarships available!

For as long as stories have existed, humans have included non-human animals in their tales (or should I say… tails). From Anansi the Spider to Aesop’s fables, from E.B. White’s pig to Jean Craighead George’s wolves, from Helen Macdonald’s hawk to Samantha Irby’s cat to Sy Montgomery’s octopus to Porochista Khakpour’s dog, animals show up in all forms of literature: fiction and nonfiction, adult and children’s, poetry and prose, ancient and contemporary. This session will explore how authors approach writing about animals, both domesticated and wild, in both fiction and nonfiction, and address some of the common questions that come up when writing about non-humans: avoiding sentimentality, grappling with anthropomorphism, and developing animal characters that are more than thinly-veiled allegories. In addition to reading literary excerpts featuring animals, this session will include several writing exercises to help you tackle writing about your own feathered, scaly, or furry friend.

Did you know that we have scholarships available for all GrubStreet classes? To apply, click the “APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP” button in the top right corner of this page. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your scholarship application and await our Scholarship Committee’s decision before registering for the class. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

This class is *free* which is great for Terrence because tortoises don’t have money.

Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP): Writing Critters: Writing about Non-Human Animals
Saturday, February 9, 12pm-4pm

  • NEW course!
  • Open to young adult writers (13-18 years old).
  • ***100% COMPLETELY FREE!*** 
  • Meets in person at the GrubStreet Headquarters in Boston.
  • Includes free pizza for lunch!

Class Description: 

For as long as stories have existed, humans have included non-human animals in their tales (or should I say… tails). From Anansi the Spider to Aesop’s fables, from E.B. White’s pig to Jean Craighead George’s wolves, from Samantha Irby’s cat to Sy Montgomery’s octopus, animals show up in all forms of literature: fiction and nonfiction, adult and children’s, poetry and prose, ancient and contemporary. This session will explore how authors approach writing about animals, both domesticated and wild, in both fiction and nonfiction, and address some of the common questions that come up when writing about non-humans: avoiding sentimentality, grappling with anthropomorphism, and developing animal characters that are more than thinly-veiled allegories.

Takeaways:

In addition to reading literary excerpts featuring animals, this session will include several writing exercises to help you tackle writing about your own feathered, scaly, or furry friend.

Who Should Register?

For high school writers age 13 – 18 ONLY. Writing notebooks will be available, but feel free to bring your own.

*If you are registering on behalf of your teen, add their email information in the “For a Friend or Child?” field on the right-hand side of the screen before you check out. This will send them a direct link and reminder to create their own profile with GrubStreet. 

(After adding the class to your cart, click “Checkout” and click “Add” next to “For a Friend or Child?” on the right-hand side to fill in their email. This is an easy way of linking the class to your child and encourages them to create their own account.)

Parents/guardians must also complete this permission form online before the start of the class.

P.S.

If you’re too overwhelmed this winter with your new gym membership and your Whole 30 diet plans, no worries! Save the date for this spring: Friday, May 10, 2019 from 5:30pm-6:30pm I will be teaching a *free* happy hour writing session at GrubStreet. There will be wine! And did I mention it is free?!

Winter classes at GrubStreet!

I am teaching a bunch at GrubStreet this fall and winter, and I hope to see you in one of my classes, either online or in person! Register today!

Jumpstart Your Writing
November 2 – December 14, 
Fridays from 6pm-9pm

  • Great course to either get back into your writing or to try creative writing for the first time!
  • Meets in person at the GrubStreet Headquarters in Boston.
  • 6-week course. (No class on November 23, the day after Thanksgiving!)
  • Open to all writers.
  • Scholarships available!

Whether you’ve never written creatively before, or you’re a more experienced writer looking for a recharge, your mission in this course is simple: devote three hours of your week to writing. Through a series of engaging writing exercises, we will mine our experiences and imagination for material and bring what we find to life, constructing characters and settings, shaping vivid dialogue, zooming in on imagery, and exploring the nuances of voice. We will discuss the process of writing and the strengths and weaknesses of the work we produce in class. With an eye on craft and an openness to inspiration, we will read and discuss short pieces written by a variety of writers, such as Eula Biss, Alexander Chee, Edwidge Danticat, Brian Doyle, Scaachi Koul, Celeste Ng, Mary Ruefle, Marjane Satrapi, David Sedaris, Lindy West, and others. 

In the words of Robert Frost, “No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.” This class is designed to be a supportive and generative experience that allows for those surprises that make writing exciting and worthwhile.

Did you know that we have scholarships available for all GrubStreet classes? To apply, click the “APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP” button in the top right corner of this page. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your scholarship application and await our Scholarship Committee’s decision before registering for the class. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

6 Weeks, 6 Essays: Online
ONLINE, November 6 – December 11

  • The perfect class if you want to learn about and experiment with different types of essays!
  • 6-week course.
  • Open to all writers.
  • Scholarships available!
  • Did I mention it is ONLINE so you can take it from ANYWHERE?!

Sometimes the smallest moment (or the shortest essay) holds the greatest revelation. In this online class you will write six personal essays between 500 and 1,000 words. You’ll generate a lot of material, refine your skills, explore challenges in style and voice, and take a fresh look at your life experience. By working in a shorter format, you’ll also find ways to tighten your prose and improve your storytelling skills. We’ll look at examples of published essays and discuss as a class, as well as hold smaller discussions of each other’s work to provide feedback and support.You will come out of the course with fresh drafts of multiple essays and the insight, inspiration, and knowledge of craft to begin tackling revision.

*Note that while our handy dandy “Schedule” tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Assignments and deadlines will be given by your instructor. Students will have access to the online class portal starting at 5pm on the first day of class. Instructions for logging onto the online portal will be emailed to registered students before 5pm the first day of class.

Did you know that we have scholarships available for all GrubStreet classes? To apply, click the “APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP” button in the top right corner of this page. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your scholarship application and await our Scholarship Committee’s decision before registering for the class. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

6 Weeks, 6 Essays
January 25 – March 1, Fridays from 6pm-9pm

  • The same as 6 Weeks, 6 Essays: Online but IRL!
  • Meets in person at the GrubStreet Headquarters in Boston.
  • 6-week course.
  • Open to all writers.
  • Scholarships available!

In this fun, intensive class, over the course of six weeks, writers will produce six short essays (between 500 and 1,000 words each). Each week we will look at model essays, including pieces by, but not limited to, Eula Biss, Roxane Gay, Brian Doyle, Margo Jefferson, Natalia Ginzburg, David Sedaris, Leslie Jamison, and Daisy Hernández. Students will respond to prompts based on the works we have read and bring copies of their completed essays to class each week, where they will read them aloud and receive on-the-spot feedback in brief workshop sessions. At the end of the class, students will leave with a path forward to possible publication for their half-a-dozen essay drafts!

Did you know that we have scholarships available for all GrubStreet classes? To apply, click the “APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP” button in the top right corner of this page. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your scholarship application and await our Scholarship Committee’s decision before registering for the class. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

Of Mice and Writers: Writing about Non-Human Animals
Friday, February 1, 10am-5pm

  • NEW course!
  • Meets in person at the GrubStreet Headquarters in Boston.
  • One-time six-hour class (with an hour break for lunch).
  • Open to all writers.
  • Scholarships available!

For as long as stories have existed, humans have included non-human animals in their tales (or should I say… tails). From Anansi the Spider to Aesop’s fables, from E.B. White’s pig to Jean Craighead George’s wolves, from Helen Macdonald’s hawk to Samantha Irby’s cat to Sy Montgomery’s octopus to Porochista Khakpour’s dog, animals show up in all forms of literature: fiction and nonfiction, adult and children’s, poetry and prose, ancient and contemporary. This session will explore how authors approach writing about animals, both domesticated and wild, in both fiction and nonfiction, and address some of the common questions that come up when writing about non-humans: avoiding sentimentality, grappling with anthropomorphism, and developing animal characters that are more than thinly-veiled allegories. In addition to reading literary excerpts featuring animals, this session will include several writing exercises to help you tackle writing about your own feathered, scaly, or furry friend.

Did you know that we have scholarships available for all GrubStreet classes? To apply, click the “APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP” button in the top right corner of this page. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your scholarship application and await our Scholarship Committee’s decision before registering for the class. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP): Writing Critters: Writing about Non-Human Animals
Saturday, February 9, 12pm-4pm

  • NEW course!
  • Open to writers aged 13-18 years old.
  • ***100% COMPLETELY FREE!*** 
  • Meets in person at the GrubStreet Headquarters in Boston.
  • Includes free pizza for lunch!

Class Description: 

For as long as stories have existed, humans have included non-human animals in their tales (or should I say… tails). From Anansi the Spider to Aesop’s fables, from E.B. White’s pig to Jean Craighead George’s wolves, from Samantha Irby’s cat to Sy Montgomery’s octopus, animals show up in all forms of literature: fiction and nonfiction, adult and children’s, poetry and prose, ancient and contemporary. This session will explore how authors approach writing about animals, both domesticated and wild, in both fiction and nonfiction, and address some of the common questions that come up when writing about non-humans: avoiding sentimentality, grappling with anthropomorphism, and developing animal characters that are more than thinly-veiled allegories.

Takeaways:

In addition to reading literary excerpts featuring animals, this session will include several writing exercises to help you tackle writing about your own feathered, scaly, or furry friend.

Who Should Register?

For high school writers age 13 – 18 ONLY. Writing notebooks will be available, but feel free to bring your own.

*If you are registering on behalf of your teen, add their email information in the “For a Friend or Child?” field on the right-hand side of the screen before you check out. This will send them a direct link and reminder to create their own profile with GrubStreet. 

(After adding the class to your cart, click “Checkout” and click “Add” next to “For a Friend or Child?” on the right-hand side to fill in their email. This is an easy way of linking the class to your child and encourages them to create their own account.)

Parents/guardians must also complete this permission form online before the start of the class.

 

Let me know if you have any questions! I hope to see you around GrubStreet, either virtually or IRL, soon!

Looking for an August activity? Sign up for a GrubStreet teen writing camp!

If you are a writer between the ages of 13-18 and you are looking for something to do in August, then consider signing up for one of GrubStreet’s awesome TEEN WRITING CAMPS! Scholarships are available for all classes.

In particular, you should enroll in a Week of Creative Writing from August 6-10, taught by yours truly. It’s going to be so fun. Let me know if you have any questions!

Plus, there are always free snacks at GrubStreet, so I don’t really know what else you want.

Just a reminder!

My summer classes at GrubStreet start very soon! If you are considering signing up, stop stalling and register today.

Please contact me if you have any questions. Hope to see you around GrubStreet (either in person or virtually) this summer!

GrubStreet summer classes: teen edition!

Are you a teenager who wants to take a creative writing class this summer? Then you should consider signing up for one of the two week-long teen writing camps I am teaching at GrubStreet: Week of Drama: Playwriting and Screenwriting runs from July 16 through July 20, and August Week of Creative Writing for Teens: Section A runs from August 6 through August 10. Keep reading for more information!

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Week of Drama: Playwriting and Screenwriting
Monday, July 16 – Friday, July 20, 10:30am-3:30pm

  • 5-day teen writing camp.
  • Open to writers aged 13-18 years old.
  • Scholarships available!

Do you know all the words to every song in Hamilton? Are you constantly watching old movies on Netflix? Do you live for the spotlight? Are the Academy Awards your personal Super Bowl? Then this week-long course on playwriting and screenwriting is for you! Designed for theatre geeks, musical nerds, film buffs, and series bingers we will study what makes for great dialogue, character development, pacing, and plot structure when it comes to plays and movies. During this course, you will have the chance to try your hand at writing your own original play or screenplay and also learning the art of adapting a work for the stage or screen as we study famous screenwriters and playwrights from Jordan Peele to Wes Anderson to Mindy Kaling to Nora Ephron to Suzan-Lori Parks to Martin McDonagh to, of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Writing notebooks will be available, but feel free to bring your own. For writers age 13 – 18 ONLY.

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August Week of Creative Writing for Teens: Section A
Monday, August 6 – Friday, August 10, 10:30am-3:30pm

  • 5-day teen writing camp.
  • Open to writers aged 13-18 years old.
  • Scholarships available!

In this week-long general creative writing course, we won’t discriminate based on genre! Whether you’re working on your first novel or writing memoir, short stories, poetry, plays, or fan fiction, this is an opportunity to improve your skills and learn about new forms. Each day will be filled with exercises designed to get you creating, and to expose you to new genres you may not have previously explored. What is flash fiction anyway? Does nonfiction have to be 500-page biographies of dead presidents? Do my characters have to be likable? How can I make my reader feel the way I am feeling? Do I have to stay confined to one genre? We’ll explore these questions and more! This class is geared toward creative, energetic, and open-minded writers all of levels who aren’t afraid to try something new. Writing notebooks will be available, but feel free to bring your own. For writers age 13 – 18 ONLY.

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Again, let me know if you have any questions! Sign up today!

AllisonandAJontheAT

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