I have a very special signal boost today and I am so incredibly excited. I’m honestly giddy and I have been waiting forever to share this:
I’m teaching a seminar in September! 😀
It’s part of the Writing the Other series and I literally cannot believe I’m writing that. Writing the Other is an amazing course run by K. Tempest Bradford and Nisi Shawl, two women who I very much admire. I am beyond honored to have been offered this incredible opportunity. And I cannot believe I’m included among some truly amazing people. Seriously, just look at all the seminars being offered. How am I part of this much awesome!?
Anyhow, registration is now open for the seminars. Here’s the press release for the seminars as well as links where you can get more information:
Press Release: Writing the Other Fall 2016 Master Class Series
Press Contact: K Tempest Bradford, firstname.lastname@example.org
Writers know that it’s important to write about characters whose gender, sexual orientation, religion, racial heritage, or other aspect of identity differs from their own. But many are afraid to do so for fear that they will get it wrong–horribly, offensively wrong–and think it is better not even to try. In truth, it is possible to write the Other sensitively and convincingly, and the Writing the Other Master Class Series can start you on the path to doing just that.
Registration is now open for our Fall 2016 Master Classes. This series of six 2-hour seminars run from late August to late September, and include classes that dive deep into Writing the Other topics, such as: Writing Native American Characters, Diversity and Inclusion for Comic and Graphic Novel Writers and Artists, Writing for Trans and Non-Binary Narratives, and more. Each seminar allows writers the opportunity to learn from and have a dialogue with experts in each subject, such as scholar Debbie Reese, author Sara Ryan, and Writing the Other authors Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward.
Writers may take individual seminars or sign up for the whole series. Scholarships are available for writers who need financial aid.
Seminars begin August 27th and run through September 27th. Visit http://writingtheother.com/master-classes/ for all details, dates, and times.
Each workshop costs $100. Scholarships are available. Please visit this URL for details: http://writingtheother.com/sentient-squid-scholarship-master-classes/
Writing Native American Characters: How Not To Do A Rowling with Debbie Reese – August 27th 3 – 5PM Eastern
J. K. Rowling drew negative attention from Native people for what she did in her work Magic in North America. In this seminar we’ll talk about the missteps she made, why they are a problem, and offers writers strategies for avoiding them and doing better.
Writing Deaf and Blind Characters with Elsa Sjunneson-Henry – September 10th 12 – 2PM Eastern
Partially deaf and partially blind writer and editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry will walk students through the process of researching and understanding both conditions for fiction writing. Exercises in writing from deaf and blind perspectives, information on the language of disability, and a brief education in the culture of Deafness, and the difference between person first and identity first will all be covered in this course.
Writing the Other: Comics and Graphic Novels with Sara Ryan – September 10th 3 – 5PM Eastern
Comics is a visual medium. Not everything about a story is apparent from a quick glance, but comics readers can tell a lot simply by flipping or scrolling through pages about who is, and is not, included. The class will be an overview of strategies for Writing the Other sensitively and convincingly in comics, including character and setting design, finding useful reference for your artist (including when the artist is you), dialogue and captions, and staging scenes.
More than Eunuchs and Extraterrestrials: Writing Positive Portrayals of Asexual Characters with Lauren Jankowski – September 11th 12 – 2PM Eastern
Since the movement for asexual visibility has become more widespread, people have begun to demand more openly asexual characters in popular media. However, too many creators are trying to write asexual characters without doing any research or talking to asexual people. This results in incredibly damaging and stereotypical asexual characters. In this seminar, students will learn the general terminology related to the asexual spectrum, the importance of dismantling the love hierarchy, and tips to avoiding common stereotypes of asexuals.
Writing for Trans and Non-Binary Narratives with Ashley Lauren Rogers – September 11th 3 – 5PM Eastern
A workshop helping cisgender, transgender, and those who identify as non-binary alike to write from trans/non-binary perspectives. Through a combination of basic theatre games, power-point presentation, and check in questions, writers will be able to think critically and rely on real trial and error experience writing about fictional and real life subjects.
Beyond Belief: Writing Plausible Atheist and Religious Characters with Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward – September 27th 8 – 10PM Eastern
Learn to address common mistakes in representing people’s views of the cosmos and how they see their place in it. We all wonder, we all speculate, we all want to understand. Here’s how to show that common thread in the thoughts of those with very different takes on these essentially human questions and answers.
About Writing the Other
During the 1992 Clarion West Writers Workshop attended by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward, one of the students expressed the opinion that it is a mistake to write about people of ethnic backgrounds different from your own because you might get it wrong—horribly, offensively wrong—and so it is better not even to try. This opinion, commonplace among published as well as aspiring writers, struck Nisi as taking the easy way out and spurred her to write an essay addressing the problem of how to write about characters marked by racial and ethnic differences.
In the course of writing the essay Nisi realized that similar problems arise when writers try to create characters whose gender, sexual preference, and age differ significantly from their own. Nisi and Cynthia collaborated to develop a workshop to address these problems with the aim of both increasing a writer’s skill and sensitivity in portraying difference in their fiction as well as allaying their anxieties about “getting it wrong.”
The workshop eventually led to a manual, Writing the Other: A Practical Approach, which then led to more workshops and eventually a series of retreats and online classes taught by Nisi, Cynthia, and eventually K. Tempest Bradford. The online classes address aspects of characterization and offer techniques, practical exercises, and examples for helping writers create richer and more accurate characters different from themselves.
These classes are seriously going to be amazing. If you want to improve diversity in your writing, I highly recommend signing up. We could all use improvement in characterization. So please, grab a space while they’re still open.
I hope to see some of you there 🙂
And please, signal boost!