Online: Zoom
Our Planet, Our Stories

Our Planet, Our Stories: Apocalyptic and Dystopian Fiction

Sunday, October 29th, from 12:00pm-4:00pm (Eastern Time)
Online: Zoom
See Map
Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
This class is full

GrubStreet’s Our Planet, Our Stories series focuses on the climate crisis, and aims to help writers find creative ways to engage with this urgent global issue. At the end of the series, all participants will be invited to submit writing to an anthology that GrubStreet will put out in the spring of 2024. This is the second installation of GrubStreet's annual Our Times, Our Stories series, which offers a variety of free and reduced-cost classes focused on a pressing contemporary issue, with a free print and digital anthology of student writing collected nd distributed at the end of the series. To donate to the series, please visit our donation page

Our Planet, Our Stories: Apocalyptic and Dystopian Fiction

This four-hour seminar engages with the prevailing modes of early 21 st century thought and social anxieties in fiction: apocalypse, dystopia, and endings, as underwritten by an accelerating climate crisis. What is apocalyptic lit in a time of emerging apocalypse, and how do you write dystopian fiction if dystopia appears to be all around?

With climate and ecology as our twin anchors, we’ll think about the craft of writing about (and for?) the end of the world. The class will dive deep into questions of craft and ethics. How do you write the end? What is the difference between utopian fiction and dystopian fiction, and what, if any, moral imperatives are contained in postapocalyptic narratives? As we collectively watch the world we have known begin to end, we’ll take seriously Maggie Nelson’s suggestion: “One of the things we can do, for better or worse, is make art.”
Some writers who have attempted to answer these questions, and whose texts we may consult closely in our class, include Lily Brooks-Dalton, Nnedi Okorafor, Mat Bell, Amitav Ghosh, Timothy Morton, Diane Cook, Octavia Butler, Lauren Groff, Margaret Atwood, Jesmyn Ward, and others. You will also have a chance to respond to writing prompts to help get new stories started, and a chance to share your writing for on-the-spot feedback in small groups.

All writers in this class will be invited to publish their work in an anthology put together by GrubStreet in the spring of 2024.

Other Classes in the Our Planet, Our Stories Series

Our Planet, Our Stories: Writing Climate Fiction (multi-week, starting 10/24)

Our Planet, Our Stories: Writing Climate Essays and Op-Eds (multi-week, starting 10/26)

Our Planet, Our Stories: Nature Writing (Sunday, November 12th, 12pm-4pm, FREE)

Our Planet, Our Stories: Ecopoetics (Sunday, December 3rd, 12pm-4pm, FREE)

Our Planet, Our Stories: Writing Climate Justice (Sunday, December 10th, 12pm-4pm, FREE)

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!

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Shelby Kinney-Lang
See Bio


  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Workshop
  • Reading Homework
  • Writing Homework


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Book-Length Memoir
  • Personal Essay
  • Nonfiction
  • Poetry

Commitment Level