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  • Workshop
  • Online (WetInk)
  • Adult (18+)
  • 5 Weeks

Utopias/Dystopias: Writing Resistance and Identity (Online)

No Longer Enrolling

  • $370.00 Non-Member
  • $355.00 Member

Class Description

In her 2014 National Book Award speech, science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin said, “Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society… writers who can remember freedom – realists of a larger reality.” In this course, we will strive to be the writers Le Guin called for. Animated by the question “What if?”, speculative fiction interrogates received ideologies and questions the naturalness or inevitability of social structures and systems of power, “reality” as we know it. This course considers how members of marginalized groups have used speculative fiction as a vehicle for writing alternative conceptions of history, society, and identity. Ranging from visionary utopias to nightmarish yet strangely familiar dystopias, these stories make space for those relegated to the margins, pointing not only to what can be but to what already is.

Each week, we will consider a different element of these stories––covering such topics as sensory detail, characterization, writing believable worlds, quest and plot arc, and voice, among others––and read and discuss published examples from authors like Samuel Delaney, Octavia Butler, Vandana Singh, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Franny Choi, Etel Adnan, and Tori Peters. We’ll apply what we learn to our own writing through weekly writing exercises. You will also have the opportunity to submit a short story or scene for feedback from your instructor and fellow writers several times throughout the course. You’ll come away from the course with a sense of the rich and diverse scope of speculative writing and the tools to write a longer piece of speculative fiction.

*NOTE that while our handy dandy "Schedule" tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Weekly lessons and assignments open each Wednesday. Students will receive an invitation to Wet Ink, our online class platform, before 5pm on the first day of class.

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.