Cultural Appropriation: What It Is & How To Avoid It

Cultural Appropriation - What It Is and How To Avoid It

When: September 9, 11AM – 2PM Eastern (Click to see when this happens in your time zone)
Where: Online via Zoom meeting
Price: $50
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Most writers want to avoid Cultural Appropriation but worry that they don’t fully understand what it is or how to ensure their work does not include it. They wonder what the difference is between appropriation and exchange or between appropriation and influence. And they hope avoiding cultural appropriation doesn’t mean only writing stories about people from their same race, culture, or ethnic group.

In this 3 hour webinar, authors Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford will offer concrete answers to those questions and a set of resources to help authors navigate these tricky waters. The webinar includes two short lectures and a lengthy Q&A. 

Who Is This Class For?

The webinar is appropriate for all writers (fiction, plays, comics, 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.

Artists, musicians, choreographers, and other creatives may also find this webinar of use, though the lectures are writing-focused.  

This online seminar is not only for white writers, or cis writers, or men, it is for any writer who wants to take steps toward writing more inclusive, representational fiction.


The webinar will take place in an online video seminar room. There will be two lectures that will last 30 – 45 minutes with a break in-between each. The rest of the time will be devoted to student questions, which can be broad or specific as needed.


Zoom meetings software is compatible with standard screen readers and has several other accessibility features that make it possible for writers who are Blind or vision impaired to participate in the webinar. 

Questions can be submitted via the meeting software chat function or via voice. 

We do not have live closed captioning for our webinars at this time. However, if you need a closed captioned video and/or transcript, we will provide that with the Video Only registration option (see below). Any writer who is unable to attend the live class due to this limitation on our part will get the opportunity to do a Q&A with Nisi and Tempest once they are able to access the video.

Video Only Registration

If you cannot attend the class during the live webinar, you can register to get a video recording of the class after the live webinar ends for $40. You won’t be able to participate in the Q&A session, you will get all the resources, the lectures, and answers to questions asked during the live class. 

We will send the webinar video by September 30th. 

To register for this, choose the Video Only option in the box below.

Financial Aid

If you can afford to pay for part but not all of the seminar, we have Pay What You Can Afford enrollment. Under this plan you can pay any amount, but we do request that you pay at least $10. To register, please email with the amount that you can afford (you may also split this into two or more payments). 

If you do not have the financial means to take this webinar and feel that you will benefit from it, we encourage you to apply for a Sentient Squid Scholarship. We have a broad definition of financial need that ranges from writers who do not have the money at all to writers who have the funds but can’t afford to use them for a writing class. Please don’t hesitate to apply wherever you exist on that spectrum.

To apply, send an email to with the subject WtO September Webinar Applicant, and include in the body:

  • A brief (300 or fewer words) statement of financial need
  • A brief (500 or fewer words) essay on why you wish to take the seminar.

Deadline: 11:59PM Pacific August 30. We will notify all applicants of their standing on September 1. If you have any questions, please use our contact form to ask.

Technical Requirements

Zoom video conferencing works on computers, tablets, and most smartphones. We suggest you access the live webinar via a computer for the best experience. Before enrolling in class, make sure your computer or mobile device is compatible with Zoom. If you want to test to be sure, load the app on your system and join this test meeting.

A webcam/video camera is not necessary for class because students won’t be on video. To take part in the Q&A a microphone is helpful, though not necessary. You can submit questions via text. Please make sure you have a headset, headphones, or earbuds as this helps ensure good audio quality for everyone.

Required Text

Before the seminar, please purchase:

Refund Policy

If you find that you need to drop the seminar, you may do so by contacting us via GMail or through the website.

If you drop by August 31, you will receive a full refund minus a service fee.

If you drop on or after September 1 you will not have your registration fee refunded. However, you will receive a video of the class.

Register Below

If the class sells out before you have a chance to register, there is a waiting list.