Deep Dives

Sometimes, a deeper dive on a certain topic, idea, or aspect of writing craft can help us improve as writers. In addition to the base interviews we conducted with the authors, editors, and experts below, we “charted” these conversations to expand on their educational potential.

What does it mean to be “charted?”

You’ll notice that some of these interviews are marked by the blue compass symbol aboveThis means that these interviews have had an educational module attached to them, created by a qualified educator. We like to think of these discussion questions and writing exercises inspired by the Khan Academy, but for creative writing. Our current modules are designed for roughly college-aged students and writers, both in an out of the classroom. 

Each module is based on a clip from our featured interviews with masters of the field and concerns a specific aspect of the writers’ craft (plot, character-building, establishing a setting, how to get published, copyrighting, and so on). Right now we’re focused on posting individual modules, but as we continue to build this project we plan to create syllabi, study guides, and assignments for specific course structures (such as eco-literature for a science classroom, or a seminar on feminist dystopian fiction). 

Paolo Bacigalupi on writing solutions in values fiction

K. Tempest Bradford on grief, memory, and structure

Vida Cruz on increasing international participation

A. M. Dellamonica and Kelly Robson and the writer’s life

S.B. Divya on editorial gatekeeping

S.B. Divya and Ajit George on their experiences as sci-fi writers

Cory Doctorow on copyright vs. creative commons licensing

Kate Elliott on internal and external maps

Silvia Moreno-Garcia on publishing science fiction

Ajit George on representation in game writing 

Liz Gorinsky on approaches to the editorial process

Nicola Griffith on narrative empathy and worldbuilding

Minal Hajratwala on working in multiple genres

Nalo Hopkinson, Andrea Hairston, and Sheree Renee Thomas on community, publishing, and Dark Matter

Nalo Hopkinson on using vernacular speech in storytelling

George R. R. Martin on the importance of fact in science fiction

Farah Mendlesohn on global literary markets

Benjamin Rosenbaum on gender in speculative fiction

Nisi Shawl on Black speculative fiction

The editors of Snaring New Suns on their anthology

Jo Walton on writing with particularity, sincerity, and courage

Sheila Williams on her editorial work

Walter Jon Williams on the three R’s of writing craft

Ursula Vernon on idea generation and worldbuilding

Scott Woods on creative community organizing

Andrea Hairston on representation in research and difficult material