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Creative Writing Essentials with Aram Mrjoian

$365.00 · June 17

In this course—designed for beginner and intermediate prose writers—we’ll read and write a wide range of fiction, creative nonfiction, and hybrid forms, as well as delve into additional texts focused on craft and theory.

Start Date

June 17

Day(s) of the Week

Monday

Class Times

6:30pm – 9:00pm CT

Sessions

6

Location

Zoom (online)

Instructor

Price

$365

In stock

Description

This class will skip meeting on July 15th, and will have its last session on July 29th.

In this course—structured around a combination of lectures, assigned readings, drawings, discussions, and generative exercises—we’ll read and write a wide range of fiction, creative nonfiction, and hybrid forms, as well as delve into additional texts focused on craft and theory. Over six weeks, we’ll prioritize exploration and opportunities in our own work. Together, we’ll strive to find artistic agency in our prose and develop enduring revision strategies, with a particular emphasis on creative decision-making and navigating craft expectations and axioms. How can we challenge, subvert, overcome, and deconstruct these expectations? What can we, as writers, do to take full control of our own stories?


Week 1: What’s Craft Anyway? – To begin, we’ll develop a lexicon of basic terms, consider how we write and talk about writing, and discuss genre and conventions.

Week 2: Point of View – We’ll cover first, second, and third person point of view, as well as discuss fiction and nonfiction examples that manipulate or alternate point of view.

Week 3: Setting and Character – Now halfway through the course, we’ll examine the relationship between setting and characterization, as well as consider narrative visualization.

Week 4: Structure, Arcs, Shape, Time, and Endings – Finding the architecture for a work of short fiction or essay can be extremely difficult, even if we have an instinctive understanding of how to effectively tell a story. This week, we’ll discuss macrocosmic and microcosmic structural decisions and the relationship to time and chronology.

Week 5: What Propels Our Prose – For many writers, there’s no higher praise than achieving sentence-level electricity. This week focuses on rhythm, syntax, diction, punctuation, and the minute decisions we make to help our stories pop.

Week 6: The Art of Revision – Our final class will be dedicated to long-term revision strategies. Students will be provided a revision checklist and tools for navigating their creative work moving forward.


Aram Mrjoian will be the instructor for this 6-week class, which is designed for beginner and intermediate prose writers.

Students will be assigned 3-5 recommended readings per week, as well as optional additional readings. Readings might include work by Brandon Taylor, Danielle Evans, Diane Cook, Charles Yu, Percival Everett, Garth Greenwell, Nadia Owusu, and others.

This class includes:

  • In-class writing exercises
  • Generative exercises
  • Editorial/revising strategies and exercises
  • Drafting/planning exercises
  • Writing exercises or writing assignments outside of class
  • In-class reading
  • Reading outside of class
  • Discussion of outside texts
  • Craft talks
  • Class discussion

About Aram Mrjoian

Aram Mrjoian is the editor-in-chief of The Rumpus and a 2022 Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellow. His debut novel, Waterline, is forthcoming with Harper Via in 2025. Aram has previously worked as an editor at the Chicago Review of Books, the Southeast Review, and TriQuarterly.

He is the editor of the anthology We Are All Armenian: Voices from the Diaspora published by the University of Texas Press (March 2023).

His writing has appeared in The Guardian, Runner’s World, Literary Hub, Catapult, West Branch, Electric Literature, Gulf Coast, Boulevard, Joyland, Longreads, and many other publications.