Online | Fiction | Workshop

6-Week Online Advanced Fiction Workshop: Character Development

In this advanced fiction workshop, best suited to writers with ample workshop experience, we’ll focus on developing compelling, vivid characters by exploring the individual challenges they face. We’ll discover how the characters we deem the most worthy of our empathy are often the ones the world resists the most, and how turmoil in our fiction isn’t something we should fear, but rather whole-heartedly embrace. We’ll do this by not only looking at our own writing, but also at the work of respected and established writers.

In this six-week workshop, each student will workshop at least twice, and will meet with the instructor once for an individual conference.

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 Zoom desktop client so you have access to all platform features.


- Understand how characterization relates to other craft elements

- At least one workshopped short story or novel excerpt

- The opportunity to meet one-on-one with the instructor for feedback specific to your own writing

- Detailed critiques and notes from the instructor and peers

- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes


Students are expected to be prepared to submit for workshop at least once (maximum length: 12 pages double-spaced). Students should be prepared to give thorough feedback on classmate's writing, 2-3 submissions per class. Some short readings will be assigned.

Grant Ginder

Grant Ginder is the author of four novels, including The People We Hate at the Wedding and Honestly, We Meant Well. His writing has appeared in Lithub, The Harvard Advocate, FailBetter, Bodega, and 7x7. He is a graduate of the MFA program at New York University, where he currently teaches rhetoric and composition.


"DRIVER'S EDUCATION is the kind of book that will make other young writers crumple their manuscripts and unplug their computers. With a sniper's eye, Grant Ginder takes the whole of American Life in his crosshairs. A meticulously-observed family story; a social fiction that involves everything from reality TV to truth-telling in the Internet age; funny and sad, smart and exciting, DRIVER'S EDUCATION is a great book.

Darin Strauss author of HALF A LIFE and CHANG AND ENG

"With Driver's Education, Grant Ginder has come home with more than just the great pleasures—the sites, stops, journeys and stories—of an ideal road trip. He's also given us an exquisite portrait of the mysteries, accusations, and bonds that link every father and son. And he's also given us another sort of education: it's a novel that reminds you how beautiful and moving a story, when told by an expert, can be. The novel gives all the pleasures and reminds us of the real highway we spend our lives on, that wherever we travel begins and ends at the same destination. It's an extraordinary book."


Lively, funny, gritty, and achingly real, Ginder’s sophomore effort should appeal to fans of Junot Diaz and Michael Chabon.

BOOKLIST starred review

"Ginder’s writing is colorful, direct, and imaginative . . . At times, it is also achingly poignant . . . DRIVER'S EDUCATION is a stirring, memorable trip."


"A sensitively observed story about storytelling."