New Class!
Online: Zoom

Speculative Series: Genre-Fluid Writing

Friday, September 30th from 6:00pm-9:00pm (EST).
Online: Zoom
See Map
Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
13 seats max

Speculative fiction: the definition is in the name. Or is it? In the 21st century, speculative fiction has become a sort of umbrella term describing not only the massive and established genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, but also a new subset of stories that seem to fall somewhere between or at the boundaries of those categories. In this class, we’ll explore those definitions and more, from old standbys like cyberpunk, portal fantasy, and slipstream, to the newly-minted hopepunk, cli-fi, and science fantasy, all with an eye to understanding, guiding, and inspiring our own work.

Together, we’ll discuss how to find inspiration rather than limitations in genre expectations, how those expectations can aid our writing, what happens when we choose to remix and subvert them. We’ll consult the opinions of literary giants like Ursula K LeGuin and Margaret Atwood (who famously and publicly differed on this point) and take a look at the work of contemporary speculative authors innovating within or working between genres—like China Miéville, Carmen Maria Machado, Grady Hendrix, and Akwaeke Emezi. Then, you’ll have a chance to put some of these concepts to use through generative prompts, brainstorms, and exercises.

You’ll leave with a stronger awareness of the many aspects and subgenres of speculative fiction, a better understanding of your own work, and a few new story ideas and explorations to spur your writing forward after class. Plus, you’ll be connected to the broader community of SFF writers at Grub and beyond! Whether you’re new to exploring SFF, you’re wondering if your work “counts” as speculative (hint: it does!), or the label of “scifi geek” is proudly emblazoned on your lapel, this session is the place to be for all those looking to explore, expand, and challenge the boundaries of fantastic literature. (Pun intended!)

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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Stephanie K Brownell

Previous Students Say

  • "Inspired Me to Write More"
  • "Inundated with Great Info"


  • Generate New Work
  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Lecture
  • In-Class Reading
  • Class Discussion
  • Concept Development


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



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