“Borrowing from Other Genres” ONLINE with Erika T. Wurth

What better way to hone your craft than to explore the best of other genres? http://www.writersleague.org/calendar/BorrowingOtherGenresWurth2020

Whether you’re writing realism, literary fiction, science-fiction or fantasy, speculative or a thriller, it’s important to know how to imaginatively build the world your characters will inhabit. This class will teach you to take the best from each genre, and use those conventions, or skill sets, in yours. We’ll discuss what writers do best in different genres, what you can take away from each, and how this applies to language, form, structure and characterization. In the thriller, structure is king, and there’s much to be said for looking at a tried-and-true form. In science-fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction, the imagination that goes into building imaginary worlds is something to take away. In realism or post-modern fiction, because these have been the literary forms, writers in these genres are often masters at dialogue, inner-monologue, complex characterization, deviation from the formula in terms of form, and attention to language. We’ll look at examples from each, so that you’ll be able to to take the strengths of every genre to what you’re working on.

  • You’re writing fiction in any genre.
  • You find it difficult to finish a piece.
  • You’re interested in exploring the craft techniques that go into writing specific genres.



Erika T. Wurth’s publications include two novels, Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend and You Who Enter Here, two collections of poetry, and a collection of short stories, Buckskin Cocaine. A writer of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, she teaches creative writing at Western Illinois University and has been a guest writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals including BuzzfeedBoulevardLithubThe Writer’s ChronicleBitchWaxwing, and The Kenyon Review. She will be faculty at Breadloaf in 2020, is a Kenyon Review Writers Workshop Scholar, attended the Tin House Summer Workshop, and has been chose as a narrative artist for the Meow Wolf Denver Installation. She is Apache/Chickasaw/Cherokee, and was raised outside of Denver, where she lives with her partner, stepchildren, and two incredibly fluffy dogs.