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“Zombies. Vampires. Aliens. Heroes and villains and criminals. Worlds of wonder and dark alleys full of terrors. If these elements catch fire in your imagination, you're in good company,” says instructor Jay Ridler. “Fantastical fiction is more popular than ever, but how do you create stories that break the laws of reality and thrive on flights of fancy? I will show you many of the techniques involved in making your fantastical worlds and larger-than-life characters."

In this one-day workshop, Jay will lead you through fun exercises that genre writers use to construct worlds, characters, and wonders in stories. How does magic work? How do you create gods and monsters? How do you extrapolate ideas to build a strange new technology or alien or world? By the end of the day, you'll have tools, characters and critters, and some promising tales that will help you build even more Fantastical Fiction.



    Jason S. Ridler is a writer, improv actor, and historian. He is the author of A TRIUMPH FOR SAKURA, BLOOD AND SAWDUST, the Spar Battersea thrillers and the upcoming BRIMSTONE FILES series for Nightshade Press. He’s published over sixty stories in such magazines and anthologies as The Big Click, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Out of the Gutter, and more. He also writes the column FXXK WRITING! for Flash Fiction Online. A former punk rock musician and cemetery groundskeeper, Jay holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada. He lives in Berkeley, CA.

  1. Saturday, April 7, 10:00am-4:00pm
  • I’ve really enjoyed both of the classes I’ve taken from Jay Ridler (Fantastical Fiction and Writing from the Heart 1). I would definitely sign up for Writing from the Heart 2 (or Fantastical Fiction 2, even though I know that’s not a thing!).

    Jay is a great teacher, he brings a real enthusiasm and heartfelt sincerity to class. I also think he provides the right balance of lecture and class exercises, and he’s very thorough in providing critiques and follow-up reading material.

    Fiona Baker


Saturday, April 7, 2018
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


2121 Bonar St, Studio D, 2nd Fl
Berkeley, CA United States
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Registration Deadline

Registration closes 24 hours before the start time for a class.

Cancellation Policy

10 days or more before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 10% fee OR a refund minus a 20% fee.

3-9 days before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 20% fee OR a refund minus a 30% fee.

2 days or less before the start date for a class, the registrant will not receive a credit or a refund.

The Writing Salon cannot provide refunds, transfer payments, or offer makeup sessions for classes a student might miss, for any reason.

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