New Webinar: Cultural Appropriation – What It Is and How To Avoid It

Nisi Shawl and I are teaching a webinar on Cultural Appropriation next month. This class has low-cost registrations and a donation/Pay What You Can Afford option to make it more widely available to writers affected by COVID-19. Basic details:

When: May 2, 2020, 10AM – 1PM Pacific Time (Click to see when this happens in your time zone)
Where: Online via Zoom video conference
Price: $20 – $30 or Whatever You Can Afford (Details Below)

Most writers want to avoid Cultural Appropriation but worry that they don’t fully understand what it is or how to ensure their work does not include it. They wonder what the difference is between appropriation and exchange or between appropriation and influence. And they hope avoiding cultural appropriation doesn’t mean only writing stories about people from their same race, culture, or ethnic group.

In this 3 hour webinar, authors Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford will offer concrete answers to those questions and a set of resources to help authors navigate these tricky waters. The webinar includes two short lectures and a lengthy Q&A.

Click here for full details or to register

Managing Social Media for Writers header

New Class: Managing Social Media for Writers

I’m teaching a new class for Cat Rambo’s Academy for Wayward Writers about how to manage social media if you’re a writer. Especially if you DON’T want to be on it. Details:

When: Sunday, May 3, 2020, 1:00-3:00 pm Pacific Time
Where: Online via Video Conference
Price: $99 ($79 for existing Academy students) – scholarships are available

Authors need to use social media for publicity, audience building, and community connection. And yet, social networks are undoubtedly time sinks, distractions, and can sometimes be bad for our mental health. All of which can eat into writing time. Maintaining a balance between time on and off social media is important, especially for authors who want to lean more toward being OFF it. In this class, K. Tempest Bradford will offer tips for how to limit your time on social media without having to delete your account and how to set up a system of auto posting and scheduling that will allow you to maintain an appropriate presence without annoying your friends and followers.

Classes are limited to 15 students. They are taught online and require reliable Internet connection, although in the past participants have logged on from coffee shops, cafes, and even an airplane; a webcam is suggested but not required. Classes are recorded for the benefit of class members only.

Click here to register.

Willamette Writers logo and image of Tempest

I’m teaching at the Willamette Writers Conference

The Willamette Writers community recently announced the lineup of teachers and keynote speakers for their conference this summer, and for the first time I’m one of them! There are a ton of amazing writers, editors, and agents on that list and I’m honored to be listed alongside them. Plus, I’ve been hearing wonderful things about this conference for a while and I’m excited to attend and absorb some knowledge myself.

The conference takes place July 31 – August 2, 2020 and currently the in-person event in Portland, Oregon is still happening. However, there is now a virtual option for the conference and, if need be, the event will go full virtual.

Here’s the list of my Master Class and Workshops:

Master Class: Describing the “Other”
Thursday, July 30, 9:30 AM-3:30 PM

Writers who want to create fiction with characters from different identities, cultures, and backgrounds often grow anxious when it comes time to describe people from marginalized groups. They wonder which words and phrases they should avoid and which words to use instead. In this Master Class, writers will learn how to avoid these description pitfalls. Through lecture and writing exercises, we’ll go beyond the basics of eliminating food metaphors and other tired/inaccurate clichés and explore how to make conscious, respectful, and inclusive language choices. Writers will come away from the session with a set of resources to help them avoid descriptions that unwittingly reveal or perpetuate bias and oppression. Bring your computer, tablet, or pen and paper for hands-on exercises.

Workshop: Intersectionality and Characterization
Friday, July 31, 3:45 PM-4:45 PM

When writers first conceptualize characters, they often have one or two aspects of identity firmly in mind. In focusing on one particular aspect of identity – such as race or ability or sexual orientation – you can lose sight of the fact that there are always overlapping areas of identity that affect how a character moves through the world. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how Intersectionality can be used as framework for creating fully-dimensional characters, especially when those characters are from identities and cultures different from your own. There will be hands-on writing exercises, so bring your laptop, tablet, or pen and paper.

Workshop: Writing Outside of Your Experience: Characterization
Saturday, August 1, 10:45 AM-12:15 PM

Representation and creating characters that reflect the diversity of the world we all live in is fundamental to writing great fiction. But writers often find it difficult to represent people whose gender, sexual orientation, racial heritage, or other aspect of identity is very different from their own. This can lead to fear of getting it horribly, offensively wrong and, in the face of that, some think it’s better to not even try. But representation is too important to ignore. In this workshop, K. Tempest Bradford will give you tools and set you on the right path to writing characters who represent the “Other” sensitively and convincingly. There will be hands-on writing exercises, so bring your laptop, tablet, or pen and paper.

In addition, I will attend the Writers of Color Social on Saturday morning at 7:30 if there’s an in-person event.

Registration prices:

  • Online Registration: $299.00
  • Full Conference Registration: $559.00
  • Friday Only Registration: $284.00
  • Saturday & Sunday Only Registration: $404.00

You can find more details and register here. I hope I see some of you, in-person if it’s safe or over the Internet if it’s not, this summer!

Daily Writing Exercises - New Year's Resolution Edition 2020

Daily Writing Exercises – New Year’s Resolution Edition 2020

Is one of your New Year’s Resolutions to write more? Do you want to try building a daily (or at least regular) writing practice? Looking for some creative inspiration for new stories? This class is for you.

Starting January 15, you’ll get a 10 – 20 minute long writing exercise via email every day for 31 days. For the first few weeks the exercises will lean toward the generative, allowing you to play around with craft and character and setting while planting story seeds in your brain. Once those seeds start to grow, the later exercises will help you know more about your characters and the world they inhabit.

Even if you already have stories or novels in progress, you can use these exercises to kick your brain into creative gear without pressure and get into the habit of practicing every day. Doing a short writing exercise can keep your writing muscles limber on days when you don’t have the time or energy to work on your work in progress.

Because many writers thrive on community and support, all participants will have access to a private chat space on Discord where they can share their experience with the exercises and support each other through the month. This is optional! You can also do the exercises on your own and never speak to anyone else ever. ;)

The course costs $40 and grants are available for those who can’t afford it.

Sound good? Register Now or keep reading for more details.

All the deets.

Daily Writing Exercises

Daily Writing Exercises – NaNoWriMo Warm-Up 2019

Getting ready for NaNoWriMo? Or just want to try building a daily writing practice? This class is for you.

Practice and warm-ups are fundamental to every artistic discipline, writing included. Especially when you’re gearing up to set down 50,000 words in 30 days. Doing a 10 – 20 minute writing exercise can help kick your brain into creative gear without pressure, give you the chance to try out new craft skills, or simply keep your writing muscles limber on days when you don’t have the time or energy to work on your work in progress.

That’s what this course is all about. Starting October 1, you’ll get a short writing exercise via email every day for a month. These exercises will help you get to know your characters better, dig into details of your setting, and play around with voice, point of view, and other aspects of craft. You can use them to prepare for NaNo or as warm-ups before getting to work on your current project.

Because many writers thrive on community and support, all participants will have access to a private chat space on Discord where they can share their experience with the exercises and support each other through the month. This is optional! You can also do the exercises on your own and never speak to anyone else ever. ;)

The course costs $40 and grants are available for those who can’t afford it.

Sound good? Register Now or keep reading for more details.

All the deets.

Daily Writing Exercises - NaNoWriMo Edition

Daily Writing Exercises – NaNoWriMo Edition

Practice and warm-ups are fundamental to every artistic discipline, from the musician who practices scales for hours on end to visual artists who cover reams of paper with sketches to dancers and actors who rehearse for months. Practicing craft is important for writers, too. Especially when you’re about to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

Doing one 10 – 20 minute writing exercise every day before diving into your novel can help kick your brain into creative gear without pressure and give you the chance to try out new craft skills.

That’s what this course is all about. Starting November 1, you’ll get a writing exercise via email every day for a month. Each one is designed to get you warmed up and also to help you get to know your characters better, dig into details of your setting, and play around with voice, point of view, and other aspects of craft.

Sound good? Register Now or keep reading for more details.

All the deets.

Cultural Appropriation What It Is and How To Avoid It

New Webinar: Cultural Appropriation – What It Is & How To Avoid It

My next class for Writing the Other is a one day webinar on Cultural Appropriation. A topic that continues to be fraught and also continues to attract opinions on the subject that are wrong-headed, maddening, and just plain dangerous. Hopefully this class will alleviate some of those problems.


When: September 9, 11AM – 2PM Eastern (Click to see when this happens in your time zone)
Where: Online via Zoom meeting  (video only registration option available)
Price: $50

Most writers want to avoid Cultural Appropriation but worry that they don’t fully understand what it is or how to ensure their work does not include it. They wonder what the difference is between appropriation and exchange or between appropriation and influence. And they hope avoiding cultural appropriation doesn’t mean only writing stories about people from their same race, culture, or ethnic group.

In this 3 hour webinar, authors Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford will offer concrete answers to those questions and a set of resources to help authors navigate these tricky waters. The webinar includes two short lectures and a lengthy Q&A.

For all the details, including information on scholarships, or to register, go to WritingtheOther.com.

Should Authors Write Characters Different From Themselves - a writing the other seminar

New Seminar: Should Authors Write Characters Different From Themselves?

We’re doing a new webinar through WritingTheOther.com as an intro into our more in-depth classes. Description:

Discussions of diversity in literature often boil down to a version of this basic question: Should white authors write characters of color? Should cisgender authors write trans characters? Should abled people write characters with disabilities? Should heterosexuals write QUILTBAG characters? The list goes on.

Though framed as a yes or no question, the answer is complicated and complex. Yet it’s the same one for every permutation that gets asked. In this 3 and a half hour webinar, authors Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford will give you the answer.

When: April 21, 3PM – 6:30PM Eastern (Click to see when this happens in your time zone)

Where: Online via Zoom meeting

Price: $50

If you can’t attend the live class, there is a video only option (you just don’t get to ask questions in the live Q&A). There are scholarships and sliding scale registrations available.

For all the details, including schedule, accessibility, technical requirements, registration, and more, click over to the Writing The Other website.

Novelette and Novella Writing Workshop with Nisi Shawl

Class Coming Up This Summer: Novelette & Novella Writing Workshop

Nisi and I are giving a writing workshop class focusing on novelettes and novellas since there are quite a few more avenues for publishing them these days. The majority of the workshop will be about critiquing student manuscripts, though there will be some discussion of the long short story/short novel form as well as other elements of craft. It happens in June and July, so you have time to get a manuscript ready!

If you’re interested in this workshop and you’re a past student of ours or a writer of color/Native writer, ping me via email for a discount code.

When: June 1 – July 29, 2018
Where: Online — Available everywhere, no set meeting times
Price: $350

Continue reading “Class Coming Up This Summer: Novelette & Novella Writing Workshop”

Dialect and Dialogue Deep Dive

Next Writing the Other Class: Dialect and Dialogue Deep Dive

Nisi Shawl is teaching her seminar on dialogue in a 2 week deep dive format. This class focuses on how dialogue works when attempting to write inclusive fiction and how to navigate the tricky skill of rendering dialect on the page. We start at the beginning of April and there are still spots available! Plus, there are scholarships available and sliding scale registration for folks who can afford some, but not all, of the price. Class description below, more details on the website, and you can register down below.

If you’re a person of color or Native writer interested in the class, ping me via email for a discount code before you sign up.

When: April 2 – 15, 2018
Where: Online — Available everywhere and at your own pace
Price: $200

Class Description:

An essential part of creating a character is understanding how that individual speaks or communicates. For writers who are working to create inclusive fiction with characters from races, cultures, and backgrounds different from their own, crafting appropriate dialogue is more than just idealizing and compressing speech to make it seem natural. It may also mean figuring out how to get across the nuances of language, accent, or dialect without Othering or exoticizing characters or the real cultures and identity groups they represent.

We will guide you through this aspect of writing inclusive fiction through lectures, hands-on exercises, and feedback. At the end of class you’ll have a wealth of resources for further study and practice.

Instruction begins Monday, April 2 and ends Sunday, April 15, 2018. The course does not have set meeting times. You can access class material and discussion and participate in class at any time, day or night, from anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection.

This class is capped at 20 students. Continue reading “Next Writing the Other Class: Dialect and Dialogue Deep Dive”