Stories are everywhere around us; they can be found in the every day. Our job as speculative fiction writers is to take the mundane and disrupt it. A lot of SFF work taps into our understanding of the world and its patterns and renders them slightly “off.” In this workshop, we will explore subverting the familiar, the mundane, and the status quo, rendering it unrecognizable, uncanny. While the Uncanny underpins the horror genre, it can help writers of all genres at every stage of the writing process from worldbuilding to generating ideas. Through a mix of short lectures, writing exercises, and discussions of a selection of short stories and our own ideas, we’ll examine the techniques speculative fiction writers use to subvert the ordinary. We will discuss how we can apply those techniques to our own writing and leave this session with a new story idea, scene, and/or a method to revise a work in progress. 

This workshop is available to anyone aged 18 or older for a $55 fee.

Unless otherwise stated, all times listed are US Pacific Time.

We offer a limited number of scholarships for each class to Black and Indigenous writers and writers from other marginalized backgrounds on a first come, first served basis. Please email us at with a one-paragraph statement about your scholarship interest and/or need. Please include the name of the class you would like to apply the scholarship to.

By participating in any Clarion West activity, you are agreeing to our Code of Conduct, the Clarion West Harassment Policy, and our Zoom Guidelines.

Clarion West will refund all class fees if the request is made 30 days prior to the class date. Refund requests made within 30 days of the class will be honored if we can fill the seat. Any exceptions are subject to approval by our workshop staff.