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Claire Messud

The Iceberg Beneath the Surface

Claire Messud, photo by Ulf Anderson
Claire Messud, photo by Ulf Anderson
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This workshop for advanced fiction writers will explore how much of our storytelling takes place beyond the page, in all the work that is not necessarily explicit in the final story. Classes will focus on students’ short stories and fiction extracts submitted beforehand, exploring how to more fully realize characters and worlds. Participants will have the opportunity to meet with the instructor one-on-one after class to discuss work and goals.


This class is now FULL. We have allocated our financial aid for this class.

  • This is an advanced workshop. Please submit a writing sample of up to ten pages of fiction.
  • Please submit a cover letter that states your interest in this workshop and gives an overview of your writing background and prior workshop experience, if any.
  • The cost is $600. If you are selected to participate in the workshop, a deposit of $200 is required to register, with the balance due by September 30.
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the class is full.

Financial Assistance is available to those who would not otherwise be able to attend—click here for guidelines and application.


Claire Messud’s five novels include The Emperor’s Children, named one of the ten best books of the 2006 by the New York Times Book Review; The Woman Upstairs, a New York Times bestseller; and, most recently, The Burning Girl, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in fiction. Messud is also the author of a book of novellas, The Hunters. She has been awarded Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Mildred and Harold Strauss Livings Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and is a two-time PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction finalist. She teaches creative writing at Harvard University and at the New York State Summer Writers Institute. A frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and the New York Times Book Review, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her family.