New Suns: A Surreal & Speculative Fiction Workshop


There’s nothing new
under the sun,
but there are new suns.

––Octavia Butler

In this workshop, open to writers at any level of experience, we’ll focus on fiction that breaches the parameters of strict realism by incorporating the supernatural, the surprising, and the absurd. We’ll consider why writers invent alternative realities and discuss the challenges of constructing imagined worlds. We’ll also examine how surreal narratives can illuminate real-life issues and tensions by framing them through a different lens. How do the altered realities portrayed in our fiction intersect with the reality we’re living in now?
In our first meeting, you’ll submit a short story or novel chapter you’ve previously written that includes surreal or speculative elements. This might be a piece influenced by sci fi, fantasy, fairy tale, or horror, or a narrative that skews reality through exaggeration, experimentation, or satire. Throughout the week, we’ll have in-depth conversations about each writer’s submission, in unsilenced workshops guided by the writer’s questions and aims. We’ll also complete generative writing exercises when we meet, inspired by the pieces workshop members submit. By the end of the week, you’ll have concrete feedback to fuel revision of your work-in-progress and a portfolio of strange scenes and sketches you might expand in the future.

In this workshop, we will critique writing you bring from home and generate new writing through exercises and assignments.

Hybrid Forms
Middle Grade
Science Fiction
Short Story
Speculative Fiction
Young Adult
Malinda McCollum photo
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