WDtS Mattapan: Evolution of the Hero
This class is free and you do not need to pay or apply for a scholarship. Instead, to join this class fill out this form. DO NOT apply for a scholarship through the Grubstreet website.
Authors Frances Gateward and John Jennings assert in their book, The Blacker the Ink, that “there simply are not enough images of Black people in the mainstream not to be critical of the way they are constructed and portrayed.”
Hugo Award winning author NK Jemisin echoes their sentiment but adds, in a forward of Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, that “the Science Fiction-Fantasy genre has improved slightly … Instead of just Butler and a handful of others, now there are dozens of published black writers—and disabled writers, queer writers, indigenous writers, and more.”
With a shifting landscape of American storytelling comes a shift in America’s heroes. The latest iteration of Star Wars sporting a female lead. The record-breaking performance of Marvel’s Black Panther. The adventures of Essun and Damaya in Jemisin’s own The Broken Earth Trilogy. But Jemisin also says that having gone from a landscape where “there was no future for us … we were never the heroes” to a brighter outlook “has changed us” because “marginalized writers must be constantly braced for internet harassment, death threats, and campaigns to Make Science Fiction Racist Again.”
In this four-week class we’ll discuss the art of crafting heroes in a world where there is still resistance to marginalized voices being centered. Students will walk away with an understanding of how heroes have evolved in storytelling over centuries of American storytelling, and of what they want from their own heroes and how to bring them to life on the page.
Families welcome. Coffee and snacks provided. Teens are welcome to attend with an older relative. We will provide simple activities to keep young children occupied.
Who Should Register?
Write Down the Street has a special focus on making the creative writing workshop more accessible to those who face challenges due to cost, language skills, lack of access to transportation, and other barriers. We believe that all voices must be spotlighted with the range and fullness they deserve.
These programs are offered tuition-free thanks to the support of generous donors who are committed to our mission of ensuring all voices are heard.
Previous Students Say
- The Novel
- Short Fiction