“Something Happened: Building from Scene to Short”
Intermediate, $550.00
January 11–15, 2016

Workshop Description

Short stories and novels alike are usually a compiling of individual dramatic scenes. Understanding how these very short stories are constructed is crucial to writing and reading fiction. This workshop will consider the single scene as a small story, which might be part of a novel or short story but is sufficient unto itself as well.

Each participant will bring a scene to class and these pieces will comprise the essential part of our discussions. We will also be looking at stories by Anton Chekhov, Alice Munro, Katherine Mansfield, and others, concentrating on one or two scenes in each of the stories to understand how the writer has built a story from scene to scene.


•   The full cost of this four-day workshop is $550.00. There is no fee to apply; if you are accepted into the workshop, a $100 deposit will be required to hold your place, with full payment due by September 30. Financial assistance is available to those who would not otherwise be able to attend—guidelines and application details are available here.
•     All students are expected to read works assigned by the instructor, and the submissions of fellow students, in advance of the workshop. These will be emailed in advance of the workshop.
•    To Apply, please submit a very short story or a scene from a longer story or novel (ten pages or less),  along with a brief cover letter addressing your desire to take the workshop. Include your name and email address at the top right-hand corner of each page. File names should adhere to the format: “Lastname_Firstname.pdf.” Once you are ready, please fill out our application below and attach your submission using our file uploader.

About Susan Shreve

Susan Shreve is the author of fourteen novels, most recently You Are the Love of My Life (2012), and A Student of Living Things (2006). A memoir, Warm Springs: Traces of a Childhood was published in 2007. More News Tomorrow, a novel, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton. Shreve has written thirty books for children, her latest, The Lovely Shoes, was published in June 2011 and The Search for Baby Ruby from Arthur A Levine/Scholastic will be published in June 2015. What Are You Going to Do With a Boy Like Me is in progress. She has received a Guggenheim Award for Fiction, a National Endowment grant for Fiction, the Jenny Moore Chair in Creative Writing at George Washington University and has won both the Grub Street Prize for non-fiction and the Service award from Poets and Writers. She has taught in the MFA at Columbia School of the Arts and for three years at Princeton University. She founded the MFA at George Mason University, where she remains as a Professor and is chairman of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, a position she shared with the late and beloved Robert Stone.

—Workshop Application—

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