2022 Writing the Other Class Schedule

2022 Writing the Other Classes by Date

Writing the Other is pleased to share our 2022 Class Schedule. Geared for writers and writing-adjacent professions, our classes, webinars, workshops, seminars and retreats help students build better, more inclusive worlds and craft characters with better representation. Class dates and times are subject to change.

Click the links below to jump to the class description.

Want more information about the types of classes we offer? Click here to read about all the writing classes we offer.

Online Classes, Webinars, and Workshops

Note: Please bookmark this page! More classes may be announced. Dates subject to change.

Charting Your Character's Arc Webinar and Workshop

Charting Your Character’s Arc Webinar and Workshop

Webinar: February 5 & 6, 2022 | 9AM – 4PM Pacific
Workshop (Optional): February 19, 2022 | 9AM – 4PM Pacific
Where: Online via Zoom video conference
Price: $100 – $350
Registration Opens Dec 1, 2021

Riveting, evocative storytelling hinges on the choices your characters make. These pivotal choices are not necessarily the high action moments in your plot, but they are the moments that define who your character is and becomes. By charting a handful of critical moments of choice in your story, by examining the pressures and risks at each moment, by taking into account how your character’s identities inform their actions, and by understanding deeply how your character pushes against their history and environment at each step, you can create a powerful mini-outline.

In this webinar, author Stant Litore will walk through how to chart your character arc in a way that allows you to use that arc as a potent tool for revision or outlining.

deep dive intensive - creating diverse characters

Deep Dive Intensive: Creating Diverse Characters

Dates: February 26 – March 12, 2022
Where: Online
Price: $250 – $350
Registration Opens Jan 1, 2022

Creating characters that reflect of the diversity of the world we all live in is important for all writers and creators of fictional narratives. But writers often find it difficult to represent people whose gender, sexual orientation, racial heritage, or other aspect of identity is very different from their own. This can lead to fear of getting it wrong–horribly, offensively wrong–and, in the face of that, some think it’s better to not even try.

But representation is too important to ignore. And it is possible to write characters who represent the “Other” sensitively and convincingly. This course will provide authors with a solid foundation in how to craft characters from any background, no matter how different they are from you.

How to Write Circles Around Others Non-Linear Story Structures from Non-Western Traditions

Non-Linear Story Structures from Non-Western Traditions Webinar

Date: March 19, 2022 | 10AM – 1PM Pacific Time
Where: Online via Zoom video conference
Price: $50 – $75
Registration Opens Jan 15, 2022

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

Carroll’s king was clearly not a Chinese king. Western storytelling traditions decree that a linear structure (along with the three act structure, the hero’s journey, and a rising self-esteem arc) are mandatory features of any satisfying story. This is Western-centric silliness. In this webinar, author Henry Lien will explore non-linear structures, specifically cyclic and nested structures, using examples from non-Western stories and films.

Students will come to understand how these non-linear structures allow for thematic stacking, embracing of moral complexity, and a synthesis between form and content to explode the idea that a straight line is the best way to tell every story. The webinar emphasizes practical craft takeaways for storytellers to apply to their own works in progress.

Deep Dive Into Dialogue and Dialect header

Deep Dive Intensive: Dialogue, Dialect, and Narrative Voice

Dates: April 9 – 23, 2022
Where: Online
Price: $200 – $300
Registration Opens Feb 1, 2022

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 diverse 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 craft-focused class we’ll help you sharpen your dialogue skills and show you how to apply those same skills to the narrative voice. We’ll analyze ways familiar and unfamiliar cultural assumptions are embedded in texts and talk about alternative techniques for conveying difference via voice–yours and your characters’.

Want to know when classes open for registration? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Crafting Diverse Relationships: Family and Friends, Lovers and Life Partners

Crafting Diverse Relationships: Family and Friends, Lovers and Life Partners

Dates: April 29 – May 15, 2022
Where: Online
Price: $200
Registration Opens March 1, 2022

Relationships between characters are key to character development and plot progression in every genre, not just romance. Family bonds, friendships, and lifelong partnerships create support networks around characters in every narrative. Writers often struggle to represent the connections and bonds between people that are outside their experience.

In this class, authors Piper J. Drake, Lauren Jankowski, and Jacqueline Koyanagi will discuss family and found family, platonic relationships and friendships, poly and interracial relationships, and how to recognize and challenge the Love Hierarchy.

Join Writing the Other in exploring a range of relationship arcs and interpersonal dynamics to create vivid narratives and character-driven plot lines.

Deep Dive Intensive Description header

Deep Dive Intensive: Description

Dates: June 4 – 18, 2022
Where: Online
Price: $200 – $300
Registration Opens April 1, 2022

Creating inclusive fiction with characters that come from different identities is important. But when writers start describing people from marginalized groups, they’re sometimes overcome by anxiety over getting it right. What words and phrases should you use? Which ones should you avoid?

In this craft-centric class we’ll dive deep into these language and description pitfalls…and how to avoid them! Go beyond the basics of eliminating food metaphors and other tired/inaccurate clichés and explore:

  • How to make conscious, respectful, and inclusive language choices.
  • Person-first vs. Identity-first language.
  • When it is and isn’t okay to use slurs.

and much more.

Heroines Journey

The Heroine’s Journey Webinar with Gail Carriger

Date: June 25, 2022 | 10AM – 5PM Pacific Time
Where: Online via Zoom video conference
Price: $50 – $75
Registration Opens May 10, 2022

In this webinar, New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger provides a full break down of what aspects of the heroine’s journey make for compelling narratives and voracious readers, where these elements originate, why they’re successful, and how to write them. She’ll help you take control of story structure by delving behind the scenes for hidden messages and gain insight into under-studied narrative conventions and modern publishing markets.

After this webinar you’ll have the tools to craft narrative beats, steps to write a compelling journey, and an understanding of why these are appealing based on history and mythology. You’ll also gain an understanding of why genre fiction (and romance in particular) is dismissed, vilified, and disregarded, and how to combat this negative stereotyping.

Diverse Narrative Structure Header

Diverse Narrative Structure with Henry Lien

Date: July 8 – 31, 2022
Where: Online
Price: $200
Registration Opens May 15, 2022

Values are not universal across all cultures, and thus what a satisfying story looks like is not limited to one model either. In this course author Henry Lien uses case studies from books, films, and other mediums, and in-class exercises and games to demonstrate that elements that we consider staples of European/Western storytelling–such as the three-act story structure, the empowerment arc, and individual heroism–are not universal across all cultures.

Writers will leave this course with tools to analyze the European/Western forms and themes in the stories they have written as well as templates from other traditions to explore and apply to their work.

Interested in our classes but can’t afford them? We offer full and partial scholarships or a Pay What You can Afford option for EVERY class. Application directions are included on the class registration page and also in the announcement emails from our newsletter.

POSTPONED Master Class: Writing Fat Characters

Date: August 13 – 27, 2022 Postponed to 2023. You can still take the On Demand class.
Where: Online
Price: $125

Fat characters in fictional narratives often fall into two categories. Most are negative portrayals where fatness represents moral failings or villainous tendencies. Seemingly “positive” portrayals emphasize weight loss narratives, self-loathing, or fatness as a limitation imposed on the self. In this Master Class, authors Marianne Kirby and Meg Elison will help you move beyond these kinds of tropes and create characters with big bodies that constitute good representation.

Topics include:

  • Why we use the term “Fat”.
  • Identifying and avoiding overdone stereotypes and tropes about fat people.
  • Types of fat experiences we need more of in fiction and media.
  • How to write a fat body.
Building Inclusive Worlds

Building Inclusive Worlds

Dates: September 9 – October 9, 2022
Where: Online
Price: $400
Registration Opens July 2022

Worldbuilding for speculative fiction or SSFnal games can be a daunting task; even moreso for writers who want to create or explore inclusive cultures filled with diverse characters but without unconsciously replicating colonialist structures and viewpoints. This class offers writers a deep dive into key aspects of building inclusive worlds — Creating Cultures, Ideology, Religion, Cosmology, Sociobiology, Research, and more — with a plethora of outstanding builders of speculative worlds.

This class includes video lectures and interviews plus extensive discussion and Q&A on each topic. Students will leave the class with a deep worldbuilding toolset and resources for further study.

Research Skills for Fiction Writers

Research Skills for Fiction Writers

Dates: October 14 – November 6, 2022
Where: Online
Price: $200
Registration Opens July 2022

Writing great fiction often requires research. Whether you’re a writer who creates whole new worlds or futures, a writer who uses historical settings or events, or a writer crafting characters whose identities or cultures are very different from your own, you need to learn this skill. But if you’ve never formally been taught how to research, you may find it daunting, or think that it’s just for the scholarly, or see research as a never-ending slog.

In this course, reference librarian Melody Steiner will walk you through the How Tos of research techniques starting with a question you want to answer for your own fiction.

Subscribe to our newsletter to find out when classes, webinars, and workshops open for registration. Subscribers get access to exclusive discounts.

In-Person Classes

Hollyhock Retreat Center

CANCELLED – Writing the Other Retreat @ Hollyhock

Dates: September 10 – 16, 2022
Where: Hollyhock Retreat and Learning Center, Cortes Island, British Columbia, Canada
Package Price: TBD

An in-person retreat with Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford on beautiful and remote Cortes Island. This workshop will cover all the core WtO teachings, from creating characters different from yourself to describing “the Other” to dialect to worldbuilding. Beyond the lectures there will also be games, conversations, and fun activities.

The workshop is appropriate for all writers (fiction, plays, graphic novels, screenplays, and games included) from all backgrounds and any skill level. You need an interest in writing, but you do not need to have published anything yet.

Jump to → All Classes by Date