Simply Magic

The moment a narrative parts from the familiar laws of reality is certainly a magic one. When done masterfully, an author's use of magic can sweep the reader up in a torrent of powerful emotions: wonder, horror, excitement, dissonance. But just as easily, the reader could refuse to suspend her disbelief and give up on the story altogether.

This four-week course will study widely varied approaches and examples of magic from masters across the genre spectrum, from the literary (Magic Realism, Slipstream, and the Weird) to the popular (Fantasy and Urban Fantasy), from novel to short story. Writers discussed include Marquez, Kafka, Kelly Link, George Saunders, Neil Gaiman, Ursula LeGuin, and others. 

The course will also include in-class writing exercises, sharing and commenting on student works-in-progress, and group discussion of various topics related to the dangers, strengths and strategies of using magic in fiction. 

  • Instructor: Keith Potempa
  • Length of workshop: 4 weeks
  • Date:  Thursdays, July 20, 27 and August 3, 10
  • Time: 7 - 9 p.m.
  • Cost: $138 members; $153 non-members

About the Instructor:

Keith R. Potempa holds an M.F.A. in Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast Program. He has completed three novels to date in the genres of literary, young adult, and fantasy. He is currently seeking representation. He also serves as a teaching artist in Watkins College's Community Education program.