See also:
Fiction Writing Intensive
Up next:
Level II Options
Fiction Writing I

Fiction Writing I is a 10-week workshop, which includes lectures, exercises, and the critiquing of student projects. It’s for beginners or anyone who wants to brush up on the fundamentals. Farther down, you can view a syllabus for this course.

Also consider Gotham’s premium Zoetrope Fiction Writing classes: Zoetrope Fiction I or Zoetrope Fiction II.

Fiction is a wonderful conjuring act. With only words and the reader’s imagination, a work of fiction can sail across the world in pursuit of a whale, or time-travel to another dimension, or zero in on a few minutes in line at the local bank, enveloping the reader in a made-up story that feels real.

To pull off this feat requires a balance of craftsmanship, daring, and insight into human nature. Here you’ll learn the time-tested elements of fiction craft and how to market your work.

Whether you seek to write short stories or novels; commercial, literary, or genre; comic or tragic, we’ll show you how to spin your thoughts into believable and spellbinding tales.

About Fiction Writing
Fiction Writing I

The class was great. I write for a living, but this class really got me excited about my own work again. I found a group of people who speak my language…and we worked on learning more of that language together.

Annika Wood

television promotions writer/producer


Fiction I encompasses short stories and novels. After Level I, students have a choice of Short Fiction Writing II (focusing on short stories), or Novel II Critique or Novel II First Draft (focusing on novels).

If you’re working on “genre” fiction, you may take either a Fiction/Novel course or one of our genre courses: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Romance, Mystery.

If you’re working on a YA novel, you may take a Fiction/Novel or “genre” course, or you may take a Children’s Book course, where the full spectrum of children’s books will be covered.

Upcoming Classes NYC COVID Info

Masks are not required, but we’ll provide masks for those who want them. We are no longer requesting proof of vaccination.

More Covid details
  • You can still enroll in this class.
    Starts Wednesday, July 17
    Zoom, 7pm – 10pm ET
    10-Week Workshop
  • You can still enroll in this class.
    Starts Wednesday, July 17
    NYC, 2pm – 5pm ET
    10-Week Workshop


Registration fee $25, paid once per term

See Payment Options

To register for a 10-Week course, you need to pay in full to guarantee your place in class. Or you can pay a $95 deposit plus a $25 registration fee (total $120) to temporarily hold your place, but tuition must be paid in full 10 business days before your class starts or you risk losing your spot.



This course gives you a firm grounding in the basics of fiction craft and gets you writing a short story (or two) or a novel. Course components:
     Writing exercises
     Workshopping of student projects (each student presenting work two times)

New York City/Zoom classes
The syllabus varies from teacher to teacher, term to term. Many topics will be similar to those covered in the Online classes.

Online classes 
Week 1
Introduction to Fiction: The different types and forms of fiction. Where to find inspiration and ideas. The importance of craft.

Week 2
Character: Where to find characters. Making characters dimensional through desire and contrasts. Creating character profiles. Showing vs. Telling. Methods for showing characters. 

Week 3
Plot: Finding a major dramatic question. Shaping a beginning, middle, and end. The difference between short story and novel plots. Pros and cons of outlining. 

Week 4
Point of View: POV defined. Exploration of the many types of POV. 

Week 5
Description: Using the senses. Specificity. Techniques for creativity. Finding the right words. Merging description with point of view. 

Week 6
Dialogue: The importance of scene. Dialogue's illusion of reality. Quotation marks and tags. Stage directions. Summarized dialogue. Characterization through dialogue. Subtext. Dialect. 

Week 7
Setting/Pacing: Time. Place. Weather. Description of setting. Merging character and setting. How to manipulate time through pacing. Flashbacks. 

Week 8
Voice: Voice defined. Exploration of the various types of voice. Tips for finding your voice. Understanding style—syntax, diction, and paragraph length.

Week 9
Theme/Revision: Theme defined. Types of theme. Weaving theme into a story. Exploration of the various stages of revision. 

Week 10
The Business: Proper format for manuscripts. How to target publishing houses, literary magazines, and agents. Query letters.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes.


Cab Tran
Cab Tran

Cab Tran has published short fiction in Vagabond: Bulgaria's English Monthly, The Oleander Review, and Black Warrior Review, among many others. He is the translator, with Quan M. Ha, of the short-story collection Hanoi at Midnight by Bao Ninh (Texas Tech University Press). He co-founded the literary magazine Cedilla, has worked as a tutor with the Michigan Mentorship Program, and taught for the University of Michigan. He holds a BA from the University of Montana and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Michigan.

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Divya Sood
Divya Sood

Divya Sood is the author of the novels Find Someone to Love and Nights Like This (both Riverdale Avenue Books). Her short stories have won the New Jersey Arts and Letters First Prize for Short Fiction and appeared in The Masters Review. She has taught at Rutgers University and Southern New Hampshire University. She holds a BA from Rutgers University, an MA in English, and an MFA in Fiction, both from New York University. 

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George Jreije
George Jreije

George Jreije is the author of the Shad Hadid children's fantasy series, the novel Bashir Boutros and the Jewels of the Nile, and the forthcoming graphic novel Tarik’s Bazaar Adventure (all HarperCollins). He has also written short stories published in collaboration with UNICEF. He has taught for the Concord (Massachusetts) Library System, the Orlando Libraries, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. He holds a BS and an MBA from Clark University. 

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Lyndsey Ellis
Lyndsey Ellis

Lyndsey Ellis is the author of the novel Bone Broth (Hidden Timber Books), and her short fiction has been published in Kweli Journal, Joyland, the Santa Monica Review, Parhelion, the Stockholm Review of Literature, and Orca, A Literary Journal, among many others. Her work has been anthologized in Golden State 2017: Best New Writing from California (Outpost 19 Books), Black in the Middle: An Anthology of the Black Midwest (Belt Publishing)and Crick! Crack!: Poems and Stories by Emerging Writers (The Bonfire Collective). She wrote the Memory Book column for Catapult magazine, blogged at For Harriet, and was fiction editor for The Account: A Journal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought. She has taught for the Loft Literary Center, the California Writers’ Club, Your Words STL, and midnight & indigo. She holds a BA from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts.

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