A Speculative Fiction Expedition (virtual) with Sherry D. Ramsey

In this workshop, we’ll journey through the landscape of science fiction and fantasy, stopping to explore what makes a story or poem ‘speculative,’ tropes and expectations of the genres, and the best ways to build engaging story worlds. We’ll scout out what makes strong speculative fiction writing that feels fresh and offers something new, and we’ll consider new and developing sub-genres and trends. We’ll discover how and where to find inspiration for speculative fiction ideas in the ‘real world,’ discuss the various publication routes we might take with these stories, and look at where the market is headed. Each session, we’ll also spend some time writing to explore these ideas.

About the instructor: Sherry D. Ramsey writes science fiction and fantasy, for both adults and young adults, and is one of the founding editors of Cape Breton’s Third Person Press. She has published over thirty short stories nationally and internationally, and her bestselling space opera Nearspace series is published by Edmonton’s Tyche Books. Her works for younger readers include the YA fantasy The Seventh Crow (Dreaming Robot Press, 2015), the middle grade science fiction adventure Planet Fleep (2018), and a collection of short fiction. The first novel-length work in her urban fantasy Olympia Investigations series was released in 2023. She’s currently completing a comic fantasy novel, as well as teaching English courses as a sessional instructor at Cape Breton University. She (rather obviously, if you’ve been paying attention) lives in Cape Breton, where she consumes far more coffee and chocolate than is likely good for her.

Recommended experience level: New and emerging writers, as well as early-career and established authors exploring speculative fiction and its subgenres (About recommended experience levels)

Participant cap: 12

Location: Zoom

Dates of 4-week workshop: Tuesdays, May 7 + May 14 + May 28 + June 4, 2024 (7:00pm to 9:00pm Atlantic)
Please note: there is no session on May 21.

Registration (for 2024 General Members & for nonmembers): $169

If the registration fee would make it difficult or impossible for you to participate in this workshop, we encourage you to contact Andy at communications@writers.ns.ca to arrange a fee alternative.

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Recommended Experience Levels

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) recommends that participants in any given workshop have similar levels of creative writing and / or publication experience. This ensures that each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their career stage. The “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions used by WFNS.

  • New writers: those with less than two years’ creative writing experience and/or no short-form publications (e.g., short stories, personal essays, or poems in literary magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks).
  • Emerging writers: those with more than two years’ creative writing experience and/or numerous short-form publications.
  • Early-career authors: those with 1 or 2 book-length publications or the equivalent in book-length and short-form publications.
  • Established authors: those with 3 or 4 book-length publications.
  • Professional authors: those with 5 or more book-length publications.

Please keep in mind that each form of creative writing (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and writing for children and young adults) provides you with a unique set of experiences and skills, so you might consider yourself an ‘established author’ in one form but a ‘new writer’ in another.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” creative writing workshops, which provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback, the recommended experience level should be followed closely.

For all other workshops, the recommended experience level is just that—a recommendation—and we encourage potential participants to follow their own judgment when registering.

If you’re uncertain of your experience level with regard to any particular workshop, please feel free to contact us at communications@writers.ns.ca