Introduction to Speculative Fiction 5-Week Zoom Workshop, Starts Tuesday, August 15th, 2023
Class Starts Tuesday, August 15th, 2023
Class will meet weekly via Zoom (Tuesdays, 4PM PST - 6PM PST) and also have an online classroom in Wet Ink.
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Led by Ploi Pirapokin, the Nonfiction Editor at Newfound Journal. She sits on the board for Khōréō Magazine, Hivemind: Global Speculative Fiction Magazine, and the Ragdale Foundation. Her work is featured in Tor.com, Pleiades, Ninth Letter, Gulf Stream Magazine, Sycamore Review and more. Ploi is a graduate of the Clarion Writers Workshop.
Time travel. Invasion from space. Mutations. Disaster. Super powers. Artificial intelligence. Monsters. Fairytales. Myths. Our writing can be expanded upon the introduction of non-naturalist elements, whether they are fantastical in nature or rooted in science. We’ll intensify our work by creating space to make our speculative fiction resonate and pleasurable for the reader.
Whether you’re looking to kick-start your imagination or use hypothetical situations and metaphors to shed light on the beautiful, urgent, aspects of human nature, this generative course will help you take a leap beyond the ordinary with your writing. We will look at works of science fiction, fantasy, and slipstream as examples on how to craft an engaging setting, flesh out an enthralling non-human character, or dream up an unforgettable story line made possible by our new realities.
We will discuss our works using the genre-specific craft terms we’ve defined as a class, give and receive feedback while workshopping as a whole, and leave with a complete draft of a short story. This class is designed to immerse you into a writing routine and provide inspiration to continually write fiction that is intensified by our imagination.
- By the end of this class, writers will have an understanding of the breadth of speculative fiction and the subgenres it contains (not limited to science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, supernatural, horror, etc).
- Students will learn how to incorporate speculative elements and worldbuilding into their stories, whether the setting is realistic or fantastical. We will also cover elements of characterization, point of view, and structure.
- Students will generate one story throughout the course and leave with a first draft.
- We will workshop as a whole with process notes, to better build a practice of writing that is consistent and sustainable.
- Students will read speculative fiction stories as inspiration to their own writing from works of women, LGTBQ, and POC writers being highlighted.
SELECTED COURSE TEXTS:
- Hello, Moto, Nnedi Okorafor
- Inventory, Carmen Maria Machado
- Let's Play Dead, Senaa Ahmad
- Story of Your Life, Ted Chiang
- Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience, Rebecca Roanhorse
By the end of the class, you will have the tools you need and polished work ready for publishing.
STUDENTS LOVE PLOI:
"I have learned so much from Ploi Pirapokin’s speculative fiction workshop and have enjoyed it immensely! I don’t want it to end—not only because I’m enjoying the learning and the community of writers, but also because I’m just excited about writing again! Each week, Ploi guides us by sharing expertly curated and inspiring content on the craft of speculative fiction, plus readings of some of the best. She provides personal feedback on our responses to her weekly exercises and our workshop pieces, which I’ve found so helpful and instructive. Ploi’s approach makes me feel comfortable to dive right in and try new approaches I never have before. Since starting this workshop, I’ve had multiple ideas for new short stories and have begun writing them. Thank you, Ploi, for sharing your time and talent with writers." -Brittany G.
"Thank you for being such a wonderful teacher!! Your class was such a bright spot of the week, and the conversations were always so engaging and thought provoking. Thank you for believing in us as writers! I got so much out of your workshop and all the advice, and the way you took us seriously as writers and artists, and how you pushed us to embrace how we organically tell stories, helped me take myself more seriously and is advice I’ll take with me for a long time!”
"Ploi is so knowledgeable and enthusiastic -- I value everything she brought to the course! I especially appreciated her focus on structure during the workshop portion of the class, as well as her question, 'How did your body respond, or what are you most aware of in a physical way reading this post?' for our workshop comments." -Maureen G.
“Ms. Pirapokin’s content in the course itself was outstanding. She provided a series of texts and video presentations illustrative of the material we were studying. She made herself available not only to me, but also to all the students in the class. Her kindness radiated from her and she was very attentive to all our needs.”
“Here's the crux of the matter: by the end of the course, I was so impressed by how much of herself Ploi had put into the course that it made me work all the harder to complete assignments and do my best. That our course was concluding around election time made it difficult for everyone, but Ploi's sincerity and focus helped pull us across the finish line. You should be very happy to have such a dedicated, erudite and honest teacher on your roster.”
"This was hands down the best Catapult class I have taken so far... Ploi was warm, encouraging, insanely prepared and knowledgeable, generous... I felt so enriched afterwards and look forward to staying in community with my classmates!!" --Former Catapult Student
"Ploi was a beacon for me and my classmates. The ideal teacher to nurture creativity and confidence. She provided heartfelt knowledge and created a space to celebrate each other."--Former Catapult Student
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
This class meets weekly via Zoom and also uses our online classroom in Wet Ink. Ploi will get you all the details after you enroll. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!
- Instructor: Ploi Pirapokin
- Class size limited to 8 writers
- Class Starts Tuesday, August 15th, 2023
- Class will meet via Zoom on Tuesdays, 4PM PST - 6PM PST.
- This class will and also have an online classroom in Wet Ink.
Instructor Ploi Pirapokin is the Nonfiction Editor at Newfound Journal, and sits on the board for Khōréō Magazine, Hivemind: Global Speculative Fiction Magazine, and the Ragdale Foundation. Her work is featured in Tor.com, Pleiades, Ninth Letter, Gulf Stream Magazine, Sycamore Review and more. She has received grants and fellowships from the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Creative Capacity Fund, Headlands Center for the Arts, Djerassi, Kundiman and others. A graduate of the Clarion Writers Workshop, she also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She currently teaches at the Writers Program at UCLA Extension, and the University of Hong Kong.