“The literature of imagination, even when tragic, is reassuring, not necessarily in the sense of offering nostalgic comfort, but because it offers a world large enough to contain alternatives and therefore it offers hope.” —Ursula K. Le Guin
Fantastical literature is as ancient as story itself, yet still pervasive today. In the four thousand years between the Epic of Gilgamesh and A Game of Thrones, fantasy fiction has inspired the human imagination, given us the courage to battle our own demons, to brave the impossible, and to help us to understand in profound new ways what it is to be human.
This four-week course will include lecture, group discussion, in-class readings, and group exercises. Students will complete conceptually-oriented, take-home writing challenges, either examining and tweaking their own existing story-worlds or conjuring new ones, all from a big-picture perspective.Weekly progress on these exercises will be shared with the class for constructive feedback. Topics covered in the course will include the modern roots of fantasy and its branching sub-genres; the Hero's’ Journey universal story structure used from ancient myth to Hollywood; techniques and guidelines for magic and world-building, and how to keep fantasy fresh and relevant in a rapidly evolving world. Students of all levels are welcome.
Instructor: Keith Potempa
Length of workshop: 4 weeks
Date: Mondays, Mar. 4 - 25
Time: 7 - 9 p.m.
Location: Porch HQ
2811 Dogwood Pl.
Nashville, TN 37204
About the Instructor:
Keith R. Potempa holds an M.F.A. 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.