Stranger Horizons

A Speculative Fiction Workshop for folks who want to create otherworldly realities.


So you’ve got a huge imagination…

Ursula K. Le Guin, when asked about the advice that writers should “write what they know,” once responded, “I think it’s a very good rule and have always obeyed it. I write about imaginary countries, alien societies on other planets, dragons, wizards, the Napa Valley in 22002. I know these things. I know them better than anybody else possibly could, so it’s my duty to testify about them.”

Here’s how it works:

In this class, a small group of writers will write about the strange and mysterious things they “know,” whether that’s travelling to far flung planets, creating high fantasy, or describing our own worlds (with an all-important twist). Together as we will push back the boundaries of speculative fiction, supporting and encouraging one another to expand our ideas and make progress on an existing project.

This workshop is ideal for people who:

  • Want to let their imaginations run wilder and wilder

  • Are currently working on a speculative fiction project or are willing to commit to one for the duration of this class.

  • Are excited to workshop their in-progress work, and go deeper into their creative process.

  • Are motivated by the idea of a community of like-minded speculative fiction writers.

  • Are ready to work hard, both in class and at home between classes.

  • Love a good homemade cookie.

You can expect to leave the workshop with:

  • Lots of new writing and progress on your speculative fiction project

  • Inspiration for exploring ever  “stranger horizons.”

  • Creative courage.

  • Encouragement and support from a group of allies, including multiple opportunities to workshop your in-progress work.

  • A sense of what’s next in your journey into speculative fiction.

This workshop won’t give you:

  • Critique or competition. We’re all about the love.

  • Strict rules or guidelines on what speculative fiction is or should  look like. This class celebrates the vast scope of wild and wonderful worlds that can exist in this genre.

  • A completed manuscript

  • Feedback on already-completed work. (Check out Manuscript Services for that, and ask for Ailsa.)




Fall 2019

8 Wednesday evenings 7 – 9:45pm
September 11 – November 6 – No class on October 9
At the Firefly Studio with Ailsa


The fee for this class is $550. When you sign up you’ll be asked for a $225 deposit to confirm your spot, the balance of $325 will be due one week later. You’ll also have the option of breaking your balance into four monthly credit card payments of $81.25. There’s no extra fee for this service; we just like being able to offer it. Note, HST will be added to all costs.

We don’t want money to be a barrier to participation for our classes, but we know it can be. This is especially true for people facing marginalization. We have a small scholarship fund available, allocated on a first-come-first-served basis for anyone who needs it. Please let us know in your registration form if you’d like to apply. On the other hand if you’re able to contribute to our scholarship fund, click here.

To see our financial and cancellation policies, click here.


Ready to take the leap?

Sorry this workshop is full.

We’re not sure when we’ll be bringing this back next, but we hope soon! When we do, you can get a nudge when early registration begins by submitting your email below. Alternately, join our mailing list to keep up to date on all things Firefly.


Your answer is probably on this page.

Looking for more options?

Take a peek at our other in-house workshops, or coaching services, or our monthly writers care package.

What people are saying:


After a couple years of almost joining workshops, seeing speculative fiction pop up as an option was all I needed to make the jump. Stranger Horizons was such a delightful way to explore all the weird and wonderful inside us all. Ailsa fostered a community with such a sense of joy, and a playfulness that let us each discover our own systems of magic.

Savannah Snook
Writer, Aspiring Magic-Maker