Contemporary Magic: Using Magical Realism to Engage Social & Political Issues in Fiction
This class will be co-taught by Ron MacLean and Tessa Mellas.
Magical realism has long been a political and social tool, using strange premises to address issues of racism, sexism, cultural, and even environmental oppression. We’ll look at time-tested techniques to build stories that engage issues you care about. We’ll present strategies for how to stay focused on good storytelling without getting polemical or preachy. We’ll share exercises for starting a new story and building an outline from an idea. You will leave with specific tools and techniques to help turn your ideas into effective, socially engaged stories.
Tessa Mellas’s debut story collection Lungs Full of Noise won the 2013 Iowa Short Fiction Award and was published by the University of Iowa Press. Her fiction has appeared in journals such as StoryQuarterly, Gulf Coast, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Crazyhorse, and The Pinch. She teaches at the University of Maine at Machias and curates the Maine Writers Series.
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