Dana Spiotta | Master Class

Online, Zoom Saturday, February 20, 2021

In this Master Class, we will look at a number of interesting novels and analyze how they begin: what they set in motion and what makes us want to read on. We will look in particular at the opening sentence and how it relates to the opening paragraphs and to the overall opening chapter/section. How the opening inaugurates the overall structure of the novel on a micro and macro level. We will discuss different narrative decisions and their consequences. Think about strategies and possibilities, and consider how blindly or consciously we might proceed. Do we need to know where we are going when we begin? If not, what do we want to keep in mind? Opening chapters will be assigned for reading in advance of class. If you have a novel opening you have written, please bring the first page to the class.

Dana Spiotta is the author of Wayward (forthcoming from Knopf), Innocents and Others, Stone Arabia; Eat the Document, and Lightning Field (all Scribner). She has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rome Prize, the St. Francis College Literary Prize, and the John Updike Prize. She teaches in the Syracuse University Creative Writing Program.

Course Schedule
Saturday, February 20, 2021
3:00–5:00 p.m. ET
1 session
Online on Zoom

Cost: $85.00

Online, Zoom
United States



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If you need to cancel your enrollment in an Academy class, please let us know as soon as possible. We can only offer full refunds if you cancel two weeks prior to the start of class. After that, before the start date of class, we can offer a 50% refund. We cannot refund day-of cancellations, and we cannot refund or partially refund tuition once the class has begun.

If you purchased your class through CourseHorse, then our Refund & Cancellation policy applies to your purchase. If you are entitled to a refund, or have any questions, please visit the CourseHorse site and contact their customer service team.

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