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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

Contemporary Magic: Using Magical Realism to Engage Social & Political Issues in Fiction

No Longer Enrolling

  • $150.00 Non-Member
  • $130.00 Member

Class Description

This class will be co-taught by Ron MacLean and Tessa Mellas.

Magical realism has long been a political and social tool, using strange premises to address issues of racism, sexism, cultural, and even environmental oppression. We’ll look at time-tested techniques to build stories that engage issues you care about. We’ll present strategies for how to stay focused on good storytelling without getting polemical or preachy. We’ll share exercises for starting a new story and building an outline from an idea. You will leave with specific tools and techniques to help turn your ideas into effective, socially engaged stories.

Tessa Mellas’s debut story collection Lungs Full of Noise won the 2013 Iowa Short Fiction Award and was published by the University of Iowa Press. Her fiction has appeared in journals such as StoryQuarterly, Gulf Coast, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Crazyhorse, and The Pinch. She teaches at the University of Maine at Machias and curates the Maine Writers Series.

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.

Scholarships Format/Location

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 detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

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!

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!