Shapes of Stories

Intermediate Level // 10-Week Online Course

Shapes of Stories

January 06 - March 15 -- Canceled


Your course registration includes a FREE 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction or True Story magazine (US residents only), or a free ebook; more details here.

Refund, discount, and cancellation policies


Instructor: Waverly Fitzgerald

First drafts are seldom well-structured; it is up to the writer to find the ideal shape to hold a story. This course will expand your writer’s toolkit by experimenting with a variety of structures employed by writers of essays and articles, including the narrative arc, braid, collage, frame, circle, faucet, digression and hermit crab. You will read great examples and then try out each shape, if only briefly. Over the course of 10 weeks, you can choose to  write about one subject using these different shapes or let the shapes inspire an essay you hadn’t planned to write.

Week 1: Narrative Arc
Week 2: Braid
Week 3: Collage
Week 4: Frame
Week 5: Faucet
Week 6: Digression
Week 7: Circle
Week 8: Hermit Crab
Week 9: How to Find the Right Form
Week 10: The Flexibility of Forms

See the complete syllabus here »

See schedule of all available classes »

Refund and cancellation policies

By 5pm EST on the Monday before classes begin (one week prior to start date):

  • Students may request a refund (less a $50 application fee). You may also request a transfer (no fee) to another course in the same term or future term. Transfer credits must be applied within two years from your cancellation date.

By 5pm EST on the Friday at the end of the first week of classes:

  • Students may transfer their enrollment credit to a future course (less a $95 processing fee for 10-week courses or a $75 processing fee for 5-week courses). Transfer credits must be applied within two years from your cancellation date.
  • Students may switch to another class in the same term (subject to availability) for a $25 fee.

No refunds or transfers will be offered after this deadline.

* Learn how to receive a "refer-a-friend" discount.


* US residents will receive a complimentary 1-year subscription to Creative Nonfiction magazine (4 issues) or True Story magazine (12-issues) with their online course registration (or a year extension to their existing subscription). Students outside the US can receive a free copy of the ebook Creating Nonfiction: Lessons from the Voice of the Genre, or can choose to receive a 4-issue print subscription to Creative Nonfiction for the cost of shipping fees. We regret that we are not able to offer complimentary digital subscriptions for international students at this time.

If you are an international student who would like a print subscription, please click here to add the cost of shipping to your order total.