Fiction | Workshop

6-Week Advanced Fiction Workshop: Writing the Other

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"I really enjoyed Kanishk's thoughtfully run workshop. He's an extremely generous and encouraging instructor, allowing us to find our voices while giving insightful notes that are specific to areas that needed improvement. I highly recommend this class." - former Catapult student

This fiction workshop  will help writers refine and refresh work in progress. We'll tighten technical skills. An emphasis will be placed on honing descriptions and, at the level of the sentence, on the judicious use of lyrical language. We'll also reinvigorate our work by stepping out of ourselves. Through in-class writing prompts, we'll stretch the boundaries of our fiction by conjuring other places, other times, and other lives. To build one's own world in fiction, it's essential to be able to inhabit the worlds of others.

During this six-week intensive workshop, each student will workshop twice. Students will also meet with the instructor for individual conferences.

Students in this class will be invited to a private fall reception with leading literary agents.


-  Peer and instructor feedback on two fiction submissions

- One individual meeting with the instructor to discuss work submitted, goals for the future, and areas for improvement

- The ability to read fiction like a writer, identifying what makes a narrative voice authoritative

- A greater understanding of how to inhabit the worlds of others  on the page with sensitivity and empathy 

- Access to Catapult's monthly list of writing opportunities and important deadlines, as well as a 10% discount on all future Catapult classes

Kanishk Tharoor

Kanishk Tharoor is the author of Swimmer Among the Stars , a Guardian and NPR Book of the Year. His journalism and fiction have been published in the New York Times, Guardian, The Atlantic, The Nation, Paris Review, The New Yorker, Los Angeles Review of Books, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, and Virginia Quarterly Review, and his work has been nominated for the National Magazine Award. He presents the BBC radio series "Museum of Lost Objects" and is a senior editor at Foreign Affairs magazine. He has a BA from Yale and an MFA from NYU. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.


"Sparkling, magical, heartbreaking . . . whimsical and wise . . . graceful, haunting. . . It's a testament to the author's empathy, rich voice, and immaculate craftsmanship that [SWIMMER AMONG THE STARS] succeeds in being all these things ― even as it comforts, illuminates, and unnerves."

Jason Heller NPR

"Tharoor is clearly a monumental talent, and his debut is a pleasure, from the first page to the last."

KIRKUS REVIEWS starred review

"A writer who is gifted not just with extraordinary talent but also with a subtle, original, and probing mind."

Amitav Ghosh author of FLOOD OF FIRE

"These stories gleam with the light of an authentic and wholly original imagination, beautifully crafted and in possession of an untamed, almost feral sense of creativity. With Borgesian intelligence and great tenderness of heart, Tharoor reminds us how vital it is to tell stories, and how urgently we need to consume them."


"Like the storytellers of old, as well as the art’s 20th century masters, Kanishk Tharoor brings together times past and our present day in his dazzling fables where the exotic and the mundane, the lost and the hoped for, are woven into images that remind the reader that it is through sharing stories, and maybe stories alone, that civilizations and their subjects come together in surviving whatever tasks history sets for them."


"It's the details within the details that get me―there's just this beautiful telescoping the writing does between a kind of ruthless precision and something just as close up but more tender, like counting fingers and toes."

Helen Oyeyemi author of WHAT IS NOT YOURS IS NOT YOURS

"It’s been years since I’ve encountered a collection as beguiling as SWIMMER AMONG THE STARS. Kanishk Tharoor seems to have sprung onto the scene fully formed, possessed of his own mischievous and erudite voice, already at the full height of his powers. Literary debuts are often described as ‘promising’; here are stories that read like promises fulfilled."


"It's a hard enough thing, taming an unruly story—and they almost all start unruly—into something worthy of readers' time. Now try doing that while preserving the original voice and intent of the author. That's no small beer. That's what Kanishk Tharoor has been able to do as an editor at ROADS & KINGDOMS, time and again, at any length. Listen to him. He knows how to build and rebuild stories."

Nathan Thornburgh editor-in-chief of ROADS & KINGDOMS

"Kanishk was a delight to have as a teacher. He was kind, encouraging and constructive, qualities that make him an excellent creative writing teacher. He made me want to improve my writing. I wanted to surprise him and give him something great to read and enjoy. He is an incredible teacher who has a lot to offer to anyone who will learn."

former student