SPECULATIVE FICTION – synchronous, online, 15-21 November 2021

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Before you enroll, please apply for the course at victoriad.kostova@gmail.com with your own work in the genre up to 3 pages. Deadline: 10 November

 “One day, you will be old enough to start reading fairytales again.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

Course Description

The more things change the more we need…monsters. But why do some chill us more than others? How do writers make invented magic seem real?  Why do characters talk so much during battle scenes? How does one create effective suspense? Whether you are writing science fiction, surrealism, high fantasy, or in some other speculative genre, this class will teach you to squint at the world and see invisible forces. You’ll learn to expand metaphors into monsters, turn dreamy what-ifs into concrete fantasy landscapes, and develop heroes and villains that draw out qualities we grope for and sense, but are often afraid to speak of.  

Age: The workshop is suitable for young adults.

About the instructor

Eireene Nealand has degrees from UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Santa Cruz and spends a lot of time thinking about how our brains are wired differently now. Her fiction, poetry, and translations have been published in Index on Censorship, ZYZZYVA, Poetry International, the St. Petersburg Review, Drunken Boat, and The Chicago Quarterly, among other places. All of her books are experiments. They include Shadows and Doubts (eohippus 2015), The Nest (with Megan Lueneburg, Nova Kultura 2017), and The Darkroom (by Marguerite Duras, co-translated with Alta Ifland, ContraMundum 2021). These works have won multiple awards, including an Ivan Klima Fellowship, an Elizabeth Kostova Fellowship and Fulbright Fellowship.

What to expect?

Intro-Lecture / asynchronous – 15.11.2021

First Assignment (based on a reading) / asynchronous – to be submitted by 2 p.m. BG time on 16.11.2021

Written Feedback on the assignment / asynchronous – to be received by 2 p.m. BG time on 17.11.2021

Video-tutorial / asynchronous – 17.11.2021

Main Writing Assignment – to be sumbitted by 2 p.m. BG time on 18.11.2021

One-on-one on the first draft / in real time – on 19.11.2021, slots are in BG time

Revision – to be sumbitted by 2 p.m. BG time on 20.11.2021

One-one-one on the second draft / in real time – on 21.11.2021, slots are in BG time


The workshop is conducted with the support of National Culture Fund.