Class: Writing Masculinity

Instructor: Sam J. Miller

Next class date: Saturday, June 12, 2021 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time.

We live in a profoundly patriarchal world, so any time we’re writing male-identified characters we have to navigate the ways in which male privilege and toxic masculinity have shaped them – and how they show up in their behavior. Are we reinforcing problematic assumptions and behaviors? Are we imagining expressions of identity where masculinity has been transformed, or erased altogether? How can we create better worlds where masculinity has been detoxified and patriarchy eradicated – and, conversely how can we explore the horrific consequences of toxic masculinity in our own world, in ways that won’t be triggering for people who’ve been traumatized by it? 

In this class we’ll explore the fraught subject of writing masculinity and maleness in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. As a gay man (and as a community organizer fighting for intersectional social justice) it’s been a major theme of my work, popping up in stories like “Things With Beards” and “Calved.” I’ll share some of the ways in which I’ve tried to approach the issue, discuss some iconic genre work that offer inspiration (or egregious examples of what NOT to do), and take lots of time to focus on participant questions, current projects, strenuous disagreements, etc. 

“I think I know something about American masculinity which most men of my generation do not know because they have not been menaced by it in the way that I have been.”
– James Baldwin 


Classes are limited to 15 students. They are taught online and require reliable Internet connection, although in the past participants have logged on from coffee shops, cafes, and even an airplane; a webcam is suggested but not required. Classes are recorded for the benefit of class members only.

Cost is $99 ($79 for former students, which includes classes/workshops with me in other venues, such as conference or convention workshops and mentoring sessions).

To register for this class, send an email with the following details:

  • Which class or classes and the dates you would like to register
  • Whether you would prefer to pay via Paypal, Venmo, or some other means.
  • Whether or not you are a former student or Patreon supporter
  • How you heard about Cat’s classes

You will be invoiced when the class slot is reserved.

Free scholarships: If you cannot afford a class but really want to take one, apply for a Plunkett Scholarship. Each class has three slots reserved for such students, and the sole criteria is only that you can’t currently afford the class. To apply for a Plunkett, which covers the entire cost,mail me and tell me why you want to take the class in 100 words or less. QUILTBAG and PoC candidates are especially encouraged to apply. The Plunkett Scholarships are named for Edward Plunkett, who wrote as Lord Dunsany. Scholarships are given out on a rolling basis; I suggest getting them in sooner rather than later. You may apply for multiple classes.

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