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Available Online

Intro to Fiction

8 Weeks • with Carolyn Zaikowski • Beginner / Advanced Beginner

  • Starts May 6
  • 400 US dollars
  • Online via Zoom

Available spots

Class Description

Ready to make some stuff up? Whether you’re just getting started or you’d like to get re-started in your fiction writing life, this course is for you. Here, we’ll get curious about key concepts in the art of the fiction, including what it means to create a narrative, plus fundamental concepts like building characters and settings, the nuances of those mysterious things we call voice and point of view, and more. Each week, we’ll do some study of fiction stories and excerpts from the experts including Alice Munro, Manuel Gonzalez, Ottessa Moshfegh, Lydia Davis, and more. We’ll put what we learn into practice using in-class prompts and exercises for inspiration; in the last weeks of the course, each student will have the chance to workshop one short draft or section in class. By the end of the course, you’ll have generated at least two fiction drafts or sections, plus the tools to continue honing your craft! Note: This course involves some basic at-home work including writing exercises and 1-2 short readings per week. It is suitable for both short fiction and novel-building. WEEKLY BREAKDOWN: Week one—The basics: What is a story? Week two—The who: Character building Week three—The where: The art of setting and detail Week four—The what goes where: Structure Week five—The narrative eyeballs: Point of view Week six—The sound: Voice Week seven—The what and why: Themes Week eight—The course wrap-up: Review, revision basics, and send-offs INSTRUCTOR CAROLYN ZAIKOWSKI is the author of the novel In a Dream, I Dance by Myself, and I Collapse (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016). Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Washington Post, Alaska Quarterly Review, Everyday Feminism, DIAGRAM, West Branch, Denver Quarterly, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University and currently works in Western Massachusetts as a writing instructor, death doula, and friend. Find her at

Upcoming Sessions

Cancellation Policy

If you withdraw from a workshop TEN DAYS OR MORE before the start of the class: You'll receive full credit toward another workshop OR a full refund (minus 10%, a transaction fee that is non-refundable and that we would otherwise be charged). If you withdraw from a workshop nine days before the start of the class up until 48 hours before: You'll receive a refund minus 20%. If you withdraw from a workshop less than 48 hours before the start of a class or after the class has begun: We cannot offer credit or any refund. If you are absent on the day of your workshop or miss it for any reason, we are unable to offer any kind of refund or credit. If we have to cancel a class you have paid for, you will receive a full refund, without the service charge deducted. For our full listing of policies, visit www.PioneerValleyWriters.Com, Policies page (under Home). To withdraw and receive a partial refund according to the above, please get in touch with Joy at

Contact Details

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