Course Description

Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy

Science fiction and fantasy tells stories that take place outside of our known world. It blends elements of literary fiction with scientific and magical ideas and concepts to tell imaginative stories.

Learn about the themes common to science fiction and fantasy, develop an outline, and work on the first 4000 words of a short story or novel. Explore the science fiction and fantasy genre, discover market and publishing opportunities, and build your skills as a writer.

Course Details

Course Learning Outcomes

By completion of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast world-building concepts in science fiction and fantasy
  • Create an outline and write a 4000 words piece
  • Apply structural speculative fiction elements
  • Discuss themes and trends in this writing field
  • Identify markets for publication


  • Roles of science and magic and their connection to speculative fiction
  • Elements of speculative fiction writing: setting, characterization, point of view, style
  • World building in science fiction and fantasy
  • Subgenres in speculative fiction, i.e.: space opera, hard sci-fi, second world fantasy, high fantasy
  • Common tropes in science fiction and fantasy
  • Overview of work submissions, publishing, editing, pro and semi-pro markets (Canadian and international)
  • Writing your first 4000 words of a novel or short story 


This is not an introductory writing course and does not have prerequisites. It is recommended you take WRI 140 Creative Writing Exploration before enrolling in this course.

Applies Towards the Following Program(s)

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Online Asynchronous
Oct 22, 2024 to Dec 02, 2024
Delivery Options
Course Fees
Flat Fee non-credit $329.00
Potential Price Adjustments
Reading List / Textbook

Title: Wonderbook
Edition: 2018
Authors: Jeff Vandermeer
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
ISBN: 13: 9781419729669

An e-book version of the textbook can be purchased at https://calgary-store.vitalsource.com/products/wonderbook-revised-and-expanded-jeff-vandermeer-v9781613124635?term=9781419729669   

Visit the UCalgary Bookstore at www.calgarybookstore.ca.

Section Notes

This course uses Desire2Learn (D2L), an online learning management system. The instructor will post your course outline and other materials in D2L. For more information about D2L, please visit our Online Learning Resources.

Unless notified, all online courses are available at 9 am MT the day before the start date. Students who register on (or after) the start date will receive access within one day of registration.

Students who are unfamiliar with online learning are recommended to take our free Digital Skills for Learning Online course.

Unless otherwise stated, notice of withdrawal or transfer from a course must be received at least seven calendar days prior to the start date of the course.

Required fields are indicated by .