Fiction | Workshop

6-Week Fiction Workshop: Choosing Your Narrative Lens

Narration isn’t a window; it’s a lens. It shapes the way readers understand all other elements of a story—character, plot, and setting—and can be tied intricately to theme. It a conscious choice, or one of several, that fiction writers make. But how do you know when you’ve made the right choices? In this workshop, we’ll look at how established authors have used narrative voice, point of view, and time successfully, and concentrate on how you can use narrational elements to shape and enhance your own stories.

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

CLASS TAKEAWAYS

-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

-a thorough understanding of how to choose your narrative lens, and the skills to make smart craft decisions that will enhance your writing 

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

Sarah Gerard

Sarah Gerard is the author of the forthcoming essay collection Sunshine State and the novel Binary Star, which NPR calls “a hard, harrowing look into inner space.” She writes a monthly column on artists' notebooks for Hazlitt.

Testimonials

"I could read Sarah Gerard all day. She is a seeker and a seer, a critic and an empath, an intellectual and a poet. This book isn’t just about Florida; it’s about America. It’s about humanity."

Profile Photo Darcey Steinke author of SISTER GOLDEN HAIR

"Sarah Gerard brings an immersion journalist’s acuity and shrewdness to essays made urgent by a native daughter’s alloy of sympathy and rage. Capacious and captivating, SUNSHINE STATE gets Florida right—and dead to rights—while breathing fresh life into the shoe-leather memoir."

Profile Photo Justin Taylor author of FLINGS

"Sarah Gerard’s SUNSHINE STATE is a deeply intelligent, personal, and political collection of rich essays, with a clarity sharp as an icicle and ‘place’ as the connective tissue. The themes of class, identity politics, and loneliness emerge in ways that are simultaneously disturbing and comforting. The perfect book for the complex and heady humans in your life, AKA, for everyone."

Profile Photo Chloe Caldwell author of I'LL TELL YOU IN PERSON

"Sarah Gerard writes with soulful clarity and keen intelligence about the cultish relationships and aspirational thinking that course through American life. This is a collection packed with bittersweet longing—for a life that’s fuller or wilder or wealthier, for a larger self that’s always out of reach."

Profile Photo Alex Mar author of WITCHES OF AMERICA

"In addition to being an exceptional writer, Sarah is also an incredibly perceptive, intuitive, and encouraging editor. Her comments and suggestions not only strengthen my work but also consistently lead me to a deeper and more thoughtful approach to my writing."

Eleanor Kriseman Editor, JOYLAND MAGAZINE

"I just wanted to get started on fiction again, which had stalled for me. This class EXCEEDED my expectations. My classmates were thoughtful, knowledgeable, and interesting, and the size of the class was PERFECT. As for Sarah, she was impeccably prepared every single time, with two readings each for us to do, where we focused on some aspects of fiction writing that were much deeper and more intricate than the usual plot, tense stuff you get in other workshops. It was a deeply intellectual exercise and really helped us delve deeply into all the ways a story could be constructed. She spent the same time and energy on our work and seriously, this is the best fiction class I’ve ever taken. I am blown away. I wrote so much and feel very prepared to use my time fruitfully. Great inspiration."

former student

"Sarah Gerard writes about love and loneliness in a new and brilliantly visceral way."

Jenny Offill author of DEPT. OF SPECULATION

"These large-hearted, meticulous essays offer an uncanny x-ray of our national psyche, examining that American mess of saints and conmen, the peculiar, culpable innocence that American mess of saints and conmen, the peculiar, culpable innocence that confuses money and moral worth, charity and personal aggrandizement. Gerard’s prose is lacerating and compassionate at once, showing us both the grand beauty of our American dreams and the heartbreaking devastation they wreak."

Profile Photo Garth Greenwell author of WHAT BELONGS TO YOU

"Sarah Gerard’s SUNSHINE STATE gloriously gutted me—and by that I mean changed me forever as a reader. Using Florida as a lens and the body as a ticket to travel, Gerard weaves her astonishing prose through land and corporeal truth. SUNSHINE STATE reminds us of who we really are underneath the skin we live in and the ground we stand on—and mercifully, there is still beauty, in spite of everything."

Lidia Yuknavitch author of THE BOOK OF JOAN and THE CHRONOLOGY OF WATER

"Gerard masterfully explores the environmental, economic, and regional complexities of Florida alongside the eternal mysteries of identity, home, family, trauma, and desire. A stellar essay collection by a writer in possession of a talent as singular and furious as Florida itself."

Laura van den Berg author of FIND ME

Class Meeting
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Location: Catapult HQ
Class Meeting
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Location: Catapult HQ
Class Meeting
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Location: Catapult HQ
Class Meeting
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Location: Catapult HQ
Class Meeting
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Location: Catapult HQ
Class Meeting
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Location: Catapult HQ