The Power of Words: Linguistics for Genre Writers

Author and linguist Juliette Wade shows how linguistics differs from the study of foreign languages, and gives a survey of eight different subfields of linguistics.

Author and linguist Juliette Wade shows how linguistics differs from the study of foreign languages, and gives a survey of eight different subfields of linguistics.


Instructor: Juliette Wade

The class will next be offered on June 3, 2018, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time. Cost is $99 for new students; $79 for returning students and Patreon supporters.

Author and linguist Juliette Wade shows how linguistics differs from the study of foreign languages, and gives a survey of eight different subfields of linguistics. She examines principles of language at levels of complexity from the most basic articulation of speech sounds to the way that language is used to participate in public forms of discourse. For each subfield, she looks at how it can be used to enhance a writer’s portrayal of characters and societies in a fictional world. After completing this examination of linguistics and its relevance to in-world languages, Wade moves to the meta-level to talk about using the principles of linguistics to hone point of view and the effectiveness of narrative language in storytelling.

Speculative fiction writer Juliette Wade runs the popular Dive into Worldbuilding webcast. Her work has appeared in Clarkesworld and Analog Magazine, among other places.

Live classes are taught online via Google hangouts, are limited to 15 participants, and require reliable Internet connection, although in the past participants have logged on from coffee shops, cafes, and even an airplane. A webcam is strongly suggested but not required. If there is an on-demand version of the class, you will be provided with a free coupon for it, so you have access to those notes.

To register for a class, send e-mail with the following details:

  • The email address that you use for Google stuff.
  • Which class or classes and the dates.
  • Whether you would prefer to pay via Paypal, check, or some other means.
  • Please identify yourself if you are a returning student or support Cat or Rachel on Patreon to qualify for the special rate.

You should receive confirmation of your registration within 48 hours.

Free scholarships: If you cannot afford a class but really want to take one, apply for a Plunkett Scholarship. Each class has a slot reserved for such a student, and the sole criteria is that you can’t afford the class but really think it would be useful for you. To apply, mail me with your name, the class name/date, and a brief statement about why you want to take the class. QUILTBAG and PoC candidates are especially encouraged to apply. The Plunkett Scholarships are named for Edward Plunkett, who wrote as Lord Dunsany. Scholarship recipients will be notified the week before the class.

Can’t make it to a live class? Wade has an on-demand version on The Power of Words: Linguistics for Genre Writers available at the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers.

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