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Writing For Audience 4-Week Zoom Workshop, Starts Tuesday, March 14th, 2023
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Writing For Audience 4-Week Zoom Workshop, Starts Tuesday, March 14th, 2023

Unit price per

Begins Tuesday, March 14th, 2023

Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Tuesdays, 8:00PM EST - 9:15PM EST.

Now Enrolling!

Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.

Led by Joshua Doležal, author of a memoir, Down from the Mountaintop: From Belief to Belonging (University of Iowa Press), shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize. His work has appeared in over twenty journals, including Kenyon Review, Missouri Review, Hudson Review, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Josh also produces a Substack newsletter, The Recovering Academic.

This 4-week course introduces four tools to improve writers' chances of publishing literary nonfiction or fiction: defamiliarization, urgency, nuance, and concision. Each class offers writing exercises in small groups and optional prompts for independent writing. Josh is glad to offer feedback by request.

Week One: Defamiliarization, or the Unexpected Detail

This technique is commonly used in horror films but is also a staple of comedy, drama, and cartoons. Learn how to pack your scenes, images, and characters with as much punch as a New Yorker cover illustration.

Week Two: Urgency

What is at stake? Why should I care? Editors pass on top-heavy submissions with backstories or that lack a clear purpose. Learn how to hook your reader with lower-order and higher-order goals and how to build tension throughout a narrative.

Week Three: Nuance

Willa Cather describes this technique as "the thing not named" that we feel upon the page. Learn how to evoke meaning without explaining it, particularly in your endings.

Week Four: Concision

A sentence cluttered with adjectives and adverbs is like a picture frame with fingerprints all over the glass. Learn how to keep your reader in the narrative dream by shifting description from modifiers to nouns and verbs.

Texts: There are no required texts, but Josh will recommend reading from Stephen King’s On Writing, Benjamin Percy’s Thrill Me, and selections from Best American Essays 2005 to prepare for each session.

Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from our private class page.


  • Create more memorable scenes, images, and characters
  • Add poignancy and lyricism to your work
  • Engage a reader's curiosity and sympathy
  • Avoid interrupting the reader's waking dream


This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!

You can pay for the course in full or use Shop Pay or Affirm to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. Both options are available at checkout.
  • Instructor: Joshua Doležal

  • Class Starts March 14, 2023

  • Course is fully ONLINE and will meet weekly via Zoom on Tuesdays from 8:00PM EST - 9:15PM EST.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

Instructor Joshua Doležal is the author of a memoir, Down from the Mountaintop: From Belief to Belonging (University of Iowa Press), which was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize. His work has appeared in more than twenty journals, including Missouri Review, Hudson Review, Kenyon Review, Gettysburg Review, Shenandoah, and Fourth Genre. Josh also co-hosts the podcast Mid-Americana: Stories from a Changing Midwest, a project supported by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities.