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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!

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