New Class!
Online: Zoom

[Dys]utopias: Writing and Worldbuilding in Genre Fiction

4 Mondays from 10:30am-1:30pm (EST), starting August 1st.
Online: Zoom
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

This 4-week course aims to introduce themes and techniques of fiction used by marginalized authors (BIPOC, Women, Neurodiverse, LGBTQ) to re-imagine the world we live in and create utopias out of dystopias. What is the connection between worldbuilding and the world around us? How do authors use the idea of utopias and dystopias to comment on their contemporary moment?

To inform our exploration of these questions and others, we will read works by Octavia Butler, Rivers Solomon, Ursula K. Le Guin and more. Alongside these readings of fiction, we will study an essay by Edwidge Danticat to get new, riveting perspectives on craft. Students will sharpen their critical reading and creative writing abilities as we study how various craft elements—such as setting, magic or tech systems, politics and creatures/monsters—help build worlds that allow for readers to see other possibilities, alternative realities, and maybe even find some grounds for hope. Students must be willing to engage a diversity of identities with a deep level of empathy and respect as we use fiction to navigate the history that unfolds around us. Along with group discussion and writing activities based around in-class readings, each meeting will conclude brief workshopping of student work. 

Class Format

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!

Scholarship Information

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.


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Mike Zendejas
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Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Workshop
  • Revision Assignments
  • Reading Homework
  • Writing Homework


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



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