Setting as a Superpower, with Jacqueline Sheehan

It was a dark and stormy night. True, this is a well-worn cliché, but it does serve a purpose; the setting anchors us and also prepares us for trouble. And those are just two of Setting’s superpowers. Master storytellers know that a well-conceived setting does so much more than set the stage for our characters and plot. A great setting can engage readers sensually, orient them in time and space, intensify pacing and conflict, create atmosphere, nuance and subtext. Without a meaningful setting, our characters exist in a liminal space that leaves the characters (and our readers) disconnected from the story. And yet, so many writers overlook the importance of setting, or over-describe a setting without understanding its true potential. In this morning workshop, we will explore the superpowers of our settings, understand the key ingredients for settings that really work, and learn how to avoid the most common setting mistakes writers make.  Online.

Saturday, March 25th, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST ($75)

Jacqueline Sheehan, PhD is the New York Times bestselling author of The Comet’s Tale, Lost & Found, Now & Then, Picture This, The Center of the World, and The Tiger in the House. She writes NPR commentaries, travel articles, and essays including the New York Times column, “Modern Love.” She edited the anthology, Women Writing in Prison. Jacqueline teaches workshops at Grub Street in Boston and around the world. Find out more at