Patrick Ryan

Online Class
Character: A Craft Intensive
with Patrick Ryan
February 25th - March 2nd

Price: $90
Members and previous Craft Intensive students: $75

In Character: A Craft Intensive with Patrick Ryan, you’ll focus on characters: how to develop them, how to deepen them, and how to use them to drive the story. Some writers start with character, others invent their characters as they go. However you approach your writing, this class will give you the tools you need to improve your characters and guide you towards writing fleshed-out, people-driven stories.

Over the course of six days, you’ll delve into physical description, build dynamic settings, sharpen dialogue skills, play with point-of-view, explore motivation and change. The methods taught in craft lectures, exercises, and in group discussions on the online message board will be ones that you can put to use long after the class ends.

About Patrick Ryan:
Patrick Ryan is the author of the short story collection The Dream Life of Astronauts (named one of the Best Books of 2016 by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Refinery 29, LitHub, and Electric Literature, and long-listed for The Story Prize) and the linked story collection Send Me, as well as three novels for young adults. His work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, Tin House, Crazyhorse, The Yale Review, One Story, The Iowa Review, and Tales of Two Cities, among other magazines and anthologies. The former associate editor of Granta, he is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts in Fiction and is the editor-in-chief of One Story. For more info, please visit

When can I register for this class?
Registration is open now through February 24th, 2021.
How does the class work?
Lessons will be posted nightly at 11:59pm UTC. Each lesson will comprise tips, techniques, examples, and a writing assignment. The class also includes a discussion board where participants can interact with one another and with Patrick.
Is participation on the discussion board required?
No, it’s optional; participants are welcome to jump into the conversation or sit back and observe.
Is there homework?
Yes. The class is built around generative writing exercises. These will not be evaluated by the instructor, but participants are welcome to share their work on the designated discussion board.
How much time will the class take?
Plan to spend about forty-five minutes per day reviewing the lessons and completing the exercises, plus however much time you choose to spend on the discussion board.
How many students are in the class?
One Story online classes are large, and tend to range from 100-250 students.
What if I want to take the class, but the dates don’t work for me?
The class is designed for participants to proceed at their own pace, on their own schedule, so if you miss a day or three, no problem. All class materials will be accessible online until March 31st, 2021. Please note, however, that Patrick will only be available on the discussion board February 25th - March 2nd.
Can I take the class on my phone?
Yes, the class can be taken on a mobile device, but we recommend a computer or tablet to get the most out of the experience.
Can I save the material for later use?
There will be some downloadable PDFs of exercises provided by the instructor, but otherwise class content lives on the learning platform. Students are not permitted to copy/paste the lessons to prevent distribution of the material without our knowledge, but are of course welcome to take notes.
What if I can’t wait to get started?
The discussion board will open on Tuesday, February 23rd, two days before the first exercise is assigned, so that participants can meet, mingle, and familiarize themselves with the learning platform in advance.
Do you offer financial aid or scholarships for this class?
Yes. We offer a limited number of need-based scholarships that cover 50% of tuition. The window to request a scholarship is open now through February 17th. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, please fill out this form.

Our online classes are designed to be safe spaces for all who participate. One Story will not tolerate hate speech, bullying, or harassment directed toward instructors or fellow students, and reserves the right to remove participants who engage in such behavior from our classes.

Member Discount: In order to qualify for our member discount, you must be a member at the time of registration. Please note that the discount is for our members only. Members commit to annual donations and receive benefits that allow them to participate in the organization in more meaningful ways. Not all One Story subscribers are members. If you’d like to find out more about becoming a member, you can do so here.

Refund Policy: One Story class payment is non-refundable after the class’s start date. For questions about the refund policy, or if you are unable to take the class after you have registered, please contact maribeth.

If you have any questions, please contact lena.

Class Registration:

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