Online | Fiction | Workshop

6-Week Online Fiction Workshop: Moving Through Time

No matter whether you’re writing a linear or nonlinear narrative, the way time is structured in fiction shapes how readers understand everything from character to plot to setting. Exploring the work of writers like Aimee Bender, Venita Blackburn, and George Saunders, this workshop will examine how authors expand and compress time, and ways they weave past, present, and future together. Our conversations will also focus on topics ranging from character development, plot, voice, and setting. Additionally, in our workshops we will explore how time functions in your own work. Those sessions will focus on all aspects of each writer’s submission, including character development, prose, voice, and plot structure. Writers will leave this class with an understanding of how to structure time in their work along with a roadmap with which to revise their submissions. This class is suitable for writers with all levels of experience. 

*No class on Nov. 24th

Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the desktop client so you have access to all platform features.


- Examine and engage with various techniques used to represent time in fiction, while also exploring other elements of craft in our discussions of published stories

- Through close reading, understand how the writers we’re studying and the writers in the workshop structure their stories and develop character

- The opportunity to workshop at least one short story or novel excerpt

- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes


Weekly readings: between 10-20 pages of published fiction

Weekly workshops: carefully read each submission and provide the writer with detailed written feedback on submissions up to 25 double-spaced pages long


Week 1: Introduction

Week 2: Compression

Week 3: Zooming In

Week 4: Vignettes

Week 5: The Past and Future

Week 6: Playing with Time 

Thomas Grattan

Thomas Grattan’s novel The Recent East, published by MCD Books/FSG, was a New York Times editor’s choice. His short fiction has appeared in several publications, including One Story, Slice, and The Colorado Review. He received his MFA from Brooklyn College and lives in New York City.


“A wonderful, immersive debut novel . . . Our lives are time spent, and it’s a deep, expansive pleasure to spend a little of ours as these characters spend their own. Most extraordinarily, Grattan gives us not only life, but a good life, the rarity of which in fiction (and increasingly, reality) is a shame.”


“Sharply accomplished . . . Grattan’s rarer achievement is to have written a historical novel whose when and where, however well established, are not really determinative, and whose people remain individual riddles instead of political integers.”

Thomas Mallon THE NEW YORKER

“Dazzling, deeply loving, obscenely clever prose . . . It’s all the small details tossing around this continent-tossed family that makes this novel such a joy.”

Christopher Bollen INTERVIEW

“Tom’s feedback was both extremely helpful and motivating.”

Laurel Workshop Participant

“Tom is a warm and thoughtful reader and facilitator.”

Amy Workshop Participant