Fiction | Workshop

6-Week Fiction Workshop: Experimenting with Style

At its simplest, a story is just a narrated series of events. Anyone can tell a story. But the x-factor that distinguishes pragmatic reportage from the holy art of fiction is style. Instead of focusing on the development of plot and character, in this course we turn our attention to the writerly decisions behind how plot and character are communicated. After all, any plot can be compelling if it’s rendered with the right narrative voice. In this workshop, we give special consideration to tone, narrative distance, language, rhythm, pacing, perspective—all those elements of craft that can elevate your fiction and give it a distinctive edge. You will leave this course with an arsenal of story-telling tools that will give you fresh perspective on your writing and new ways of working through narrative obstacles. Short stories and novel selections welcome.

During this six-week intensive workshop, each student will workshop twice and have one individual meeting with the instructor.

*no class on August 16


-intensive peer and instructor feedback on two fiction submissions

-one productive, personal conference with the instructor to discuss your writing style, goals, and areas for improvement

-access to a nurturing community of writers and readers

-an arsenal of story-telling tools to help you work through narrative obstacles 

-more confidence as a writer, on and off the page!

Joshua Gaylord

Joshua Gaylord is the author of four novels under his own name and the pseudonym Alden Bell. His work has been nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the ALA Alex Award. He received his Ph.D. from New York University and has taught at NYU, the New School, the Center for Fiction, and Ramaz Upper School.


"Josh Gaylord's class made me see possibilities in my writing that hadn't even occurred to me before. He encouraged me to try new voices, to experiment with new ways of approaching storytelling. Also, he manages to be insightful, critical, and nurturing all at the same time. I really felt my writing evolved under his guidance."

former student

"THE REAPERS ARE THE ANGELS is soaked in all the viscera, bile, and blood that any horror fan could desire, the effluvia rendered in a high Southern Gothic style as redolent of rotting magnolia as anything written by William Faulkner or Cormac McCarthy."

Charlie Huston author of SLEEPLESS

"HUMMINGBIRDS positively glistens with erudition and insight. Whether writing about prep school girls or the adult men who walk among them, Gaylord's stunning writing elevates his subject matter with equal parts humanity and elegance."

Jonathan Tropper author of HOW TO TALK TO A WIDOWER

"WHEN WE WERE ANIMALS is so utterly compelling and absorbing that every time I (reluctantly) broke from it, I not only had to remind myself where I was, but who I was. Superbly written, chilling, original, and deeply affecting, it will stay with me for a long time."

Sarah Lotz author of DAY FOUR

"Josh Gaylord is one of the most exciting teachers I've ever had. His enthusiasm—about books, about writing, about his students—is contagious. He's also an incredibly generous and astute editor, pointing out opportunities for revision while also celebrating the story's strengths. I'd recommend his class to anyone."

former student