We’ve set ourselves an ambitious goal for 2020 — to develop the Portolan Project, an open-source creative writing resource — sort of a Khan Academy for fiction.
We’ve begun interviewing masters of the field (including so far George R.R. Martin, Nalo Hopkinson, Kate Elliott), on aspects of craft. We’re building out a free website to host those interviews, along with syllabi, lesson plans, individual lectures and assignments on aspects of craft (plot and structure, language and style, setting and world building, etc.), the writing business, and the writers’ life.
We’re also interviewing emerging writers from across the planet, developing a better understanding of the international speculative fiction landscape, and the challenges and opportunities for writers in both independent and traditional publishing. We have academics helping us build a searchable database of speculative literature, to make it much easier to find stories that are relevant to you and your own work.
And we’re creating local chapters, starting in Chicago where our Deep Dish SF/F reading series is based, to help writers find the in-person community and support that is so helpful in an artist’s life. Writing can be a lonely business — whether you’re looking for workshopping, writing meet-ups, or just going out together to see the latest superhero movie, it’s better with friends.
While we have no plans to become an accredited MFA, the Portolan Project hopes to offer many of the same benefits of such a program, for free, to anyone in the world.
If you would like to support projects like this, consider becoming a member!