Finding the right ending for your story might be the most difficult part of the writing process—you need to thread the needle with theme, magic, metaphor, and character, all without being too preachy or heavy-handed.
In this class, we'll look behind the curtain of great story endings and adapt what we learn to our own endings. We'll work on fitting resonant images and powerful character choices into story endings—all while balancing the bitter and the sweet. We will read examples of great stories and discuss what makes them great (readings may include works by Alice Munro, ZZ Packer, Toni Morrison, Richard Ford, James Joyce, Sandra Cisneros, and others). We will engage in practical exercises to revise our own endings.
This class is open to fiction writers with all levels of experience, and students will come away from the class with a new ending for their story or novel drafted.
Our class platform works best on laptop or desktop computers. Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the desktop client so you have access to all platform features. The Zoom calls will have automated transcription enabled. Please let us know ([email protected]) if you have any questions or concerns about accessibility.
Check out this page for details about payment plans and discount opportunities.
- New tools for drafting and finding the potential for an ending in your work-in-progress
- A breakdown of successful ending strategies used by authors and how to implement them in your own stories/novels
- A new ending for your work in progress drafted
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
No prior work needed for this one-day class. There will be no workshop component with feedback on student work.
Part 1: Exploring selected professional endings and categorizing them
Break: 15 minutes
Part 2: Making our own endings: exercises for trying new endings for our works-in-progress
BLAIR HURLEY is the author of THE DEVOTED, published by W.W. Norton, which was longlisted for The Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. Her second novel, MINOR PROPHETS, will be published in 2023. Her work is published in New England Review, Electric Literature, The Georgia Review, Guernica, Paris Review Daily, West Branch, and elsewhere. She is a Pushcart Prize winner and an ASME Fiction award finalist.
“Blair is a beautiful and powerful writer, whose work often examines themes of identity, faith, and difficult family dynamics. Her writing is driven by great compassion, humor and wit, which renders her characters as complex, soulful and absorbing.”
“An absorbing and psychologically charged debut, THE DEVOTED is a fierce confession of what it means to abandon a life.”
“If you are interested in polishing your writing to its full potential, consider hiring Blair Hurley as your editor. I did. She is tough and terrific. Tough because she caught every little mistake and foolishness I committed to page. Terrific because she is incredibly smart and creative, and she guided me so that dull storylines turned into gripping ones.”
“This class was even better and more informative (and inspirational) than I had hoped. Blair is a fantastic teacher. I loved that she has had great success and was so open about sharing her experiences. Plus she was funny and down to earth!”
“I loved Blair — I want to take a class from her again! She knows an incredible amount and kept me engaged the entire time.”