• Term: Fall 2022
  • Start Date: October 8, 2022
  • End Date: October 8, 2022
  • Day of Week: Saturday
  • Time: 12:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Level: Open to all levels
  • Audience: Adult
  • Location: Online
  • Availability: Yes
  • Public Price: $305.00
  • Member Price: $274.50

Learn About Scholarships

Setting The Stakes, Hooking the Reader

How many pages will you read of a book before you walk away from it? Ten, twenty, or fifty? Setting the stakes can hook your reader (or an agent, or an editor, for that matter) immediately. So what does it take to get a reader instantly invested in your story? Bring the first five to ten pages of your book, and we’ll investigate the stakes of your story. Students should submit their work—up to ten pages—by Saturday, Sept. 24, to be shared with the instructor and the rest of the class.

Registration dates:

August 22: Scholarship Donation Day (Learn more.)

August 23: Member registration opens

August 30: General registration opens

Jami Attenberg

Jami Attenberg

“Jami Attenberg is undoubtedly a writer’s writer and a phenomenal talent. There is so much beauty in her craft; a tenderness present even on the sentence level. A compelling literary treasure, Attenberg is a real wonder.” –Kristen Arnett

“Prickly and unsentimental, but never quite hopeless, Attenberg. the poet laureate of difficult families, captures the relentlessly lonely beauty of being alive.” —Kirkus, starred review

“Dazzling.” —Publisher’s Weekly

Jami Attenberg is the author of seven books of fiction, including: Instant LoveThe Kept ManThe Melting SeasonThe MiddlesteinsSaint Mazie, and All Grown Up. Her most recent novel is All This Could Be Yours (2019), which was included on the Best of Fall lists from People, Vogue, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, New York, Observer, Bust, Nylon, New York Post, Pop Sugar, and more.

Attenberg is also the author of the memoir I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home (2022). In this brilliant, fierce, and funny memoir of transformation, Attenberg—described as a “master of modern fiction” by Entertainment Weekly and the “poet laureate of difficult families” by Kirkus Reviews—reveals the defining moments that pushed her to create a life, and voice, she could claim for herself. What does it take to devote oneself to art? What does it mean to own one’s ideas? What does the world look like for a woman moving solo through it? Exploring themes of friendship, independence, class, and drive, I Came All This Way to Meet You is an inspiring story of finding one’s way home—emotionally, artistically, and physically—and an examination of art and individuality that will resonate with anyone determined to listen to their own creative calling.

About All This Could Be Yours, Emma Cline, author of The Girls, says, “Jami Attenberg’s work is so deeply attuned to humans and our imperfect attempts to love each other. All This Could Be Yours is populated by Attenberg’s pitch-perfect characters; flawed, recognizable people dealing with big topics–death, family, sex, love–and Attenberg handles it all with an expert touch and a keen sense of what, despite all the sadness and secrets, keeps people connected, striving for moments of beauty and tenderness in a dark world.”

Attenberg has written about food, travel, books, relationships and urban life for The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Times, Slate, and others. Her work has been published in a total of sixteen languages.

She lives in New Orleans, LA.