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the dystopian short story:

a creative writing workshop 

here we find ourselves in a landscape not unlike those settings once imagined by the sci-fi writers of yesteryear where big brother is always watching (and listening). where egomaniacs run the world and war is either a constant or a constant concern; where police terrorize the people they're supposed to protect and serve. where citizens are enslaved in a multitude of ways to feed the demands of late-stage capitalism which rules supreme to satiate a consumer culture whose tastes and waste continue to escalate a climate crisis that could very well result in our extinction if a global pandemic and lack of government aid doesn't kill us first.

to best understand our world people have always turned toward art to contemplate the human condition; as artists we are the ones compelled to do this work, to write our experience as archive, as exorcism, as catharsis; this workshop will solely study dystopian fiction by reading only short stories belonging to this genre; in turn, the participating writers can then direct their own attention toward writing their own apocalypses as contained by the constraint that it too must also be a short story.  

to guarantee the intimacy that is necessary to focus on such work, the class size is limited to 5 writers only.


we will meet 3 times:

class #1 is devoted entirely to discussing the genre and the literary examples to be provided, then studied; class #1 is also a space for particpants to generate ideas and material as prompted by writing midwife Sarah Elizabeth Schantz via writing exercises she has designed.

writers will have begun the short stories they will then further develop as they meet the deadlines and expectations of classes #2 and #3 which are dedicated to the workshop experience—a combination of giving and receiving constructive criticism, as well as a time and a space to collectively brainstorm ways for each writer to move forward in their stories because (w)rites of passage believes in cultivating communities of writers who support each other rather than fostering the more competitive space of the traditional workshop. finally, the particpating writers will get one more chance to receive instructor feedback on their stories once the workshop is over.

registration is officially open as of july 2nd, 2020.

all workshops held monday evenings from 6:00 to 8 :00 p.m. mountain time

Week 1: Aug. 10th

Week 2: Aug. 17th 

Week 3: Aug.24th

$175 due upon registration

due to covid-19 this workshop will be held remotely via zoom and is therefore open to anyone in the united states with workshop experience, internet, and a zoom account (these are free).

to register please email us at

(w)rites of passage awards a limited number of sliding scale options as well as scholarships to writers in need. if you would like to donate to this fund please contact Sarah or Harris (or refer to the home page where there is info regarding how to send $ using Venmo or Pay Pal). 

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