For Teens

Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP): Dystopia/Utopia: How We Dream Our Future

Saturday, October 16th from 12:00pm - 3:00pm
Remote! (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: Teens
Teen (13-18)
21 seats max

Teen Class Description:

What do you FEAR the world will look like in the future? What do you HOPE the world will look like in the future? These are questions we ask as writers, but also questions asked by activists, politicians, scientists, students, and all people involved in creating the world of tomorrow. In this class, we’ll learn a bit about the history of both dystopia and utopia, two intertwined genres that imagine the future either as something to warn against or something to strive for. We’ll delve into the classic dystopias that warned about the future, the critical dystopias of the 80s and 90s that offered a bit of hope, and the unabashedly hopeful contemporary genres in which writers, particularly of marginalized identities, are reclaiming the concept of utopia— not to write a “perfect” world, as the genre originally implied, but to imagine a more equitable future (Solarpunk, Afrofuturism, Indigenous futurism, Visionary Fiction, and others). Where do hope and fear lead us? What can each teach us about what it means to be human? This class will involve collaborative world-building exercises in which we invent both dystopias and “utopias” together, as well as discussion and in-class writing time. For writers age 13 - 18 ONLY.

Class takeaways:

By the end of this class, you’ll come away with 2-3 new, invented futuristic worlds that you can explore further in your own writing! You’ll also come away with some newly drafted scenes, and tools and resources that you can apply to your future adventures in genre writing.

Note About Our NEW Class Format: 

We’ve made our remote classes more flexible than ever — with plenty of optional portions designed to allow for screen breaks — while still keeping us connected as a writing community. Learn more. 

How Remote Learning works: 

This class will be hosted remotely! You will be able to participate in class via Zoom video conference from wherever you’re most comfortable. All you’ll need is a laptop or a phone! 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 via Zoom–no need to download anything or sign up for Zoom in advance! 

For parents registering their teens: 

*Note: Parents/guardians must complete this permission form online if your teen is under 18.* Unlike previous forms, you only need to fill this out ONE TIME, not for every class. If you cannot remember whether you have already filled it out, please email [email protected] and we will check for you!

If you do not complete the form, registrations could be voided and the cancellation policy will apply. If the student is 18, simply let us know at [email protected]

*If you are registering on behalf of your teen, add their email information in the “For a Friend or Child?” field on the right-hand side of the screen before you check out. This will send them a direct link and reminder to create their own profile with GrubStreet. 

(After adding the class to your cart, click "Checkout" and click “Add” next to “For a Friend or Child?” on the right-hand side to fill in their email. This is an easy way of linking the class to your child and encourages them to create their own account.)

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Sara Daniele Rivera
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  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level