Crafting Mosaic Narratives
Saturday, June 6, 10am-4pm

Crafting Mosaic Narratives with Cadwell Turnbull

Many stories are told from the perspective of a single protagonist. A hero vanquishes demons or travels to the stars. A person grapples with the sudden loss of a loved one, or an unforeseen hardship, or their robot gaining sentience. Even in narratives with many supporting characters, there is typically one person at the helm, through which we get deep insight into the world of the story. These stories are powerful because they allow us to delve into the thoughts, motivations, and actions of a single individual in a unique circumstance. 

But what about stories that require many different perspectives? What if you want to write a multi-protagonist story about an event, or a community, or an institution. These stories are called mosaic narratives. Mosaics center around some large concept or event, but told through the lens of multiple people. Through giving weight to many different characters, mosaic narratives can look at the story-world’s culture and the way small actions by diverse actors can influence global change.

Using Station Eleven, The Hainish Cycle, and The Wire as references, this workshop will explore worldbuilding and character-building and how these elements can come together to build a mosaic narrative. As a group we will discuss these examples and then work collaboratively to build a mosaic narrative of our own.

For everyone ages 18 and over.

Saturday, June 6, 10am-4pm

About the Instructor:

Cadwell Turnbull is the author of The Lesson. He is graduate from the North Carolina State University’s Creative Writing M.F.A. in Fiction and English M.A. in Linguistics. Turnbull is also a graduate of Clarion West 2016. His short fiction has appeared in The Verge, Lightspeed, Nightmare, and Asimov’s Science Fiction and several anthologies. His Nightmare story “Loneliness is in Your Blood” was selected for The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018. His Lightspeed story “Jump” was selected for The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 and was featured on LeVar Burton Reads.

About registration: 

The workshop fee is $95. If you are seeking a reduced rate or scholarship for this class, please email us at

Class Format & Accessibility: 

One online class session through

Class begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. and is run online, with regular breaks. If you have questions about the format or content, please contact

Zoom meetings software is compatible with standard screen readers and has several other accessibility features that make it possible for writers who are Blind or vision impaired to participate in the webinar. 

Questions can be submitted via the meeting software chat function or via voice. 

Zoom is free for attendees. Please plan to register with Zoom in advance and download on your device. You will be sent a link to your Zoom class in your class email confirmation in the bottom last section of your confirmation. If you do not see a confirmation, please email us at at least two hours before the start of class.

For best results, plan to connect to the class approximately 5 minutes before the start. You will be muted upon entry, but our workshop staff will be setting you to ‘allow to talk’ as they see you join. Plan to have your device on mute unless you are invited to talk to the class. Some instructors will ask you to turn on your camera either throughout the class or during discussion. Classes may be recorded to provide for student review.

We do not have live closed captioning for our webinars at this time. 


If you register but cannot attend the workshop, please give us as much notice as possible so that we can contact a waitlisted student and offer them your spot. In order to process a refund, we must receive 24-hour notice and be able to fill the spot with a waitlisted student. Exceptions may be made given emergency circumstances at administrator’s discretion. If Clarion West cancels the class for any reason, refunds will be made as soon as possible after the class has been cancelled.