Speculative Fiction

Speculative Fiction transports its readers deep into the realms of their imagination; on impossible journeys through wondrous ivory cities, treacherous asteroid fields, and the most horrific depths of the cosmos.

While some see the genre as escapist yarns, its power and relevance as an art form cannot be denied; speculative fiction is as ancient as story itself and pervasive in all forms of modern media from the most esoteric intellectual to mass-market pop culture.

The authors of speculative fiction may be the gods of the realms they manufacture, but with great power comes great responsibility. They must master not only the standard tools of writing, like point of view and character, but they must also convince the reader of a reality where the impossible is real and believable and everything is different, yet familiar. They must delve into the darkest depths of their creations to find profound wisdoms and revelations of what it is to be a human so--like shamans or wise women or benevolent time-travellers--they can share them with their readers in the real world.

While the focus of this course will be on the umbrella genres of fantasy, science fiction and horror, the material covered will be helpful to anyone writing in the myriad sub-genres contained under those, including Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Alternate History, and Urban Fantasy. Students of all levels are welcome, and will be expected to submit written work of speculative fiction-- either short story or novel excerpt--and respond to the work of their fellow classmates.

  • Instructor: Keith Potempa
  • Length of workshop: 8 weeks
  • Dates: Thursdays, September 1 - October 20
  • Time: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Cost: $291 non-members$261 members
  • Location: The Skillery in Germantown

About the Instructor: 

Keith R. Potempa holds an MFA in Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast Program, where he studied under Hugo and Bram Stoker award winning authors. Keith has completed three novels to date in the genres of literary, young adult, and heroic fantasy. He is currently seeking representation. His short fiction has appeared in several small-press publications including Hair Trigger and Storyteller. Keith currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, the burlesque headmistress and performer, Freya West. He also serves as a teaching artist in Watkins College's Community Education program. 

August 30
Formal Poetry
September 6
Formal Poetry