Fiction | Workshop

6-Week Fiction Workshop: Vision and Craft

"I felt very lucky to have David as a teacher." - former student

In the age of alternative facts, it has become even more important to achieve control over our fictions—over how we can tell stories that will reflect the world as we see it, rather than as how we are told to see it. Through student stories, published fiction, and writing exercises, we'll discuss how we can see deeper into our own work and how we can harness the elements of craft to make readers see what we see. We'll discuss character, dialogue, structure, point-of-view, voice, dramatic stakes, how all these aspects work together, and—shhh—how you can ignore some of these aspects completely as long as you do others well. Students will complete the class with a clearer understanding of what they want to explore as writers, and with greater confidence and sharpened skills to explore it.

Each student will workshop twice over the six-week period and meet once with the instructor for an individual conference.

CLASS TAKEAWAYS

-intensive peer and instructor feedback on two fiction submissions

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

-access to a nurturing community of writers and readers

-greater control over your writing and the elements of craft that take fiction to the next level

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

*no class Nov. 22

David Burr Gerrard

David Burr Gerrard is the author of the novels The Epiphany Machine (Putnam, 2017) and Short Century (Rare Bird, 2014). His work has appeared in NY Tyrant, The Awl, The LA Review of Books, BOMB, Guernica, and other publications. He teaches fiction writing at The New School, the 92nd Street Y, Catapult, and the Sackett Street Writers' Workshop.

Testimonials

"David not only writes beautiful, smart, audacious prose, but he is also a wonderful teacher. He reads and listens to his students carefully, and has a talent for fostering a positive and productive atmosphere in class. He also offers excellent and very helpful insights about our stories. I felt very lucky to have David as a teacher."

former student

"Simply tremendous. An extraordinary book, full of wisdom and surprise, ingenious and original."

Karen Joy Fowler author of WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES

"With THE EPIPHANY MACHINE, David Burr Gerrard has masterfully channeled Kafka and written an engrossing and inventive mystery. A deeply compelling read by a terrific young writer."

Ben Marcus author of THE FLAME ALPHABET

"With equal parts satire, mystery, and vaudevillian comedy, David Burr Gerrard has written a masterpiece."

Alexander Weinstein author of CHILDREN OF THE NEW WORLD

"David Burr Gerrard is a scarily clever young man, with a talent as subversively unforgettable as his artful creation."

Rebecca Mead NEW YORKER writer and author of MY LIFE IN MIDDLEMARCH

"David Burr Gerrard is an excellent teacher. I recently took two consecutive workshops with him. From the first class, David really impressed me with his ability to draw people out and facilitate substantive discussions, which can make or break a workshop experience. He has an easy manner and a very generous and detailed way of giving feedback that encourages development. He became a champion of my work but always gave it to me straight. Ultimately, he ended up connecting me with an editor to submit one of my stories and it's going to be published online next month."

former student

"David Burr Gerrard has my highest recommendation as a teacher of creative writing. I was lucky enough to be a student of David's while working on my second novel. David was able to draw out the best in all his students through attentive reading, careful listening, and incisive questioning. What I most valued about David's style was that he created an atmosphere that was both supportive and stimulating: we all wrote better because of it. I looked forward to his prompts and his writing assignments. I was surprised by the writing I did in his class. And you can't ask for more than that."

former student

"David Burr Gerrard was a rigorous and generous fiction teacher who pushed his students in their critiques of others as much as he pushed us to improve our own writing. I left each class inspired about the insights we'd all come to about each other's work as well as with ideas about how to improve my own. Focusing on my critical eye really helped me become a better writer. On top of that, he took all of our work seriously, giving us confidence to develop as writers."

former student