2019 Year of Writing Inclusively Classes

All of the courses listed below take place online. They do not require students to log in at set times. Writers participate on their own schedule, logging in when time permits from anywhere in the world.

Deep Dive Into Diverse Characters | March 29 – April 28

Deep Dive Into Diverse Characters

Individual Cost: $350
Instructors: Nisi Shawl, Piper J. Drake, and K. Tempest Bradford

Creating three-dimensional characters that engage readers is fundamental to writing great fiction. For authors who want to create characters whose gender, sexual orientation, religion, racial heritage, or other aspect of identity is different from their own, there are added layers of complexity… which can lead to fear of getting it wrong–horribly, offensively wrong. In the face of that, some writers think it’s better to not even try.

In truth, it is possible to write the “Other” sensitively and convincingly. Creating fiction that is inclusive and representational is hard, but important, work, and this four week course will provide a solid foundation in how to craft characters from any background, no matter how different they are from you.

Authors Nisi Shawl, Piper J. Drake, and K. Tempest Bradford will dive deep into character creation with writing exercises, discussion, and lectures on intersectionality, character relationships, avoiding stereotypes and tropes, and depicting characters from different genders, sexualities, classes, ethnicities, ability levels, and religious backgrounds. Students will come away with resources for further study.


Deep Dive Into Description | June 7 – 23

Deep Dive Into Description

Individual Cost: $300
Instructors: Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford

Creating inclusive fiction with characters that come from different genders, backgrounds, races, and abilities is important. But when writers set out to do so, they sometimes grow anxious about how to describe and depict people who don’t fit the dominant paradigm.

How does one describe skin tone without using food metaphors or facial features without falling back on problematic cliches? Are you unwittingly using words that reveal unconscious bias? Should you use person-first or identity-first language?

In this online class, authors Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford will guide you through this aspect of writing inclusive fiction through lectures, hands-on exercises, and feedback.


Deep Dive Into Dialogue & Dialect | August 2 – 18

Deep Dive Into Dialect and Dialogue

Individual Cost: $300
Instructors: Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford

An essential part of creating a character is understanding how that individual speaks or communicates. For writers who are working to create inclusive fiction with characters from races, cultures, and backgrounds different from their own, crafting appropriate dialogue is more than just idealizing and compressing speech to make it seem natural. It may also mean figuring out how to get across the nuances of language, accent, or dialect without Othering or exoticizing characters or the real cultures and identity groups they represent.

In this online class, authors Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford will guide you through this aspect of writing inclusive fiction through lectures, hands-on exercises, and feedback.


Building Inclusive Worlds – November 1 – 30

Building Inclusive Worlds

Individual Cost: $400
Instructors: TBA

Worldbuilding for speculative fiction can be a daunting task, even moreso for authors who want to create inclusive cultures (that don’t unconsciously replicate colonialist structures and viewpoints) filled with diverse characters (that aren’t stereotypes or caricatures). This Master Class offers writers a deep dive into key aspects of building inclusive worlds — Ideology, Sociobiology, Research, Creating Cultures, Cosmology & Religion.

This online class includes video lectures plus extensive discussion and Q&A. Students will come away with resources for further study.


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