Beyond Realism: Writing the Magical, Cultural and Mythical 6-Week Zoom Workshop, Starts Wednesday, November 8th, 2023
Class Starts Wednesday, November 8th, 2023
Class will meet weekly via Zoom (Wednesdays, 5PM EST - 7PM EST).
*Note: We will skip the week of Thanksgiving.
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Led by Pingmei Lan, whose work has appeared in The Florida Review, Blackbird, Epiphany, Smokelong Quarterly, Tahoma Literary Review and others. She is a winner of the 2019 PEN/DAU Best Debut Short Stories prize, a finalist in the Atlanta Review's 2019 International Poetry Competition and a 2021 Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the 2022 Nancy Zafris Memorial Scholar at the Kenyon Review Writers' Workshop.
Get to know Pingmei in our Meet the Teaching Artist series.In this course, we will explore origin stories, family mythologies and read works from Carmen Maria Machado, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Yoko Ogawa, Aimee Bender, Nikolai Gogol to better understand where and how literature meets magic. Sample works can also include films that use the uncanny to depict the extraordinarily human.
We will dissect narrative techniques found in these works to recognize, understand and learn where the magical meet the realistic and synthesize ways to apply these in our own projects.
We will examine speculative design patterns to see how these frameworks may aid in story design rather than limit or inhibit creativity. As a natural extension, we will also study some alternative forms and non-traditional narratives to learn how literature may work in surprising and inevitable ways here. Along with these, writers will walk away with concrete tools and practical guides on creating first drafts and managing revisions.
Each writer will also have the opportunity to submit one to two stories or novel excerpts for workshop and receive in-depth feedback from the instructor and fellow writers. It is not strictly necessary for these submissions to be speculative though writers are welcome to do so or ask for specific feedback tailored to their needs.
This course, open to writers with all levels of scene-writing experience, is designed to help writers to discover new possibilities in their writing as guided with specific craft techniques.
Whether you are a realism fiction devotee or an intuitive writer of the uncanny, this class will take you through specific steps to peel back the structure, characterization and narrative techniques used in fiction and film that is either fully speculative or only lightly touched by it.
The readings and exercises are designed so you could unlock a deeper understanding for realism and beyond, discover the uncanny and how to merge the two to create a cohesive yet uncanny story world. Writers would be supported through collaborative workshop sessions and be given detailed, encouraging feedback. Throughout the course, writers will be given writing prompts and revision guidelines to help them enhance their learning and apply them to their own work.
Each student will have the opportunity for a thirty minute one-on-one conference with the instructor.
- Concrete tools in reading and writing speculative fiction.
- Key ways to incorporate magical element into a work of fiction.
- A polished draft or revision on submitted stories or excerpts.
- A step by step guide on how to study examplry works of fiction or film.
- Thirty minute one-on one conference with the instructor.
By the end of the class, you will have the tools you need to create a polished work of fiction.
- Week 1: Introductions, Overview of the Uncanny World
- Week 2: Workshop one, The Surrealist Observer
- Week 3: Workshop two, The Invisible Antagonist
- Week 4: Workshop three, Time Warps & Loops
- Week 5: Workshop four, Film & Alternative Forms
- Week 6: Workshop five, The Crux of the Story
Pingmei's class unlocked something deep in my memory or subconscious and I wrote a scene that I didn't think I could write. -former student
Pingmei gives very generous feedback to other writers and her comments are humorous and helpful. -former student
Pingmei's critique notes are very impressive. I shared them with my writing group as well and they were equally impressed. -former student
Pingmei leads a wonderful workshop. Her comments are insightful, and she leads discussion in an encouraging and inclusive manner. She takes into account the writer’s intention, highlights what is working as well as points of confusion, and asks questions that allow both readers and the writer to look at character, pacing, and theme in different ways. Her critiques are incredibly in-depth and thought-provoking. I felt completely comfortable while in workshop, and came away with both new ideas and increased confidence in my own writing. -former student
Pingmei was a wonderful, straightforward, and kind teacher, and I am eager to take another class with her. -former student
This was a fantastic class. Pingmei was a thoughtful instructor who really challenged me to think about the way realism and magical realism interact. -former student
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!
- Instructor: Pingmei Lan
- Class size limited to 10 writers
- Class Starts Wednesday, November 8th, 2023
- Class will meet via Zoom on Wednesdays, 5PM EST - 7PM EST.
- Note: We will skip the week of Thanksgiving.
Instructor Pingmei Lan holds an MFA in creative writing. Her work has appeared in The Florida Review, Blackbird, Epiphany, Smokelong Quarterly, Tahoma Literary Review and others. She is a winner of the 2019 PEN/DAU Best Debut Short Stories prize, a finalist in the Atlanta Review's 2019 International Poetry Competition and a 2021 Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the 2022 Nancy Zafris Memorial Scholar at the Kenyon Review Writers' Workshop.