Lara Elena Donnelly

BA, Wright State University. Author of the vintage-glam spy thriller Amberlough and its forthcoming sequels, Armistice and Amnesty (Tor). Donnelly’s other work has appeared in venues that include Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, Nightmare, and Uncanny.  A graduate of the Clarion and Alpha writers’ workshops, she has also served as on-site staff at the latter. SLC, 2018

Previous Courses

Speculative Fiction Workshop: Prose for Pros: Survive and Thrive as a Spec Fic Writer


People often think of writing as a solitary business, but the reality is that writers rarely thrive without a community of mentors and colleagues. In this workshop, students will receive peer and instructor critique on their work; but they will also learn how to support themselves emotionally, professionally, and physically as they work toward bettering their craft. Readings will include nonfiction pieces about the writing life by Mary Robinette Kowal, Matt Kressel, and Kate Wilhelm. In one-on-one sessions, students will receive tailored reading suggestions based on their work and interests, as well as suggestions and pointers for placing their work in the context of the contemporary speculative fiction scene. Every writer’s goals and techniques are different, and each student’s one-on-one time will be dedicated to crafting an approach to authorhood that works for him or her. Students will each have two critique slots over the course of the semester, with the option of either bringing two original pieces of fiction to workshop over the course of the semester or writing one piece and substantially revising it for a second round of polishing feedback—with the end goal of revising the stor(ies) for eventual submission to prestigious, professional speculative fiction journals.


Speculative Fiction Craft: The Monstrous Domestic: Horror in the Home


In this craft class, we’ll examine monstersboth literal and metaphoricand the roles that they play in fiction set in the domestic sphere. We will explore the juxtaposition of teeth and claws against marriage, housework, and tax returns in fiction by Max Gladstone, Angela Carter, Marie Vibbert, Carmen Machado, Jeffrey Ford, and others. Real-world horrors will play a role in the readings, too, through nonfiction essays such as Dimas Ilaw’s The Shape of Darkness as it Overtakes Us,” which discusses how speculative fiction can help us cope with and confront violence, danger, and fear. The stark contrast of the monstrous and the domestic will give us an excellent opportunity to look through the lens that speculative fiction holds up to the everyday, showing us hard truths and inspiring us to see things differently.