FICT 94 W — Speculative Fiction Workshop: Fabulous Visions
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Apr 1—Jun 7
Refund Deadline: Apr 4
Instructor(s): Michael Agresta
Class Recording Available: Yes
For this workshop, we will put aside gritty realism and subdued character studies and reach for more powerful and mysterious ways of crafting highly imaginative stories. We'll ask questions like: How do you push past the ground rules of ordinary life while maintaining some kind of scaffolding for readers to connect emotionally and make sense of cause-and-effect and motivation? When the world of a story is allegorical, how precisely do we want to "code" details as symbols or references? If it is generally agreed to be boring when someone tells us about a dream they had, what makes some dreamlike fiction so entrancing? Together, we'll explore gems of the speculative and magical realist storytelling tradition, from towering figures like Gabriel García Márquez and Franz Kafka to present-day practitioners like Kelly Link and Fernando Flores. Students will complete generative exercises exploring the form and share their own stories (up to 5,000 words) in a workshop format. They will receive thoughtful and supportive peer and instructor feedback that aims to meet them where they are in aesthetic and narrative terms—however far-out they may be.
Michael Agresta has written for The Atlantic, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Travel + Leisure, and other publications. He contributes regularly to Texas Monthly. His fiction has appeared in The Southern Review, Boston Review, Conjunctions, and elsewhere, and he won the Calvino Prize from the University of Louisville. His essays have been republished in an American studies college textbook, on the ACT standardized test, and in the travel-writing anthology Letter to a Stranger. He has received residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
Faculty, MFA Program, Western Connecticut State
Textbooks for this course:
There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.