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NVL 38 W — Your Electric, Authentic Voice: A Fiction-Writing Workshop

Quarter: Summer
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jun 20—Aug 26
Refund Deadline: Jun 23
Units: 3
Tuition: $910
Instructor(s): Sarah Stone
Limit: 17
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Closed
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Jun 20—Aug 26
10 weeks
Refund Date
Jun 23
3 Units
Sarah Stone
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Bharati Mukherjee wrote that “‘voice’ is our shorthand for the process of decision-making regarding tone, diction, pacing, texture, withholding, etc. in a given work.” Each writer, and each story or novel, has a particular voice—or sometimes a chorus of voices—that takes a reader deeply into characters’ lives and worlds: setting the tone and expectations, establishing a guiding presence, and determining meaning. Our decisions about dialogue then weave the voice of the novel with the voices of the characters, along with their actions, gestures, and ideas.

In our readings, writing exercises, and workshop groups, we'll explore diverse voices, different levels of point of view, plus a range of dialogue strategies. We will read a novel by Ruth Ozeki, along with novel selections and short stories from Mukherjee, Helen Oyeyemi, George Saunders, Louise Erdrich, and others. In our live (optional) Zoom sessions, we’ll continue our craft discussions and writing exercises. After the first weeks of class, you will have the option of setting up an individual one-on-one meeting with the instructor to talk about your work. By the end of the course, you will have a deeper sense of how your point of view and dialogue decisions can transform your fiction and help bring your writer’s voice more vividly, distinctly alive.


Sarah Stone is the author of Hungry Ghost Theater, a finalist for the 38th annual Northern California Book Awards, and The True Sources of the Nile and co-author, with Ron Nyren, of Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Writers. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, StoryQuarterly, The Millions, Scoundrel Time, The Believer, A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft, and elsewhere. She received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being (ISBN 9780143124870)