Creating new and different worlds when our own feels out-of-place not only gives us back some control, but it can also be a method to process our current world and envision and create another altered for the better. Plus, it’s a whole lotta fun. In this 10-week fully online class we will look at a range of sci-fy and speculative stories/excerpts from authors like Octavia E. Butler, Ted Chiang, Karen Russell, Chang-Rae Lee, Carmen Maria Machado, Ursula LeGuin and more. Through our own careful reading and some outside critical analysis focused on writing craft, we’ll study how these acclaimed authors build their fully formed worlds to shape their stories. Along the way we’ll cover some basic tenets of fiction writing: POV, characterization, clock, plot, sentence crafting and story structure. This class is perfect for the writer who is immersed into speculative or sci-fy reading and writing, or for writers more comfortable with realism looking to stretch themselves into another realm. All levels are welcome and encouraged and writers should be prepared to share a 5-15 page story after the first three weeks of class. Our world is changing so quickly right now, we might as well create a whole new one.
Josie Mitchell is a graduate of the University of Houston’s MFA program in fiction. For the past 5 years she has taught creative writing at the University of Houston, with Project Row Houses, Inprint and WITS. Her work can be found in Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment, Boneshaker, Vancouver Contemporary Museum and more. Recipient of the Houston Arts Alliance Support for Artists and Creative Individual 2020 grant, she is from San Diego, California, and is at work on a speculative novel-in-stories set there.