The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Home / Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference / Schedule / Conference Schedule 2020 / Making the Fantastical Real with Judith Starkston

Conference Schedule 2020

Saturday, February 22, 2020, 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.


Making the Fantastical Real with Judith Starkston

Date(s): Saturday, February 22, 2020, 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Location: 
Thoren, University Club (view map)
Type(s): 
Craft Talk, Generative Workshop, Presentation, Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Fantasy, Fiction, Genre Fiction, Historical Fiction, History, Mixed Genre, Novels, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction
Tags: Magic, Supernatural, Mythical, Surreal, Period, Details

About the Session

The challenge for writers who incorporate fantastical elements in their fiction is to sustain readers believability and emotional engagement amidst the unreal, the magical, supernatural, mythical, or surreal. Embedding fantasy in richly historical world-building is one of the most canonical solutions, whether the author pulls the historical details from one historical period/place or weaves from multiple traditions. Using passages from J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin, N.K. Jemisin and George R.R. Martin, this session will break down how to build convincing and immersive fantasy by using history. In an exercise designed to ground fantasy in historical detail, participants will apply these models to their own writing.

Meet the Presenter(s)

Photograph of Judith Starkston

Judith Starkston writes historical fantasy set in the Bronze Age world of Hittites and Greeks. She holds degrees in Classics, from University of California, Santa Cruz (BA) and Cornell University (MA). She taught high-school English, Latin and humanities. Her debut novel, Hand of Fire, was a semi-finalist for the prestigious M.M. Bennett’s Award for Historical Fiction. Her second novel, Priestess of Ishana won the San Diego State University Conference Choice Award. She is represented by Richard Curtis.