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Enchant, Engage: Make the Fantastic Believable in Prose

December 20, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EST

Virtual Event Virtual Event
ancient art,imitation,learning craft


Whether you write nonfiction or fiction, discover the art of crafting believable magical elements and stakes in your prose.

With the impact of bestsellers like This Is How You Lose the Time War and the work of Emily St. John Mandel and Helen Oyeyemi, speculative elements are gaining popularity in literary markets. Whether or not you’ve explored such narrative techniques before, including magic, fantastical, and fabulist tropes in your writing can elevate your stories and essays and help them resonate with readers.

We will explore the integration of magic with character development and engage in improv exercises to break out of the confines of realism. We’ll also delve into the methodologies of modern luminaries such as Carmen Maria Machado, Tommy Orange, Sofia Samatar, Akwaeke Emezi, and other celebrated writers. You’ll learn to avoid traps such as metaphorizing emotions and predetermined analogies, experiment with creating magic systems based on real-life experiences, and play with non-naturalist elements in your stories and essays. 

In this webinar, you will:

  • GO beyond cliches and make use of personal experiences to inform your fantastical world-building
  • LEARN to ask the right questions of your non-naturalist elements
  • DISCOVER the process of creating a magic system that impacts story and character in a believable and resonating way

This webinar is ideal for:

  • Emerging writers looking to write magical realism, slipstream, and fantasy
  • Fiction and Nonfiction writers wanting to include speculative elements in their stories
  • Writers looking to expand their craft 
  • Writers who want to be able to understand the genre techniques they are employing
  • Writers who need a brave space to try something new

Closed captioning is available. ✔
All registrants receive the recording. ✔


ancient art,imitation,learning craft

PLOI PIRAPOKIN is a speculative fiction writer and lyric essayist. She sits on the board for Khōréō magazine, Hivemind: Global Speculative Fiction Magazine, WP Now, and the Ragdale Foundation. Her work is featured in, Pleiades, Ninth Letter, Sycamore Review, Gulf Stream Magazine, and The Art and Craft of Stories from Asia: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology from Bloomsbury Academic. A graduate of the Clarion Writers Workshop and the MFA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University, she currently teaches at the Writers Program at UCLA Extension,, and the University of Hong Kong. She likes to lead her classes with works from authors who aren’t a part of dominant cultures, to show other narrative methods and those who blend genre conventions that reflect our diverse and intersectional student body seeking templates outside of white supremacy.


Questions? Please email


December 20, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EST
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Zoom Webinar


Ploi Pirapokin