Deep Dive Into Dialogue and Dialect | a Writing the Other class

dialogue and dialect header

When: August 9 – September 1, 2019
Where: Online — Available everywhere and at your own pace
Price: $300
Register Now

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 3 week craft-focused class, authors Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford will help you sharpen your dialogue skills through lectures, hands-on exercises, and feedback. At the end of class you’ll have a wealth of resources for further study and practice, as well as access to the Writing the Other Sensitivity Reader Database.

Who Should Take This Class?

Writers of all genres — Literary, YA, Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Children’s Books, Romance — and all mediums — Prose, Playwriting, Screenwriting, Comics/Graphic Novels — at any point in their career from newbie to professional. This class is designed so that any writer who wants to write inclusive fiction well and create characters who aren’t caricatures will find it beneficial.

Course Format and Time Commitment

The class does not have set meeting times. You can access lectures, other class materials, and group discussions at any time from anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection. All class discussions will take place in a private online forum and all class work is done on Google Drive. 

The time commitment each week will depend on your level of participation. The bulk of the class consists of discussion and writing exercises. Students will have 3 – 7 days to complete assignments, and not all of them will be turned in for feedback. Discussion threads tend to be wide-ranging, so students should try to check in at least once a day or every other day and set aside up to half an hour for participation. You may manage your time as needed based on your own schedule.

Accessibility

The class takes place in a private WordPress forum with a theme designed for accessibility. Homework files will be available through Google Drive. The class mailing list will be through Google Groups. All of these services are accessible to students using screen readers.

If you have questions about potential needs, or if there are any other ways we can make a class accessible for you, please contact us before registering and we’ll answer within 24 hours.

Other than a computer, the only other technical requirement for the class is a Google account. If you don’t have one, you can create a free one just for this class.

Required Texts

Before class, please purchase:

Available Spots, Financial Aid, and Scholarship Opportunities

There are 20 spots available for open enrollment. If the class sells out there will be a waiting list. Add yourself to it as there are often students who have to drop.

We have two options for writers who wish to take the class but need financial aid or flexibility.

If you can afford to pay for part but not all of the class, we have 5 spots reserved for Sliding Scale enrollment (more may open up). Under this plan you can pay whatever amount you can afford, but we do request that you pay at least $50. To request one of these spots, please fill out this form by 11:59PM Pacific July 28, 2019.  

The form will ask for the following information:

  • The amount you can afford to pay
  • A brief (300 or fewer words) statement of financial need
  • A brief (500 or fewer words) description of a work or works in progress that you hope the class will help you write.

There are 10 spots reserved for writers needing a Sentient Squid Scholarship. If you cannot afford the class and feel that you will benefit from it, we encourage you to apply. We have a broad definition of financial need that ranges from writers who have the funds but can’t afford to use them for a writing class to writers who do not have the money at all. Please don’t hesitate to apply wherever you exist on that spectrum and please don’t self-reject!

To apply, please fill out this form by 11:59PM Pacific July 21, 2019. 

The application will ask for the following information:

  • A brief (300 or fewer words) statement of financial need
  • A brief (500 or fewer words) description of a work or works in progress that you hope the class will help you write.
  • A writing sample up to 1000 words. This can be an excerpt from a longer work or flash fiction, or from something published or unpublished, as long as it represents what you feel is your best work.
  • If you identify as a Person of Color, Native American, or First Nations, you may indicate that if you wish, though it’s not a requirement. (We set aside some scholarship spots specifically for students who identify as POC or Native, though we do not limit the number of scholarships we’ll give to POC or Native applicants.)

Deadline: 11:59PM Pacific July 21, 2019. 

We will notify all sliding scale and scholarship applicants of their standing by July 29. If you have any questions, please use our contact form to ask!

Refund Policy

If you find that you need to drop the class, you may do so by contacting our GMail or emailing via the website.

If you drop by July 9, you will receive a full refund minus a service fee.

If you drop by July 14, you will receive an 80% refund minus a service fee plus a chance to enroll in future Writing the Other classes at a discount before general tickets go on sale.

If you drop by July 28, you will receive an 40% refund minus a service fee plus a chance to enroll in future Writing the Other classes at a discount before general tickets go on sale.

If you drop on July 29 or after you will not have your registration fee refunded as it will be hard for a student to fill your space. However, you will be able to enroll in a future class for a discount.

Register Now

If you have a discount or code to access tickets, please click the “Enter promo code” link in the Registration box below before you begin the process.  

Click here to register on our Eventbrite page.