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"Setting as Character: Make Place More Than Just a Set Piece in Your Writing" with Stephanie Noll

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ACC Highland Campus, rm 2102
6101 Airport Blvd.
Austin, TX 78752

10/7/2017 From 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM


Online registration for this class has closed. You can pay admission at the door with a check for the walk up rate - $59 for members and $119 for nonmembers - as long as seats are available. Thank you!

$49 for members (sign in for member pricing)


Have you ever heard, "Setting is like a character," and wanted to make that true of your book?

Want to give your story more emotional resonance?

All stories occur in a time and place, and even if you write the most dynamic characters that engage in sparkling dialogue and are immersed in an intricate plot, you need to create a setting that is more than scenery. Where the story takes place can bring your story, memoir, or novel to life, as setting gives your reader a sense of the emotional ground on which your characters walk.

In this class, participants will look at novels, memoirs, and short stories where setting becomes a character that the work wouldn’t be the same without. Participants will examine how the writers of selected works establish a place and time in such a way that builds character and tension and makes a work unforgettable. There will be writing exercises designed to give participants the opportunity to create settings that will enrich their new or existing work.


  • You're writing a novel, stories, or a memoir.
  • Your setting currently feels blah when it could be much more compelling.



Stephanie Noll studied fiction writing at Texas State University, where she earned her MFA. She is a frequent storyteller at The Story Department, a monthly fundraiser for the non-profit Austin Bat Cave, and has also told stories at Listen to Your Mother, Backyard Story Night, Hyde Park Story Night, and the Tellers. Stephanie has 18 years of teaching experience and works as a senior lecturer in the English department at Texas State where she recently was awarded an Excellence in Teaching award. Stephanie is the director of Old Books for New Teachers, an organization that helps first-year teachers build classroom libraries. She has written a novel about a standardized test cheating scandal at an inner-city Houston high school.


Austin Community College, Highland Campus, Room 2102. You can find an ACC campus map here.


$49 members (sign in for member pricing)

$109 nonmembers

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

Online registration will close at the end of Thursday, October 5. After that you can pay admission at the door with a check for the walk up rate - $59 for members and $119 for nonmembers - as long as seats are available. If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it.

Once a purchase has been made, tickets are not refundable and registration cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a ticket and then find you cannot attend, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at or 512-499-8914 and let us know so that we can update the class roster.



Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven't taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to give us a call at 512-499-8914 if you'd like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.


This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at


Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to


This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit


The Writers' League of Texas would like to thank Austin Community College for its generous support and commitment to community, ongoing education, and the arts. Visit