Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

“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. "Genre fiction (crime, horror, fantasy, and science fiction) requires the use of all the normative conventions of fiction, and the added challenge of breaking the laws of reality to tell amazing stories that stretch our imagination and speak to our deepest desires and fears."

"In this class we'll explore how genre fiction ticks from the inside out. I will show you many of the techniques involved in using magic that works within your stories, making your fantastical worlds reflect character goals and needs, and that help make the best genre stories strong and successful. There will also be in-class exercises and homework assignments to help you create stories and characters that are out of this world."

Blending the basics of storytelling with the unique elements of genre fiction, this class is ideal for beginners as well as experienced writers familiar with the tropes and techniques of fantasy.



    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. Thursday, November 9, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  2. Thursday, November 16, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  3. Thursday, November 30, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  4. Thursday, December 7, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  5. Thursday, December 14, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  • 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
  • Jason’s personality and passion for writing and for fantasy fiction shone through and kept the class interesting and fresh. He covered a lot of material in a way that kept things moving and never got bogged down. The exercise portions of the course were great as well because they allowed us to access creative sparks, each time in a different way, that provided motivation for completing the assignment each week.



Thursday, November 9, 2017 @ 7:00 pm
Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 9:30 pm
Event Category:


2121 Bonar St, Studio D, 2nd Fl
Berkeley, CA United States
+ Google Map

Registration Deadline

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

Refund Policy

There is a cancellation fee of 15% included in each registration. The Writing Salon will not issue a refund if a cancellation occurs within 48 hours of the class start time.

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

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Start typing and press Enter to search