Special Note:

How Will AI Change Writing?—Join our FREE Writers' Stage event "Writing for Change: Exploring The Question of AI" next Wednesday 4/17.

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

Speculative Series: Establishing Your World - Remote!

No Longer Enrolling

  • $75.00 Non-Member
  • $65.00 Member

Class Description

“Hi, my name is Lemiah, and I’ll be your guide through the fictional world of Aparnu,” said no character ever! Any writer will tell you the first few pages of a new story are essential in hooking the reader, establishing character, setting the tone, building conflict, and so much more. But writers of speculative fiction have an even greater challenge in those first pages: introducing readers to the rules of their world. What do readers need to know when? How much explanation is too much? And how can a writer create mystery without leaving readers uncertain about their world?

In this session, we’ll work together to identify the fine line between establishing a world and info dumping, discover creative strategies for integrating exposition with conflict and character, and examine how your opening scene can do double or triple duty, expressing character, world, and theme all at once. We’ll take a look at openings from published writers like N.K. Jemisin, Catherynne M Valente, Daniel Jose Older, Charlie Jane Anders, Maria Dhavana Headley, G Willow Wilson, Tananarive Due. Then we’ll work through exercises to put those skills into practice.

This class will be hosted using live Zoom meetings! You will be able to participate in class via Zoom videoconference 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! If you have questions about remote learning, please feel free to reach out to [email protected] for more information.

For a glimpse at how remote learning works, look no further than the deep Zoom discussion of writing and literature below:

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!