Full course description
Here’s something many readers might find surprising: the number of ghosts and fairies and magical potions in William Shakespeare’s plays. “Hold up, isn’t Shakespeare, like, serious literature?” Good question. You see, that which we today call “Speculative Fiction” has taken on many other names in the past and has resounded just as sweet in our ears. Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Magical Realism, Allegories, Surrealism, Alternate History, Mythology, Fairy Tales, etc., even works we tend to consider Realist have sometimes taken on the seemingly-alien mantle of “Spec Fic.”
In this class, we’re going to read some of the best leaps in imagination ever written. We’ll read the ancient Greeks (like Aristophanes, who was straight up trolling everyone back then). We’ll read living masters (like George Saunders, one of the few writers who can make me both laugh and cry in a single story). Between these two writers, we have 2,500 years of literature we can also explore. And we’re going to think about what makes certain brainchildren survive hundreds or even thousands of years. What mysteries are encoded in these great stories old and new, and how can you become a part of this secret society of visionary writers?
Hand-in-hand with your reading explorations, you’re going to complete a few creative writing assignments that are designed to sharpen your instincts when writing Spec Fic. These short assignments include: experimenting with absurdist poetry, collaborating with your fellow students on an “exquisite corpus” work of flash fiction, and, most importantly, creating your own Spec Fic Buzzfeed quiz.
And hand-in-hand-in-hand with your reading explorations and your short assignments, you will have the opportunity to workshop your beloved piece of Spec Fic. Whether you write about people turning into animals (I would turn into an eagle, personally), about a hero fighting against a dystopian mind-controlling society (wait, I thought that was just our reality), about a toaster that can predict people’s deaths (turns out you’re toast!), or about a mermaid girlfriend or a robot boyfriend or an undead mother or an alien father, everyone is welcome here to share the secret visions in their hearts. Come know thyself and simply be yourself!
Adbeel Cardoso was born in Ciego de Avila, Cuba on September 11, 1993. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 7, a mind-bending experience he is still trying to work through in his writing. From that point on nothing much of note happened, so we can pretty much skip to when he graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2019. He is currently working on his first novel, a mixture of surrealism & sci-fi. It features a protagonist named Izsaac who, unsurprisingly, lives both in a futuristic United States and in contemporary Cuba at once, sort of like Schrödinger’s Cat, which lives in two different quantum states at once. Aside from his passion for creative writing, he sucks at playing guitar and oil paintings. He also wanted me to say that every writer is in reality a ghost-writer.
REGISTRATION & FEES
The fee for this course is $575. Payment in full is required to enroll in the course.
Note: Your credit card payment will be processed by an external provider and will appear on your credit card statement as “UI Writing—Magid Center."
Cancellation Policy: A $100 cancellation fee will be applied to refunds for cancellations received by Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Thereafter, no refunds will be available.
Contact the Iowa Young Writers' Studio: email@example.com.