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Writing the Other: Bridging Cultural Differences for Successful Fiction
ONLINE via GoToMeeting
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Writing the Other : Bridging Cultural Differences for Successful Fiction
When: 2PM - 7PM (Eastern) Sunday March 13, 2016
Location: ONLINE via GoToMeeting
Price: $150 + service fee
Registration begins: January 1, 2016

Want a reminder when enrollment begins? Join our announcement list.

The Classic Workshop Returns!

Are you afraid to write about characters whose racial heritage, sexual orientation, or religion differs from your own? Do you think you'll get it wrong or cause offense?

In this renowned workshop, basis for the classic text Writing the Other: A Practical Approach, authors and editors Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward teach you to write sensitively and convincingly about characters of diverse backgrounds.

Appropriate for all fiction writers, Writing the Other: Bridging Cultural Differences for Successful Fiction combines lectures, discussions, and writing exercises in a safe, supportive atmosphere.

PLEASE NOTE: This is an introductory workshop for the concept and practice of writing the other, and it is the basis for the writing handbook Writing the Other. If you have read the book, this workshop repeats the information given there in a different format and offers students the opportunity to do the exercises and get feedback from the instructors and your peers. It is different in scope from the 6 week and weekend intensive workshops.

The class will cover:

  • Identifying differences from the unmarked state that are, in this culture, considered to be deeply significant differences

  • The Dominant Paradigm

  • The Marked and Unmarked States

  • Parallax

  • Categorical Thinking

  • Congruence

  • Resonance

This workshop is appropriate for all writers (fiction, plays, comics, screenplays, and games included) from all backgrounds and any skill level. Technical requirements below.


The class fee is $150 + a service fee charged by the ticketing provider.

If the class sells out before you can register, please contact the teaching assistant, K Tempest Bradford, at wto@ktempestbradford.com to get on the waiting list.

Want a reminder when we give this or other similar seminars or classes again? Join our announcement list.

Where Will The Class Take Place?

For the first time we're bringing the original workshop online. Students will meet in a virtual classroom using GoToMeeting and do in-class exercises using Google Drive. To participate, you must have a Google account. We'll email students the link to the private GoToMeeting classroom and private Google Drive folder the day before the seminar begins.

You do not need a webcam to participate, but you do need a working microphone for discussions and headphones/earbuds for the best audio quality. You also don't need to sign into GoToMeeting on your computer if your system requirements don't match. GTM is available as a smartphone app for iOS and Android. If you attend the class using your phone, you'll also need to be in front of your computer for the exercises.

LENGTH: Five hours, including a 60-minute lunch break.

IMPORTANT: Please ensure your computer or phone can handle a GoToMeeting virtual meeting before you sign up for this class. For computers, please join this test meeting to do so.

On mobile devices, download the app, open it, enter your name and the session ID 406-552-062 to test.

What Do I Need To Bring?

We will do several writing exercises in class. You can do these in Google Docs, in a word processing program on your computer, or with paper and pen. Whatever feels most comfortable. Many of the exercises will use your characters from existing short stories or novels. It's not compulsory for the exercise results to be shared with the class.


Nisi Shawl is the Tiptree Award-winning author of Filter House and a co-founder of the Carl Brandon Society, a nonprofit furthering the presence of racial minorities in the fantastic genres.  She is the editor of  WisCon Chronicles 5: Writing and Racial Identity, and the co-author, with Dr. Rebecca Holden, of Strange Matings: Octavia E. Butler, Science Fiction, Feminism, and African-American Voices.  Find her website at NisiShawl.com.

Cynthia Ward's fiction has appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Athena's Daughters, and other anthologies and magazines. She is the editor of the diversity themed anthologies Lost Trails: Forgotten Tales of the Weird West: Volumes One and Two (WolfSinger Publications). With Nisi Shawl, she is coauthor of the diversity fiction-writing handbook Writing the Other: A Practical Approach (Aqueduct Press). Find her website at CynthiaWard.com.

Refund Policy

If you find that you need to drop the class, you may do so by contacting wto@ktempestbradford.com.

If you drop before January 24th, you will receive a full refund minus the service fee.

If you drop between January 24th and February 21st you will receive a 70% refund minus the service fee plus a chance to enroll in future classic Writing the Other seminars at a discount before general tickets go on sale.

If you drop between February 22nd and March 6th you will receive a 40% refund minus the service fee plus a chance to enroll in future classic Writing the Other seminars at a discount before general tickets go on sale.

If you drop after March 6th (one week before the seminar) you will not have your registration fee refunded as it will be extremely hard for a student to fill your space. However, you will be able to enroll in a future classic Writing the Other seminar for a 90-95% discount.


Writing the Other is a registered service mark of Cynthia Ward and Nisi Shawl.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
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ONLINE via GoToMeeting (View)
URL Provided to students the day before
United States


Arts > Literary
Education > Classes
Education > Workshops

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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