Join us for a science-fiction writing workshop by writer/researcher Yen Ooi that explores urban settings and cultural flavours. We’ll look at how we might write about the spaces we love and the cultures and traditions that we grew up with in a science fictional setting, mixing the familiar with the imaginary.

The workshop will open with special readings by Xia Jia and Chen Qiufan and a discussion about their writing processes and inspirations.

After which, we’ll dive into excerpts of science fiction stories and be inspired by these texts to create works that will challenge the genre. The workshop will cover the basics of storytelling, how to employ cultural and urban elements, and working in the science fiction genre.

This workshop is for writers at any stage, writing prose or poetry, who feel that they would like to expand on their reading and explore writing new things. No experience is necessary.

Yen Ooi is the author of Sun: Queens of Earth (novel), A Suspicious Collection of Short Stories and Poetry (collection), and Road to Guangdong (computer game). Her short stories and poetry have been featured in various publications; most recently, her short story ‘The Butterfly Lovers’ was published in The Good Journal 3. She is a PhD student at Royal Holloway, University of London, focusing on Chinese science fiction, where she is interested in the evolution of the genre and the discourses between native and diasporic voices. As a writer and editor, Yen hopes to develop writing that is rich in culture that will add further value to the development of genre fiction. Yen is a lecturer at Westminster University’s MA Creative Writing course, a mentor in marketing and publishing, and co-founder of CreateThinkDo.

Chen Qiufan (aka Stanley Chan) is the author of Waste Tide. Set in the world’s largest e-waste recycling centre, the novel considers the complexities of the climate emergency, class, power and globalisation.

Xia Jia (aka Wang Yao) is an academic, fiction writer and translator. Seven of her stories have won the Galaxy Award, China’s most prestigious science fiction award. She has published a fantasy novel and three science-fiction short story collections in Chinese. Her first collection to be translated into English A Summer Beyond Your Reach is forthcoming in November.

The contributions of Chen Qiufan and Xia Jia in this event are supported by the Confucius Institute, Manchester.

Participants in the writing workshop will have the opportunity to present their work at our Thursday Late in November.

Prior to the workshop, Chen Qiufan and Xia Jia will also be participating in an event at the Manchester Literature Festival. This will take place at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Saturday 12 October, 2pm – 3.15pm. Full details and how to book can be found here.