Speculative Speculations: What Is Genre, Anyway? (with S.K. Brownell) - ONLINE
Speculative fiction: the definition is in the name. Or is it? In the 21st century, speculative fiction has become a sort of umbrella term describing not only the massive and established genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, but also a new subset of stories that seem to fall somewhere between or at the boundaries of those categories. In this class, we’ll explore those definitions and more, from old standbys like cyberpunk, portal fantasy, and slipstream, to the newly-minted hopepunk, cli-fi, and science fantasy, all with an eye to understanding, guiding, and inspiring our own work. Together, we’ll discuss how to find inspiration rather than limitations in genre expectations, how those expectations can aid our writing, what happens when we choose to remix and subvert them. We’ll consult the opinions of literary giants like Ursula K LeGuin and Margaret Atwood (who famously and publicly differed on this point) and take a look at the work of contemporary speculative authors innovating within or working between genres—like China Miéville, Carmen Maria Machado, Grady Hendrix, and Akwaeke Emezi. Then, you’ll have a chance to put some of these concepts to use through generative prompts, brainstorms, and exercises.
You’ll leave with a stronger awareness of the many aspects and subgenres of speculative fiction, a better understanding of your own work, and a few new story ideas and explorations to spur your writing forward after class. Plus, you’ll be connected to the broader community of SFF writers at PVWW and beyond! Whether you’re new to exploring SFF, you’re wondering if your work “counts” as speculative (hint: it does!), or the label of “scifi geek” is proudly emblazoned on your lapel, this session is the place to be for all those looking to explore, expand, and challenge the boundaries of fantastic literature. (Pun intended!) Limited to 12 writers.
All Levels: This workshop is appropriate for writers who are new to speculative fiction, as well as more experienced writers interested in discussing and experimenting with the boundaries of the genre (and subgenres).
WHEN: 3 Hours: Saturday, March 5 (1 - 4pm EST)
WHERE: Online, via Zoom video conference (live)
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
S.K. BROWNELL is writer, artist, and educator from the American Midwest. Their work has been shortlisted for the inaugural Samuel R Delany Fellowship in Speculative Fiction and has received the National Partners of the American Theatre Playwriting Excellence Award, Solstice Literary Prize in Fiction Editor's Choice, and other honors. They are a Tin House Workshop alumn and a Sewanee Conference Tennessee Williams Scholar. Their work has appeared in Speculative North, Decoded, Great Lakes Review, Newfound, and elsewhere. Stephanie holds an MFA from Boston University and teaches at Carroll University and GrubStreet. They live in Boston with a cat called Wander. Find them online at www.skbrownell.com / @skbrownell
• Strengthen our understanding the umbrella term "speculative fiction."
• Explore the many established and emerging subgenres of imaginative literature.
• Gain new insight into our own work through its relationship to genre.
• Generate a few new story ideas and/or exploratory writings in response to genre-based prompts.
• Connect with a community of speculative (and speculative-curious) writers.
RECEIVING THE ZOOM LINK: For one-day workshops, we send out the link to attend the Zoom session 1 - 2 days before the event, via email. For multi-week workshops, you should receive info and the link about 3 - 5 days before. Please mark your calendars when you first register and look for our emails. If you don't see the email in your inbox on the day before the class, please check your spam and junk mail folders (and search all folders) for an email from email@example.com before contacting us. We have found that very often our emails end up in those folders. This is based on your own email settings, and you can prevent this by adding our email as a contact.
ONLINE SESSIONS happen remotely, via Zoom video conference. All you need is a laptop, computer, or phone with functioning audio and a webcam. Those who RSVP receive directions and a link to "join" the session via email (please see above note about receiving the Zoom link). All online instructors will log on to the video conference a few minutes before the start of the session, so please plan to log on early if you'd like assistance! We'll do everything in our power to help you get comfortable with the Zoom format, though we are not able to offer technical assistance beyond basic Zoom orientation.
REFUND & CREDIT POLICIES AT PVWW
If you withdraw from a workshop ten days or more before the start of the class: You'll receive full credit toward another workshop OR a full refund. If you withdraw from a workshop nine days before the start of the class up until 48 hours before: You'll receive a refund minus 20%. If you withdraw from a workshop less than 48 hours before the start of a class or after the class has begun: We are not able to offer you credit toward another class or any refund, unless in the case of a medical emergency, or if we are able to fill your spot. If you are absent on the day of your workshop or miss it for any reason, we are unable to offer any kind of refund. If we have to cancel a class for any reason, you will receive a full refund, or if you choose, credit in the amount of your payment, to be used for any future PVWW class. Anyone who does not specify whether they would like a refund or a credit for a cancelled class will automatically be refunded. Please contact Joy (firstname.lastname@example.org) for all matters concerning credit and refunds.