Online: Zoom

Speculative Short Fiction Study Hall: Around the Day in 80 Worlds (2-part)

2 Saturdays, from 10:30am-1:30pm (EST), starting on February 4th.
Online: Zoom
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

The influence of Julio Cortázar is felt all over the landscape of speculative fiction and magical realism in today's literary marketplace. His short stories especially are masterclasses in the economy of craft; they all explore the human imagination's transformative effects on reality. Never-ending traffic jams, men vomiting rabbits, tigers hiding in the apartment: no reality is too strange for a Cortázar story. How many worlds can fit in one day? In Cortázar's landscape, every act of perception is tinged with boundless possibilities. This workshop aims to introduce writers to this particularly surreal creative sensibility.

This workshop is for writers who seek prompts and generative exercises to stimulate their speculative imagination. Since Cortázar himself was a teacher, we will be reading from his lectures to understand his approach to the craft. Using these ideas as a foundation, we will then generate exercises designed to generate magical fiction rooted in commonplace reality. By the end of the class, participants will have written and edited their first draft of a speculative short story.

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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Rolando Lopez
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Previous Students Say

  • Lots of Practical Tips
  • Generative
  • Supportive Environment
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • Generate New Work
  • Study Published Writing
  • In-Class Writing Prompts
  • Craft Lessons
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Inspiration


  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



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