February 15 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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The Glory of Fantasy: Creating Secondary Worlds
“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory,” writes J.R.R. Tolkien in 1947. “If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?” In this seminar, we will probe this compelling idea by briefly surveying “secondary world” fantasy, i.e. stories set in alternative mythical spaces where magic works, mythical creatures roam the wild, and otherworldly dangers await intrepid warriors and sorcerers. In discussion we will explore the conventions of secondary world fantasy, and in writing activities we will test world-building techniques, practice characterization methods, and otherwise “escape” into the elsewhere and elsewhen. Students should expect to leave the seminar with drafts of three flash fictions in the fantasy genre they can later expand. Students will also receive information about current markets for short fiction in the secondary world fantasy genre.