Masters of speculative fiction and poetry (including science fiction, fantasy, and horror) use narrative techniques like persona narrators, point of view, mood, and tone as well as worldbuilding to craft fantastic and imaginative worlds that parallel, reflect, and critique our own real world. Imagining utopias, dystopias, dinosaurs, aliens, monsters, magical beings, sentient cities and starships to speculate about past and future possibilities inspires us to transform our present for the better.
This 6-week workshop is open to writers at all levels who are interested in writing speculative fiction and poetry. Every week, students will look at narrative techniques used in classic and contemporary short stories, novels, and poems by poets and writers such as Beth Cato, N.K. Jemisin, Ursula K. Le Guin, Nnedi Okorafor, Alyssa Wong, Neil Gaiman, and Ray Bradbury. Students will then practice these techniques in their own speculative pieces with practical, hands-on exercises based on the readings. These exercises will help students define WHO is telling their story, HOW the story is being told, WHERE and WHEN the story takes place, WHAT details are important, and WHY their story needs to be told.
Students will share their fiction or poetry with their classmates and the instructor in a dedicated online classroom and can expect helpful and encouraging written feedback in return, using The Writers Studio method of persona writing and critiquing. Students will have the opportunity to join a weekly hour-long text chat with the instructor where they can find additional support and join conversations about narrative techniques and favorite speculative genres.