Online: Zoom

Speculative Series: Voice and Language

Saturday, May 7th from 10:30am-1:30pm (EST).
Online: Zoom
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

Speculative fiction has a long history of engaging language in inventive ways. Sindarin, Klingon, Dothraki. But we’re not just talking about constructed languages here. From the slang of A Clockwork Orange to the coms and factions that structure N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth Trilogy to narrative voice in Catherynne Valente’s Space Opera, we’ll study the choices published authors have made linguistically that bring their worlds to life.

We’ll talk naming practices, idioms, dialogue and more as you delve more deeply into the way voice and language relates to culture, identity, and positionality in your world. You’ll leave with a more solid grounding not only in your story’s language, but in its essence. As Ursula LeGuin tells us, “in fantasy there is nothing but the writer’s vision of the world… a new world. A world where no voice has ever spoken before; where the act of speech is the act of creation. The only voice that speaks there is the creator’s. And every word counts."

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
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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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