Writing Inclusive Fiction: Weekend Intensive | February 2017

Weekend Intensive February 2017

When: February 3 – 5, 2017 (detailed schedule below)
Where: ONLINE via Zoom Video Conference
Price: $300
Register Now

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 this workshop can start you on the path to doing just that.

Drawing on and updating work by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward, authors of the acclaimed reference Writing the Other: A Practical Approach, this 3 day online course delves deep into learning this sometimes tricky skill. Authors Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford combine lectures, discussions, and writing exercises in a safe, supportive atmosphere.

The class will cover Stereotypes and Tropes related to Race and Ethnicity, Disability, Gender and Sexuality, Religion, Class, and more, plus strategies for building characters and worlds while avoiding engaging in stereotypes or cultural appropriation. We’ll also discuss Language and Description, Dialogue and Dialect, and How To Research The Other.

The class is appropriate for all writers (fiction, plays, comics, screenplays, and games included) from all backgrounds and any skill level.

Weekend Intensive Schedule (ALL TIMES EASTERN | PACIFIC)

Click here to find out when this starts in your time zone


8pm – 10pm | 5pm – 7pm
Introduction, Exercise, Homework


10am | 7am – post assignment

11am – 1pm | 8am – 10am
Lecture, Exercise

1:15pm | 10:15am Break

1:45pm – 3:45pm | 10:45am – 12:45pm
Lecture, Exercise

4pm | 1pm Break

5:30pm – 6:30pm | 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Exercise, Discussion

6:45pm | 3:45pm Break

7pm – 10pm | 4pm – 7pm
Exercise, Discussion


11am – 1pm | 8am – 10am
Lecture, Exercise

1:15pm | 10:15am Break

2pm – 4pm | 11am – 1pm
Exercise, Lecture

4:15pm | 1:15pm Break

5:30pm – 8:30pm | 2:30pm – 5:30pm
Final Q&A


The class costs $300 (no extra fees)

Available Spots and Scholarship Opportunities

This class is capped at 10 students.

7 spots will be available for open enrollment when registration begins on January 1, 2017. Want a reminder when enrollment begins? Join our announcement list. If the class sells out there will be a waiting list. Add yourself to it as there are often students who have to drop.

There are 3 spots available for Sentient Squid Scholarship recipients. Applications open on January 1, 2017.

If you do not have the financial means to take this 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 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. (Still not sure whether you should apply? Read this post.) We’ve set aside one scholarship spot 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.

To apply, send an email (on January 1 or after) to writingtheother+squid@gmail.com with the subject WtO Intensive Scholarship Applicant, and include in the body:

  • 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 of 1000 or fewer words. This can be an excerpt from a longer work or flash fiction, 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 (it’s not a requirement).

Deadline: 11:59PM Pacific January 22. We will notify all applicants of their standing at the latest a week before class begins. If you have any questions, please use our contact form to ask!

Class Texts

Before class, please purchase and read the following books:

Class Requirements

You need an interest in writing, but you do not need to have published anything yet.

You must have a Google account to participate in this class. Though video sessions are held in Zoom video conferencing rooms, all classwork is submitted via a private Google Drive folder. The class mailing list runs on Google groups. We will send you links to access the Drive folder a week before class starts.

Before enrolling in class, make sure your system is compatible with Zoom. If you want to test your computer to be sure, join this test meeting.

A webcam/video camera is not necessary for class, but we do need to hear you. Please make sure you have a microphone that works, either internally in your computer or via a headset, headphones, or earbuds.

All students must be active participants in class. There will be lectures as well as in-class exercises and Q&A. Throughout class we will use your fiction for exercises and homework.

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 January 12th, you will receive a full refund minus a service fee.

If you drop by January 19th, 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 January 26th, 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 January 27th or after you will not have your registration fee refunded as it will be extremely hard for a student to fill your space. However, you will be able to enroll in a future Weekend Intensive class for a 90-95% discount.

Register Below

If the class sells out before you have a chance to register, there is a waiting list option (if it doesn’t show up in the box below, click here). We do sometimes have students drop, so please add yourself. Waiting list students also get offered spots in upcoming classes before everyone else.