Making the Impossible Possible: The Art of Social Justice Speculative Fiction

Writing Workshop

April 20, 2024

Making the Impossible Possible: The Art of Social Justice Speculative Fiction            

Saturday, April 20th

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm *

* This workshop will miss the Inheriting Freedom Children’s Tour starting at 3:00 pm

Max limit: 12 people | REGISTRATION REQUIRED

Cost: $35 per person

Though fantasy, horror, and science fiction are all distinct genres, they are united under the umbrella of “speculative fiction:” stories where the impossible suddenly becomes possible.

Works of speculative fiction often make predictions about the future or immerse their readers in entirely new worlds. But speculative fiction has also been used by many authors to comment on the social and political realities of the present. Writers have used speculative stories to consider ethical problems, to confront fears about social and technological change, and to critique systems of inequality such as classism, sexism, racism, colonialism, homophobia, and ableism.

In this 3-hour writing workshop, we will explore how we can use elements of speculative fiction to craft engaging, emotionally powerful stories that also function as thought-provoking social commentary. We will begin by discussing the short fiction of speculative writers such as Octavia Butler, Ray Bradbury, and Ken Liu. We will also work to craft our own original “novum,” or a fantastical story element that places a narrative outside the limits of strict realism. We will then learn the art of “mind mapping” stories, a process that allows us to anchor a novum in an engaging setting with rich characters and a compelling plot. Throughout our time together we will also discuss the power of fiction to help us build a better, more just world. As the writer and activist Walidah Imarisha once said: “Any time we try to envision a different world – without poverty, prisons, capitalism, war – we are engaging in science fiction.”



Location Stowe House Twins Room
Doors Open 1:00 pm
Program 1:00 - 4:00 pm
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