Once Upon a Time: Fairy Tale Writing With Anca Szilágyi - Atlas Obscura Experiences
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Once Upon a Time: Fairy Tale Writing With Anca Szilágyi

$210 per person Online Experience
4 sessions
Up to 25 people
See Dates
$210 per person
$210 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

In this four-part seminar, delve into the genre of fairy tales—reading and dissecting modern retellings before sharing and workshopping a draft of your own.

Course Description

Fairy tales have long offered rich source material for stories. In this seminar, writer and author ​​Anca L. Szilágyi will explore elements of the genre, reading and discussing contemporary takes from Angela Carter, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, and others. We’ll also touch on appreciations of the form from Fairy Tale Review editor Kate Bernheimer, looking at techniques such as flatness, everyday magic, and intuitive logic through hands-on in-class writing exercises and prompts. Through these techniques, we’ll also consider character, plot, and landscape. Class time will include a mix of mini-lectures, discussion, writing, and sharing fresh writing in pairs, small groups, or with the whole group. By the end of our time together, you’ll have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the genre, as well as a draft of your own fairy tale (or three!).

Syllabus At A Glance

There are four total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for 1.5 hours on four consecutive Saturdays beginning October 23.

Session 1 (Saturday, 10/23, 2–3:30 PM ET): What’s in a Fairy Tale?: Introductions, a guide to the genre, and “flatness”

Session 2 (Saturday, 10/30, 2–3:30 PM ET): Everyday Magic: How characters in fairy tales respond to magic

Session 3 (Saturday, 11/6, 2–3:30 PM ET): Intuitive Logic: Turning off the analytical brain

Session 4 (Saturday, 11/13, 2–3:30 PM ET): Workshop: Sharing, drafts for feedback

Between Sessions

Outside of class, students will read longer short stories to see variations on fairy tales. Students who wish to dive deeper into theory will be given additional readings; we’ll touch on these lightly in mini-lectures, but reading them won’t be required. Students will also expand on and refine writing prompts begun in class in preparation for the final session, in which they will share drafts for feedback.

Pricing Options

If you are unable to pay the ticket price for this course, a limited number of no-pay spots are available to increase accessibility for students, regardless of their economic situation. Please note that this option is first-come, first-served, and reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course. To learn more about our approach to pricing, including no-pay options, please visit our FAQ page.

Course Materials

There are no required materials for this class; all PDFs of short stories will be provided. Students who are interested in reading more might consider purchasing the books My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, edited by Kate Bernheimer, and Burning Your Boats by Angela Carter.

Atlas Obscura Online Courses

Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 25 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed via a recording that will be shared within 72 hours after each session airs. Class recordings for lecture series will be available with a temporary password for up to two weeks following the final session of the course.

To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit www.atlasobscura.com/online-courses.

For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.

Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.

About Your Instructor
Anca Szilágyi
Anca Szilágyi

Anca L. Szilágyi is a Brooklynite living in Chicago. Her fiction appears in Lilith Magazine, Confrontation, Fairy Tale Review, and elsewhere. Her nonfiction appears in Los Angeles Review of Books, Orion Magazine, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from Made at Hugo House, Jack Straw Cultural Center, 4Culture, Vermont Studio Center, and Artist Trust. The Stranger hailed Anca as “a fantastic magical realist.” She is the author of Daughters of the Air, which Shelf Awareness called “a striking debut from a writer to watch” and The Seattle Review of Books called “a creation of unearthly talents.” Her second novel is forthcoming in Fall 2022. 

You can follow Anca on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

What Else You Should Know

This is an interactive, small-group, seminar-style course that meets over Zoom. Students may be invited to participate in discussions, workshop their projects, and receive feedback from the course instructor.

In most cases, instructors will use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors will be using this platform to post resources, discussion questions, and assignments, when applicable.

We provide closed captioning for all of our courses, as well as transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at experiences@atlasobscura.com if you have any questions, requests, or access needs.

Group Size

There are 25 spots available on this experience.

Dates and Availability
  • Sat, Oct 23, 2021
    2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
    $210
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