MONDAYS, APR. 12 — MAY. 17 | Speculative fiction, magical realism, slipstream, fabulist—there are many names for writing that blends the imaginary and real–giving equal weight to ghosts and relationship problems. Writers like George Saunders, Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood and Gabriel Garcia Marquez use elements of the magical, the surreal and the real to tell their layered tales. Contemporary feminists from Margaret Atwood to Carmen Maria Machado have also experimented with this form to tell tales of dark imagination and speculative possibilities.
In this class, we will focus on different elements of craft in fabulist stories, and how we can use them to write our own stories. How do we build a magical world? How can we use imaginative elements to elicit strong emotion in readers? How do we form a character with magical abilities, and why do we choose those abilities? There will be weekly writing assignments and you will have a chance to share shorter writing prompts and discuss a full story or chapter in the writing workshop. Open to writers wanting to experiment with writing in these forms or writers already writing in these forms.
Asynchronous learning materials for this class will be available online (via the Wet Ink platform). Scheduled class sessions will take place via Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.
Jenny Bitner’s fiction has been published in Mississippi Review, The Sun, Fence, The Fabulist and PANK. Her story “The Pamphleteer” was selected by Dave Eggers for Best American Nonrequired Reading and incorporated into an opera by The Paul Bailey Ensemble. Her nonfiction has appeared in Utne Reader, To-Do List, The San Francisco Bay Guardian and Men’s Health. Pine Press published a chapbook of her poetry entitled Mother. She earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Virginia. Her fabulist novel, Here is A Game We Could Play, is coming out May 2021 from Acre Books.
Number of sessions: 6
Dates: Mondays, April 12, 19, 26; May 3, 10, 17
Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm Pacific time
Course fee: $395