with Kij Johnson and Barbara J. Webb
With in-person and online courses, Kij and Barbara (https://www.barbarajwebb.com/) focus on the craft of writing a speculative novel, especially structure and the perils and pitfalls unique to long projects. These courses are mostly designed for anyone interested in writing novels, at any level of experience. By the end of a Novel Architects Workshop or Master Class, attendees have the tools necessary to create a novel from the first idea generation through brainstorming and organization to the actual writing. Kij Johnson also teaches an intensive weekend residential workshop for writers of short-form speculative fiction. For more information about our program, email email@example.com.
Need and diversity scholarships are available; please let us know if you feel you qualify for one.
NOTE: We have rescheduled the spring events to Fall 2024. The summer events remain where they were, with Repeat Offenders in June and the Workshop in July. New dates for the online master class and the farmhouse residential short fiction workshop will be added in September and October, respectively.
July 2024: Summer Two-week Residential Workshop for Novel Writers
A unique and productive experience, this intensive workshop is focused on writers at all experience levels in the early stages of a novel, ideally less than 25% drafted. Come to Lawrence, Kansas for two weeks to learn what you need to develop and complete your novel. Through a combination of talks, developmental workshopping, and collaborative work time, attendees build a functional structure and synopsis or other tools that keep them focused on completing their novel.
- Next session: 6/30/24 to 7/13/24. Limited to eight attendees. Applications are accepted 1/15/24-3/15/24.
- Cost: $2000 plus housing (probably about $800).
- To apply: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Intensive Novel Workshop. In the email, (a) describe your experience with writing classes and workshops, if any; (b) talk about your goals as a writer generally; (c) send us a 500-1500-word sample of your writing (from this book, otherwise anything you think shows your skills); and (d) tell us about the book you want to work on: 500-2000 words that gives us a brief idea of the book (and/or what is inspiring you to write the book), including its specific genre (if you know) and how much work you have already done. If you don’t know much yet, then tell us about what you do know. This workshop is tailored for books in their early developmental stages.
June 2024: Repeat Offenders Residential Advanced Workshop
Restricted to former attendees of the Two-Week Residential Workshop. During the two weeks of 2023 Repeat Offenders, the six attendees of this advanced workshop/retreat wrote 87,000 new words, completed two unfinished novels, created three new novel outlines, and revised almost 100,000 words, as well as completing many writing- and publishing-related tasks. This is typical. This loosely structured workshop offers attendees the chance to advance toward their goals in a community of writers with the same training.
- Next session: 6/16/24 to 6/29/24. Applications are accepted until 4/15/24.
- Cost: $1000 plus housing (probably about $800).
- To apply: Send an email to email@example.com with the subject line Repeat Offenders. In the email, (a) remind us when you attended the intensive novel workshop, if you remember; (b) tell us anyhing you want us to know about the project you are bringing to the workshop, including current status, known issues, and what you would hope to achieve while at Repeat Offenders.
September 2024: Online One-week Intensive Master Class on Novel Structure
A single intensive week online: fifteen hours of talks and discussion to help you design and detail your best novel. By the end of the class, you’ll have the tools necessary to create a novel: the specific needs of the form and genre as well as novel-focused discussions of character, worldbuilding, immersion strategies, and plot and structure. Kij and Barbara, some white boards, and you!
- Next session: 9/16-20. Applications are open until 9/7/24.
- Cost: $900.
- To apply: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Intensive Master Class. In the email, (a) describe your experience with writing classes and workshops, if any, and (b) talk about your goals as a writer generally, and (c) what specifically you are looking for.
October 2024: Three-day Residential Short Fiction Workshop with Kij Johnson
This intimate weekend workshop is held at a delightful farmhouse retreat half an hour south of Kansas City, with dogs, horses, and lots of scenery. Meals will be provided, and because of the small size of the group, we’re able to accommodate many dietary requirements. This workshop is limited to four participants, but will be cancelled if we have fewer than three.
The weekend includes about ten hours of discussion and workshopping focused on the speculative fiction short story, plus lots of one-on-one and casual discussion of your work. We will reverse engineer successful short stories for how and why they work; workshop a completed story from each participant; and enjoy developmental discussions of early-stage ideas.
- Next session: dates to be determined; applications are open until 10/1/24.
- Cost: $1700, food and housing included.
- To apply: Send an email to email@example.com with the subject line Short Fiction Workshop. In the email, (a) describe your experience with writing classes and workshops, if any; (b) talk about your goals as a writer; and (c) include in the body of the email a 500-1500-word sample of a SF/F flash or short story. If you don’t have a completed short story (because you are new, you’re a novelist, or you haven’t previously written SF/F), then talk about that, and include 500-1500 words of what you do currently write.
Any time: Specialized Instruction and Editing
Kij and Barbara offer flexible interactions that focus on different stages of your novel or short story. These range from early-stage developmental discussions; training on specific writing topics; critiques or evaluations of worldbuilding, synopses, first drafts and late-stage novels; and developmental, line, and copy editing. Kij and Barbara are both experienced editors. This can be 1:1 or 2:3 (Kij and Barbara with three participants working together). Dates, amount of time, and cost all vary depending on what is desired.
- To apply: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Specialized Instruction. In the email, let us know what you are thinking of, and we’ll get back to you with questions and specifics.
Related Offerings from the Ad Astra Institute for Science Fiction & the Speculative Imagination
Every summer, Ad Astra hosts workshops and retreats for writers of speculative fiction short stories, taught by Chris McKitterick, who has led workshops like this since 1992. They also Science Into Fiction online developmental workshops and other activities. Visit their website at https://adastra-sf.com/ for information, including dates and rates.