Portolan Project

We’ve set ourselves an ambitious goal for 2022 — to develop the Portolan Project, an open-source creative writing resource — sort of a Khan Academy for creative writing and literature.

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.

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. Check out ‘Deep Dives’ below to explore our newest modules.

The SLF welcomes writers to join our writing accountability group on Facebook, Portolan Project: The Writing Shed, where writers come together to share their daily writing accomplishments and support each other in community. If you’re interested in writing in community, the SLF is now hosting Saturday Co-writing sessions from 11 am to 2 pm CDT. Everyone is free to join, so if you’re interested, please email us at cowriting@speculativeliterature.org for Zoom meeting details or join our FB group!

If you would like to support projects like this, consider becoming a member!


Deep Dives