Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers Overall Class List

What classes does the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers offer? Here’s the list of everything that has been taught or will be in the future. Click through to see a full class description, the next time(s) it will be taught, and whether or not an on-demand version exists.

21 Days to Writing Your Novel (Michael Stackpole) teaches you about structuring daily processes to help prepare for and/or finish writing a novel.

Adapting Your Novel into a Game (Monica Valentinelli) teaches you how to turn your book into a game.

The Algorithms of Storytelling (Cat Rambo and Wayne Rambo) focuses on the overlap and differences between coding and fiction writing.

Anthropomorphic Adjectives: Writing Furry Fiction (Kyell Gold) focuses on furry fiction: what it is and how to write it.

The Art of the Book Review (varies: instructors have included Nisi Shawl and Cat Rambo) talks about how and why to write book reviews, specifically for writers interested in reviewing.

Beyond Bipeds: When Aliens Look Nothing Like Us (Evan J. Peterson) discusses how to write aliens that aren’t humanoid.

Beginnings and Endings (Cat Rambo) focuses on two of the most important elements of any story or novel: the beginning and ending.

Blood, Guts, Gore & More (Cassandra Khaw) will show you how to write the horrific.

Book Promotion on a Budget (Catherine Lundoff) talks about how to get the most for your money when you have tight budget constraints and a book to promote.

Breaking the Rules (Rachel Swirsky) talks about what writing rules you can break, why to break them, and how to get away with it.

Building Blocks of Mystery Writing (Rebecca A. Demarest) teaches you how to construct a mystery plot.

The Business of Writing (Jennifer Brozek) teaches you how to manage the many necessary aspects of the writing business besides the actual writing.

Career Chat (varies) lets a small group ask questions about anything and everything.

Character Building Workshop (Cat Rambo) discusses how to create characters that engage and intrigue your reader. On-demand version.

Christmas in Narnia: Creating Traditions for Fictional Cultures (Evan J. Peterson) teaches how to create fictional holiday traditions in fantasy worlds.

Consent Is Sexy: Writing Consensual Scenes (Sarah Buhrman) discusses how to write sex scenes that are both steamy and respect boundaries.

Creating an Online Presence for Writers (Cat Rambo) talks about whether or not to blog, what to do (and not) with social media. and other important aspects of selling books online.

Crimson Peaks and Menacing Mansions: Writing Gothic Horror (Catherine Lundoff) discusses how to add gothic elements to speculative fiction.

Crossing Over: Moving from Fanfic to Your Own Worlds (Seanan McGuire) discusses what writing fanfiction teaches writers and how to use that in fiction involving your own worlds and characters.

Crowdfunding and Kickstartering (M.C.A. Hogarth) discusses what to consider before launching a crowdfunding campaign and how to create reproducible and sustainable successes.

Crypto- and Xenobiology and You: How To Build a Better, More Believable Beast, Using SCIENCE! (Seanan McGuire) is conducted in two sessions: the first focuses on using biology to create monsters, and the second on social structures for your monsters.

Cussing in Secondary Worlds (Fran Wilde) shows you how to have your characters swear in a way that acts to create and underscore their world.

Deep Dive Into Neopronouns (S. Qiouyi Lu) introduces neopronouns, how to write with them, and special considerations. On-demand version only.

Description and Delivering Information (Cat Rambo) provides techniques for giving readers information without boring them. On-demand version.

Designing Magic Systems (James L. Sutter) teaches you how to quickly design different kinds of functional magic systems.

Detail and Image (Rachel Swirsky) teaches you to develop your characters and plots more richly by incorporating details and imagery that give them breath. This course is heavy on writing exercises.

Dialogue and Dialect (Nisi Shawl) focuses on how to handle writing dialect in ways that reflect diversity without alienating readers.

Different Kinds of Love: Writing Relationships that Aren’t Romantic (Cat Rambo) discusses how to explore friendship, families, and other non-romantic relationships in speculative fiction.

Diversity Plus: East Asian Storytelling Forms and Themes (Henry Lien) teaches East Asian modes of storytelling forms and themes, including four-act structure.

Dunking Your Reader in the Details: Toolsets for Creating Immersive Worlds (Cat Rambo) gives you tools and techniques for creating realism in your fiction. On-demand version.

Dynamic Openings (Tobias Buckell) examines story openings that work, why they work, and provides tools to craft a compelling opening of your own.

Emotional Impact: How to Punch ‘Em in the Feelz (José Pablo Iriarte) teaches you how to evoke reader emotions skillfully.

Emotional Self Care for Creatives (Jordan Kurella) uses science to teach writers how to care for the core of their emotional creativity.

Emotional Storytelling in Action Scenes (Michael R. Underwood) discusses techniques for using action scenes to advance the plot and emotional journey of your characters.

Epistolary Fiction: Stories in Letter (Jamie Lackey) teaches you how to tell cohesive stories using fragments like letters, journal entries, captain’s logs, and more.

Expository Narrative (Tobias Buckell) teaches you how to deliver exposition to the reader without lecturing or slowing the narrative.

Fantastic Worldbuilding (Fran Wilde) talks about working with secondary worlds and how to make them real for the reader.

Fashion of Worldbuilding: Clothing, Technology, and Taboos (Mary Robinette Kowal) discusses how to use fashion to develop worldbuilding.

Fearless Writing: Learning Not to Hold Back (Evan J. Peterson) focuses on how to move past fears in writing to write honest, compelling work.

Fire When Ready: How to Write Flintlock Fantasy (Django Wexler) presents subgenre flintlock fantasy, considerations when working with it, and how to write your own.

The First Draft Novel Blues (Cat Rambo) talks about how to create a roadmap for yourself when setting out to revise your novel.

First Pages (varies) lets you bring in the first 500 words of your novel for intensive feedback on what you’re promising, what to watch out for, and where you’ll want to market the book.

Flash Fiction Workshop (Cat Rambo) shows you what flash fiction is and how to write it. On-demand version.

The 4th Language of Genre Fiction (M Todd Gallowglas) teaches readers to weave different aspects of storytelling together.

The Freelancer’s Toolkit (James L. Sutter) teaches you all the fundamentals of how to turn writing into a business, from how to get gigs to what you need to know about taxes.

Get Weird! How to Make Your Fiction Original, Compelling, and Deeply Weird (Evan J. Peterson) teaches you how write original, compelling, and deeply weird stories that will stick with readers.

Head Hopping and Head Hunting: Deep PoV Writing (Tracy Townsend) teaches you how to develop voice by diving deep within your protagonist’s point of view.

High-Speed Worldbuilding for Games and Fiction (James L. Sutter) teaches you how to quickly and easily generate compelling settings for your stories or games—even when you’re out of ideas.

Historical Research for Writers (Kate Heartfield) teaches you how to effectively research history for the purpose of writing fiction.

Hooray for Evil: Fearsome Monsters and Effective Villains (Evan J. Peterson) helps you learn to create original, effective, and believable monsters and villains.

Horror in Games (Monica Valentinelli) teaches how to create games with elements of horror.

How to Subvert Cliches (and Supercharge Your Creativity) (Tobias Buckell) teaches you how to take familiar tropes and put your own twist on them to make something new.

How to Write Better Food (Cassandra Khaw) teaches you how to engage and interest readers with food.

How to Write Funny (Howard Tayler) provides you with the tools you need to write humor.

How to Write Steampunk and Weird Western (Cat Rambo) talks about techniques, definitions, and pitfalls of these two subgenres. On-demand version.

Ideas Are Everywhere (Rachel Swirsky) provides ways to generate new story ideas and then do something with them.

In Flagrante Delicto: Writing Effective Sex Scenes (Catherine Lundoff) teaches building blocks for writing about sex and writing it well.

The Ins and Outs of Urban Fantasy: Talking with L.L. McKinney discusses how to balance new and familiar elements in the urban fantasy genre.

Intro to Game Writing (Monica Valentinelli) discusses how to get started writing your own games or for your favorite type of game.

It’s Coming from Inside the House: Writing Domestic Dangers and Haunted Homes (Evan J. Peterson) discusses how to write domestic thrillers.

Journaling for Creativity (Fran Wilde) shows you how to use notebooks and journals to spark and keep story ideas.

Letting the I Ching Write Your Story for You (Henry Lien) teaches you how to build a story using the I Ching.

Levelling Up: Ten Things to Try When You Keep Hearing No (Kate Heartfield) discusses ways to come at your craft from new directions.

Literary Techniques for Genre Writers (Cat Rambo) introduces techniques to use in your own writing and ways to test them out. On-demand version.

Make Your Fiction Sing: Songwriting Techniques that Carry into Prose (Sarah Pinsker) teaches you how to apply songwriting techniques when writing fiction, even if you have no musical background.

Make Yourself More Discoverable Online: SEO Basics for Creative People (Cat Rambo) introduces tools and resources to learn how to make your author website easier for readers to find.

Managing Social Media for Writers (K. Tempest Bradford) talks about how authors can balance needing to be on social media for career reasons with maintaining mental health.

Mapping Fantasy (Alex Acks/Paul Weimer) gives you the tools you need to create and map your book’s world.

Mapping the Labyrinth: Plotting Your Novel So Stuff Happens (Kay Kenyon) teaches you how to plot a novel.

Masks and Mayhem: How to Write Superheroes (Carrie Vaughn) talks about how to write superhero stories.

A Mixed Bag: Combining and Manipulating Genre Conventions (Tracy Townsend) discusses how to blend genre conventions.

Move Along, Folks: How to Pace Your Novel (Kay Kenyon) teaches you the whys and wherefores of pacing.

Moving From Idea to Draft (Cat Rambo) discusses how to take any form a story idea might occur in and flesh it out into a complete draft. On-demand version.

No More Lone Wolves: Writing Characters in Community (Catherine Lundoff) discusses writing communities for your fictional characters.

Old Gods and New: Building a Pantheon (Rebecca A. Demarest) teaches you how to design fictional religions.

Old Stories Into New (Rachel Swirsky) shows you how to use fairytales, legends, and other texts in your own writing. On-demand version.

Pacing Yourself: The Strange and Sprawling Art of Writing a Long Series (Seanan McGuire) discusses how to write a long-running series.

Pitches and Synopses (Jennifer Brozek) covers the ins and outs of writing pitches and synopses.

Planning Your Tabletop RPG Campaign (Monica Valentinelli) introduces narrative design techniques for new and veteran GMs to plan campaigns.

Playing the Short Game (Douglas Smith) teaches you how to market and sell short fiction.

Plot Hacks: What the Pros Know (Evan J. Peterson) teaches you industry insider tricks for writing engaging books that sell.

Plotting Your Trajectory: How to Plan an Unplannable Writing Career (Jennifer Brozek) discusses how to manage a writing career.

Poetic Tools for Prose Writers (Rachel Swirsky) discusses practical poetry techniques to apply to writing prose fiction.

Power and Politics in Worldbuilding: Schemes, Factions, and Culture (Michael R. Underwood) provides insights and tools for taking your cultural and political worldbuilding up to the next level.

The Power of Words: Linguistics for Genre Writers (Juliette Wade) teaches basic linguistic concepts and how not just how to use them in your worldbuilding, but also to improve your writing. On-demand version.

Power Word Real Name: Upping Your Game with Names and Titles (Cat Rambo) gives you new ways of thinking about names and titles in creating your world.

Principles for Pantsers (Cat Rambo) teaches discovery writers how to start organizing their finished first drafts into coherent stories.

Project Management for Writers (Jennifer Brozek) teaches writers how to keep track of projects.

Punk U: The Whys and Whats of Writing -punk Fiction (Cat Rambo) covers the various -punk genres such as cyberpunk, steampunk, dieselpunk, solarpunk, hopepunk, and more.

Reading Aloud Workshop (Cat Rambo) teaches you how to pick a piece and prepare to perform it in front of a live audience or recording at home. On-demand version.

Reading Like a Writer (Tracy Townsend) discusses strategies to make the most out of reading to improve your writing.

Reasonable Consequences: Building a Better Alternate Universe (Seanan McGuire) teaches you how to build functional speculative rules for fiction based on our world.

Replying to Other Stories (Cat Rambo) explores how to draw on other stories for inspiration without plagiarizing or over-depending on a reader’s outside knowledge.

Return to Journaling for Creativity (Fran Wilde) discusses the steps to take your journaling for creativity practice to the next level. Prerequisite: Journaling for Creativity.

Revising Your Novel (Kate Heartfield) teaches you how to make a plan to edit your novel.

Rewriting, Revising, & Finetuning Fiction (Cat Rambo) shows you how to edit—and how to know when a piece is ready to submit. On-demand version.

Self-Editing: From First Splat to Professional Finish (Jennifer Brozek) discusses best practices for editing your manuscript on your own.

Setting the Stakes: How to Pull the Reader (and Yourself) Through the Story (Tobias Buckell) teaches you to communicate story information so no one gets lost.

Scripts 101: Everything You Wanted to Know About Screenwriting but Were Afraid to Ask (Margaret Dunlap) introduces all the fundamentals of writing screenplays.

Short Story Openings (Scott H. Andrews) discusses how to create engaging openings and bring readers into a story.

Six Slippery Sins: Good Advice That Goes Astray (Kay Kenyon) discusses common writing advice that is commonly misunderstood.

So You Want to Put Together an Anthology? (Catherine Lundoff) sets you on the road to pulling together a themed anthology.

Sorry, But Your Infodump Is Showing (Henry Lien) teaches you tricks to deliver exposition gracefully.

Sorry, But Your Scenecraft Is Sinking (Henry Lien) discusses elements of scenecraft and how to use them to make scenes more memorable.

Speculative Poetry (Rachel Swirsky) discusses the ins and outs of writing speculative poetry.

Stay the Course: A Workshop for Inspiration and Renewed Enthusiasm (Evan J. Peterson) offers insight on how to keep going through a long project.

Stories That Change Our World: Writing Fiction with Empathy, Insight and Hope (Cat Rambo) discusses writing fiction that inspires and teaches the reader without being didactic or lapsing into ‘message fiction’.

Story Fundamentals (Cat Rambo) covers the basics of story structure, characters, worldbuilding, and other considerations of the short story in a condensed version of the six week workshop.

Story Generator Workshop (Monica Valentinelli) teaches techniques for quickly coming up with story ideas on command.

Story Structure for Novella Writers (Margaret Dunlap) teaches how prose writers can use episodic TV format to structure novellas.

Systems of Magic: How to Use Your Magic to Enrich Your Worldbuilding (Cat Rambo) focuses on how to make magic work in fiction.

Tarot for Writers (Monica Valentinelli) shows you how to use tarot in your storytelling.

A Taste of Writing the Other (Nisi Shawl) talks about how to depict people of different demographics and marginalizations in your fiction.

To Space Opera and Beyond (Ann Leckie) explores space operas and what you need to know to write on. On-demand version.

Unique Concepts (Henry Lien) teaches writers techniques for creating original story ideas.

Queer is a Verb: Disrupting the Norm (Evan J. Peterson) teaches you how to queer your writing.

Where Babies Come From: Speculative Reproduction (Evan J. Peterson) examines ways to reinvent the process of reproduction in speculative worlds.

Witches Are People Too: Writing Well-Rounded Pagans and Spellcrafters (Evan J. Peterson) teaches you how to write magic users from different cultures without stereotyping.

Worldbuilding as a Banquet (Fran Wilde) is the second in a two-part series (preceded by Worldbuilding as a Meal) about the worldbuilding involved in feast scenes.

Worldbuilding as a Meal (Fran Wilde) is the first in a two-part series (followed by Worldbuilding as a Banquet) about using food as a foundational element of worldbuilding.

Worldbuilding for Games (Monica Valentinelli) discusses additional tools needed for worldbuilding specifically for games.

Working in Other Worlds: Writing for Franchises (Jennifer Brozek) teaches you how to write for popular media properties you don’t own.

The Writer’s Guide to Selling Books at Conventions (Michael R. Underwood) teaches you an array of techniques for hand-selling books so you can adapt what works for you.

Writing About Gender (Cheryl Morgan) discusses gender issues and how they affect fiction.

Writing About Horses (Judith Tarr) teaches you how to write realistically about horses.

Writing Bespoke Stories for Tailored Markets (Seanan McGuire) talks about how to write stories for specific market calls.

Writing F&SF Workshop (Cat Rambo, Rachel Swirsky) covers the basics of story structure, characters, worldbuilding, and other considerations of the short story in a six week workshop that focuses on a different aspect of storytelling each week.

Writing Fight Scenes (Marie Brennan) teaches you how to depict combat in prose.

Writing in the Cracks (Diane Morrison) talks about how to carve out time and space to write in a busy schedule. On-demand version.

Writing Interactive Fiction (Kate Heartfield) discusses fundamental principles for writing interactive stories for games and prose fiction. On-demand version.

Writing Masculinity (Sam J. Miller) explores how to navigate male-identified characters in speculative fiction, avoid thoughtlessly recapitulating toxicity, and reimagine masculinity.

Writing Neurodiversity (Xander Odell) explores how to write neurodiverse characters in a way that treats their experiences with respect.

Writing Queer Characters from History (Cheryl Morgan) discusses how to believably write and depict diverse genders and sexualities in historical settings.

Writing Second Person (Rachel Swirsky) discusses considerations and practical techniques for writing in second-person point-of-view.

Writing Your Way into Your Novel (Cat Rambo) helps you figure out how to plan and execute your novel—even if you’ve already gotten started.

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