We have 96 classes available! Please use the search filter below to find the classes you are looking for.

Stranger Than Fiction: The History & Craft of Fiction Writing

User Avatar
Stranger than Fiction


Class starts every Tuesday. You have until the final due date, August 22, to complete all work for the course. This means you have the entire summer semester to complete the course on YOUR schedule!

This class is only offered once per year in the summer!

What makes a good story? What makes a bad story? How can a writer make their readers care about the characters they have created? What motivates someone to write a story in the first place? In this course, we will look at many examples of creative writers who have used storytelling to share their ideas and opinions about the world around them, and who have turned to fiction to see their imaginations come to life.

This 4-week course will introduce students to major aspects of creative fiction, looking specifically at popular writers and genres that have helped shape modern creative writing in the United States and around the world. As a creative writing “workshop”, this course will focus heavily on reading and writing, and will include examples of famous writers from many different cultures throughout history to help students create fictional stories of their own.

By the end of this course, students will become familiar with several major figures in literary history, as well as with the basic building blocks of storytelling – such as genre, character, setting, conflict, and resolution. Creative assignments will give students the opportunity to use these skills in developing their own creative writing style so they can begin to build their own fictional worlds!

No live classesview lessons on YOUR schedule. In general, expect 1.5-2.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time). For classes with two levels, the material is the same for boththe depth of the assignments differs. Younger students should usually be placed in Level 1. Older students, or younger students who want more of a challenge, should be placed in Level 2.

Each lesson consists of a fully narrated PowerPoint presentation with images and videos to enhance the topics. Students will have access to our learning management system, Canvas, for viewing their lesson, printing worksheets, taking quizzes, viewing/submitting assignments, participating in discussions, and viewing grades/feedback. Read more details about class format.

Week 1: Genre & Character
This first week will look at major classifications of fiction to familiarize students with different genres of creative writing, and will also introduce students to various strategies for creating realistic and interesting characters that readers can follow through the end of their story.

Week 2: Setting & Backstory
This second week will focus on “world-building” in creative fiction, and will teach students the importance of place and setting in storytelling so that readers have a deeper understanding of the characters and events in a fictional world.

Week 3: Conflict & Dialogue
This third week will introduce students to different strategies for creating tension in a story, and will focus on writing successful dialogue and character interaction that can show these characters learning and growing from conflict throughout their story.

Week 4: Resolution & the editing process
This final week will emphasize conflict resolution in a story so that the overall journey of each character reaches an interesting and logical conclusion, and will also offer students suggestions and strategies for editing and organizing their creative ideas.

Course Features

  • Schedule Summer 2024
  • Activities Language Arts
  • Lessons 4
  • Suggested Ages 12-17 One Level