Last weekend’s “Speculative Fiction: Divorcing the Tropes” workshop drew writers from across Northeast Ohio eager to hone their fiction writing. The workshop was led by Charles Oberndorf, Chi Waggoner Chair in Middle-School Writing at University School, and Mary Grimm, author and Case professor in the Department of English. It was held at the popular Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights.
Most of the workshop focused on activities that explored the stages of effective world building. At one point during the workshop, each participant was asked to come up with a story idea based in fantasy or speculative fiction. We heard of an online retailer bent on world domination, and a group of women fighting a battle symbolically similar to the current fight for women’s reproductive rights. One attendee even created a suburban dystopia where power is derived from electromagnetic devices attached to children’s brains.
The workshop gave participants concrete ideas for creating more powerful speculative worlds in their writing.