School One’s LitCenter can help new and serious writers find your voice and extend your creativity. Adult writers can enroll in evening classes at School One’s LitCenter throughout the year, participate in a book club, or attend a writing critique group. Classes and events change regularly, so check back to see what’s on tap next!
Our programs are offered in conjunction with GrubStreet Boston, Frequency Writers, Goat Hill, and the HiFi Collaborative. Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place at School One.
GENESIS 2019Ann Hood, Hester Kaplan, Taylor Polites; Goat Hill
A year-long writing boot camp, Goat Hill’s GENESIS 2019 program will guide you in the development of 150 pages of your novel or memoir in monthly workshops. Students will have the opportunity to share and revise their work, and will receive a critical review of up to 50 pages of manuscript by the workshop leader at the end of each trimester. At the end of the nine-month program (with a summer break in July and August), writers with well-developed manuscripts will have the opportunity to pitch their novel or memoir to an agent and get market-oriented feedback for further development.
Mondays, 6-8:30pm | January – November, 2019 | $5,000 (reserve your seat today with a $500 deposit)REGISTER
Creative Nonfiction: Writing About HomeEve Kerrigan, School One
If you’ve ever thought, “I have a story to tell,” then this is the class for you! This small group meets weekly and will focus on writing about home and a sense of place. Expect to read examples of nonfiction and memoir and write your own.
Thursdays, 4-5pm | January 24 – February 28, 2019 | $150REGISTER
Jumpstart Your Memoir/Personal EssayEthan Gilsdorf, GrubStreet
This course has a very clear mission: to get you started on your memoir or personal essays. Through a series of targeted writing in-class and take-home exercises, we will explore the terrain of personal narrative writing: mining for material, finding a story arc, crafting description, shaping vivid scenes, and honing your voice. We will discuss the process of memoir and personal essay writing and review the strengths and weaknesses of the work we produce in class using an on-the-spot workshopping format. We will also read and discuss short published texts in regards to the craft and excerpts of powerful memoirs and personal essays, and learn how to apply similar methods in our own works. The class will offer a supportive and productive atmosphere for writers of every experience level.
Mondays, 6-9pm | February 4 – March 25 (skips Feb 18, March 11) | $340REGISTER
Fiction 101Katie Dieter, GrubStreet
What makes a story necessary, one that you can’t stop thinking about or seems to change the world around you? This class is an opportunity to explore the power of the short story, and to hone the craft to write your own. We will read contemporary short fiction through the lens of creative writing, and practice foundational craft elements such as character, setting, point of view, plot, dialogue, and motifs. Each student will leave this class with one complete short story draft, and have the opportunity to regularly share work and receive supportive feedback. Look forward to reading and learning from a range of dynamic writers, including Ottessa Moshfegh, Carmen Maria Machado, Aleksander Hemon, George Saunders, Jenny Zhang, and Deborah Eisenberg.
Mondays, 6-9pm | February 4 – March 18, 2019 (skips 2/18) | $340REGISTER
Introduction to Screenwriting for TV and FilmMark Fogarty, GrubStreet
In this interactive 6-week workshop, writers will learn the art of script writing while working on either a feature-length film or a pilot for a television show. Students will learn about the differences and similarities between film and episodic television, explore new media, and discuss how the medium is evolving. We will discuss screenplay format, as well as how to structure a scene, create compelling characters, write dialogue, and overcome writer’s block. During the class, we will analyze the structure of several films and episodic television shows to help students gain a complex understanding of stories that follow the Hollywood paradigm as well as those that defy it. Students can expect to leave the class with a detailed outline, several completed scenes crucial to the screenplay, and either a completed first act of a feature-film or the first half-hour of a television pilot.
This class is offered by GrubStreet.
Thursdays, 6-9pm | February 7 – March 21, 2019 (skips March 14)| $370REGISTER
Building a WorldAmy Lewis, Frequency Writers
Let’s build a world from the ground up. Aimed primarily at SciFi/Fantasy authors (but applicable across the board), we’ll look at different aspects and methods to creating built worlds. We’ll look at questions such as: Do you have to have a degree in astrophysics to write a book in space? (Hint: the answer is NO) How does magic figure in to your world? What about currency? Politics? Does your built world have its own popular culture? How does “alternate history” fit into this? We’ll also look at different ways of world-building, how to do this without getting totally lost in your research, how much you need to do up front, tips and methods for avoiding the dreaded “infodump”. Through readings and in-class generative exercises, students will come away with a very good start at a world they’ve built themselves.
Mondays, 6:30-9pm | February 25 – March 11, 2019 | $160
A Woman AloneVictor Wildman, Frequency Writers
In this course, we will explore the theme of a woman alone. Our exploration of this theme will be in large part cinematic, i.e. we will screen a number of films where a solitary woman, e.g. what she does or doesn’t do, is at the heart of what the movie is “about.” We will also read our way into this theme, and ultimately find new ways of dealing with this subject in our writing.
Thursdays, 6:30-9pm | February 28 – April 4, 2019 | $250REGISTER
GrubStreet: Novel in ProgressKatie Dieter
First drafts of novels can be messy, amorphous, and daunting. Sometimes, extensive critical feedback can be counterproductive before the first draft is finished, yet writers often find themselves losing focus without support and guidance. In class, we will do exercises, discuss craft issues—characterization, plot and outlining, point of view, voice, dialogue, setting—and read short scenes from each other's work, providing feedback in an environment that recognizes the specific challenges of the novel in progress. Before the last class, all writers will be invited to submit twenty-five pages of their novels to receive a written critique from the instructor or have a one-on-one meeting to discuss the writer's work with suggested strategies for finishing the manuscript. Novels of all genres are welcome.
Please bring the first page (double-spaced) of your novel to the first class.REGISTER
GrubStreet: Going Deep: Reading and Writing the Personal EssayDorian Fox
What makes a great personal essay stand out? The answer, in part, is that good essayists write with depth and vulnerability. But this is not easy to accomplish. As essay writers, we must get beyond a superficial treatment of what happened and shape our raw material into a meaningful narrative on the page. In this course, we'll explore techniques writers use to enliven and unpack their true stories, by reading and discussing successful published essays by authors like Ariel Levy, Jerald Walker, Roxane Gay and Stephen King. Then you'll apply those craft lessons to your own work. We'll do writing exercises to mine experience and memory, and share what we create in supportive workshops. By the course’s end, you’ll have written one brief essay (800 words or less) and one mid-length essay (6-8 pages) and received feedback on each to help move your drafts forward.
Please note: Class does not meet 10/14 or 11/11.REGISTER
GrubStreet Providence Open HouseEthan Gilsdorf, Grub Street
Love to write but don’t have anywhere to get feedback on your work? Want to meet fellow writers and work under the guidance of published authors? Our LitCenter partner, GrubStreet, is here to help! Drop by our Open House here at School One on Monday, January 14 for drinks, snacks, and the answers to your questions about upcoming winter/spring classes and mingle with fellow students and writers. Grub staff members and instructors will be on hand to discuss your writing goals and recommend classes that are right for you.
Monday, January 14, 2019 | 6-9pm | FreeREGISTER
So You Want to Be a Writer in 2019?Ethan Gilsdorf, GrubStreet
It’s the new year—time to commit (or re-commit) yourself to writing! In this seminar, via discussion and exercises, we’ll inspire you to take the baby steps or big leaps necessary to realize your writing ambitions for 2019, regardless of your genre. We’ll debunk common myths about being a writer; talk about common issue like fear of failure, writer’s block, and rejection; discuss how to make time for your craft, build a career, define success, and develop habits, tools, skills and resources to make a commitment. You’ll leave with a set of goals and an action plan with built-in accountability to make it all happen in the new year. For beginners or anyone looking to re-inspire themselves as writers in 2019.
Monday, January 28, 2019 | 6-9pm | $75REGISTER
Introduction to Travel Writing: Getting from Here to ThereJodie Vinson, GrubStreet
Through this seminar, we’ll explore our travel not just as an adventure to report, but as a lens through which we can examine our lives. For inspiration, we’ll draw on esteemed travel writers such as Gretel Ehrlich, Paul Theroux, and Cheryl Strayed. Students will have the opportunity to shape their journeys into stories through helpful in-class writing prompts and exercises. The seminar will include a brief overview on the development of the genre and a discussion over the relevant place travel writing has in today’s global community.
Monday, February 4, 2019 | 6-9pm | $75REGISTER
Seminar: Crafting Settings That WorkOffered by Goat Hill
All stories need a setting to ground them in place and time. This seminar will look at how setting can create mood, shape character, and offer opportunities for plot development. An in-class exercise will explore how to craft rich physical worlds through the use of concrete and sensory detail. Snow date: Monday, February 18, 2019.
Monday, February 4, 2019 | 6-8:30pmREGISTER
Writing DialogueMark Fogarty, GrubStreet
How do you create dialogue that feels and sounds real, yet also works to communicate your story? This workshop is designed for playwrights, screenwriters, novelists, and short fiction writers interested in writing crisp, realistic-sounding dialogue. We will study several great scenes from films, plays, and fiction to break down what makes the dialogue so effective. Topics explored will include creating subtext, hiding exposition, working with slang, and getting the characters in your head speaking with voices of their own. You will learn how to break down a scene into beats and intentions and how to approach the scene as an actor would. Most importantly, during the workshop portion, we will act out your dialogue so that you may hear it the way dialogue is meant to be heard – out loud.
Monday, February 25, 2019 | 6-9pm | $75REGISTER
Seminar: From Story to PlotOffered by Goat Hill
You have a great story idea. A character. A situation. Something happens. But then it runs out of steam. The story loses direction. The energy dissipates and the climax feels flat. In this seminar, we will consider approaches to finding the path of the story through plotting. In class exercises will develop ideas for solid plots and methods for you to navigate through the challenges of story building.
Monday, March 4, 2019 | 6-8:30pmREGISTER
Goat Hill Generative Workshop
Generative 2: The Magic Story Bag: Exercises inspired by objects and the senses to explore character, motivation, and conflict.REGISTER
Goat Hill Craft Seminar: Let Me Tell You a Story: First Person in Fiction
Having a character in the story you are writing also tell the story is an age-old
technique. The reader feels like a character present in the action of the story is giving their eye-witness account. This seminar will focus on the complexities and pitfalls of the first person narrator, things to watch out for and how to take full advantage of this point of view.
GrubStreet: Becoming Your Own Best EditorLynn Heinzman
Every writer would benefit from a great editor, someone to read and evaluate her work and suggest ways to craft it into the best piece of writing it can possibly become. But professional editors are busy and look for projects that already have a high level of polish, so before submitting to them, you need to become a skilled editor of your own work yourself.
In this hands-on seminar, we will experiment with several different levels of editing. We’ll look at editing some of the “big picture” items, such as a piece’s overall message/story, structure, voice, or tone. We’ll check out how to evaluate secondary elements, such as sub-plots, characters, and point-of-view. And we’ll even examine some common mistakes made with sentence structure, grammar, and spelling—all those little things that are important to get right if we want our work to be taken seriously.
This class will show writers of both fiction and nonfiction how to become their own best editors, making their work marketable in the professional world.
This is a cross-genre seminar, applicable to any kind of writing.REGISTER
Goat Hill Genesis 2020
A year-long writing boot camp taught by Goat Hill's own Ann Hood, Hester Kaplan, and Taylor Polites.Goat Hill's GENESIS 2019 program will guide you in the development of 150 pages of your novel or memoir in monthly workshops.
Writers enrolled in the GENESIS program will participate in one workshop per month with each instructor leading a three-month block. Writers will have the opportunity to share and revise their work and will receive a critical review of up to 50 pages of manuscript by the workshop leader at the end of each three-month block. All writers enrolled in the GENESIS 2019 program will also be offered seats in Goat Hill’s seminar series, six evening classes over the spring and fall focused on specific elements of craft. To see the upcoming Spring 2019 seminars, visit the seminar page here.
At the end of the nine-month program (with a summer break in July and August), writers with well-developed manuscripts will have the opportunity to pitch their novel or memoir to an agent and get market-oriented feedback for further development.
The GENESIS 2020 program is limited to six writers.REGISTER
Conversation Series: Education and LearningJennifer Borman
We’ve all been to school and most of us now have a lifetime’s worth of convictions and ideas about how we define a quality education. Come join us for a bi-monthly discussion group where we’ll talk about quality teaching, different kinds of schools, education in other countries, policy issues like school choice, education in Rhode Island, and a host of related topics.
Each meeting will be catalyzed by a shared reading, though it’s not necessary to have done the “homework,” in order to attend.
January’s book: The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley. This group will meet on Monday, January 27, 2020. 6:00 p.m. - 7:30p.m. at School One.
Note: This group is open to the public and while we’d love to have professional educators participate, we hope to keep the discussion broad as well as deep. Please sign up in advance.REGISTER
“The challenge for every writer is to draw her reader fully into the character's experience. Scenes are where the action of a story comes alive and invites the reader in. Scenes are where the story is lived.”
— Hester Kaplan, Author and Goat Hill writer
“Writing is like detective work: to reveal the story, you pull at the threads which will force the story to reveal itself. My goal as a teacher is to help you understand how to spot the clues.”
— Mark Fogarty, Writer and GrubStreet Instructor
“We turn to fiction to be transported, thrilled, immersed in the new and strange. Science Fiction and Fantasy takes us to these other worlds, and provides perspective on our own.”
— Amanda Kallis, Writer and School One Faculty
“We’re at a point in the world right now where we need empathy if we’re going to make any kind of progress. This is the best time for theater; it’s the antidote to apathy”.
— Ben Jovilet, Writer and GrubStreet Instructor
“I believe that openness and innovation are integral to teaching. This is certainly reflected in School One’s philosophy.”
— Victor Wildman, Frequency Writers and Creative Writing Instructor
“I’m excited about our new offerings this fall at School One’s LitCenter—expanding into genres like poetry, screenwriting, playwriting, and publishing, in addition to our existing fiction and personal essay/memoir workshops.”
— Ethan Gilsdorf, Author & GrubStreet Providence Coordinator