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“Magic Words: The Art of Writing the Unreal" with Katherine Catmull

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St. Edward's University Trustee Hall 303
3001 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704

4/16/2016 From 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM


$49 for members (log in for member pricing)

$109 for nonmembers

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

Note: Online registration will close at the end of Thursday, April 14. After that you can pay admission at the door with a check for the walk up rate - $59 for members and $119 for nonmembers - as long as seats are available. Thank you!

Whether it’s fantasy, sci-fi, horror, dystopian, magic realism, or a genre of your own, if you’re writing speculative fiction, your job is to make the reader believe in—and care about—an unreal world. And you’ve got to show them the rules of your world without a story-stopping mudslide of exposition. In this half-day, hands-on class, we’ll talk about

• Tricks and tips for building a living, breathing world
• How to make your book fresh and original
• Establishing the rules without putting readers to sleep
• Avoiding fantasy clichés—or making them your own
• Writing dialogue that brings your world to life

. . . and more. We’ll also be doing hands-on exercises, so bring paper and pen or laptop.

About the instructor:

Katherine Catmull is the author of Summer and Bird (Dutton Young Readers/Penguin), one of Booklist's 2012 Top Ten First Novels for Youth and a TLA Spirit of Texas Reading pick for 2014-2015. Her YA fantasy, The Radiant Road, comes out from Dutton in January and has already received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal. She is one of four co-authors of The Cabinet of Curiosities (Greenwillow/HarperCollins, 2014), a collection of scary short stories. Catmull is also an actor, freelance arts writer, and a produced and published playwright.

REGISTRATION BY MAIL: If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click HERE for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it.

NOTE: Tickets are not refundable, but they are transferable. If you purchase a ticket and then find you cannot attend, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at or 512-499-8914 and let us know so that we can update the class roster. For policies, please visit our Classes page.

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at


Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to


The Writers' League of Texas would like to thank St. Edward's University for its generous support and commitment to community, ongoing education, and the arts. Visit