Loading Events


  • This event has passed.

Writing Urban Fantasy: The Alchemy of the Ordinary

Friday, August 4, 2017
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Garden A

What if we were to find that magic exists, right here, right now, in our grubby, work-a-day world? This proposition lies at the heart of the incredibly popular urban fantasy genre. In this workshop we’ll consider the joys and perils inherent in writing urban fantasy. In no other genre can we combine social commentary and flights of wonder, allowing the ordinary and the extraordinary to reverberate and amplify our themes. We’ll explore how such a remarkable world affects the sensibilities of contemporary characters, and the varieties of plot structure that are available to us. Ultimately, the boundaries of the urban fantasy genre, much like the rules of haiku, provide for a vast freedom, transforming grit into myth, the mundane into the magical.


Craig English

Craig English’s last novel (release date 2018), Black Swan, is a tale of wall street greed, dragons, and a mild-mannered Shakespeare professor, Harold Swan. The Anvil of Navarre (available in ebook), is a swashbuckling tale of love, revenge and sexual identity. Craig’s nonfiction includes Anxious to Please: 7 Revolutionary Practices for the Chronically Nice (paper, ebook, audio). His article, “Set Your Writing Free,” appeared on the cover of The Writer Magazine. Craig’s latest project, Kit, is a caper novel, in which a young cat-burglar/hacker plots her revenge against the king of cyber trolls.

Craig is a sought after teacher and keynote speaker at conferences. He brings 25 years of experience to his dynamic workshops at such venues as the University of Washington, the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, The Esalen Institute (California), Hollyhock Retreat Centre (British Columbia, Canada), Breitenbush Retreat Center (Oregon), Santa Barbara Writers Conference, and Willamette Writers Conference.

Mr. English has been featured on radio shows across the United States. Television appearances include KING 5 Morning News with Joyce Taylor (NBC Seattle), Books in Review with Shari Barnes (Fort Worth, TX), and Geraldo at Large with Arthel Neville (Fox Network).

For twenty-five years Mr. English worked as a professional actor on Seattle area and regional stages. He has done more than 50 television and radio commercials, and CD ROM game voice-overs. He has acted in more than 20 productions of Shakespeare and was a certified fight choreographer.