Literary Techniques for Genre Writers

How to Use Literary Techniques to Take Your Work to the Next Level

Are you tired of "Not this but send us something else" on rejection letters? Are you ready to take your writing to the next level?

If you've mastered the basics of plot, character, and setting, this class will get you started working at the language level in order to make your stories stand out from the rest of the herd and move from personalized rejection letters to actual acceptances.

This class alternates information and examples with writing exercises designed to introduce and strengthen your work with techniques to use such as foreshadowing, alliteration, rhythmic device, allusion, etc, in writing genre fiction. Included is discussion of when, how, and where to use such techniques, examples of genre stories using them, pitfalls to avoid, and suggested reading.

You will emerge from the class with a greater understanding of how to use literary techniques, new insight into possible techniques, and a number of word lumps produced through in-class writing exercises that you can develop into stories.

Prefer a live workshop where you can interact with the instructor and other students? Here's the next one offered.

Your Instructor

Cat Rambo
Cat Rambo

Cat Rambo is engaging, personable, and supportive, providing insight, encouragement, and inspiration to students who want to pursue writing and publishing speculative fiction. She has been teaching classes and workshops for over three decades at levels ranging from 5th/6th graders through college, graduate level, and continuing at institutions including the Johns Hopkins University, Indiana University, Bellevue College, Clarion West, the PNWA conference, and more.

Her credentials include a MA in writing from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, where she studied with John Barth and the Clarion West Writers Workshop and the Clarion West workshop, where she studied with Octavia Butler, L. Timmel DuChamp, Andy Duncan, Gordon van Gelder, Michael Swanwick, and Connie Willis. She is a Nebula Award winner and has also been nominated for the Compton Crook Award for First Novel, as well as Endeavour and World Fantasy Awards. She is the former editor of Fantasy Magazine. Her own work includes over 200 short stories, several novels, a cookbook, a guidebook to Baltimore, and Creating an Online Presence for Writers. She is a two-term former President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Her upcoming works include Exiles of Tabat from Wordfire Press (2020) and You Sexy Thing (Tor MacMillan, 2021).

She founded the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers in 2009. Students have gone on to publish novels and amass award nominations and wins, including Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Eppie Awards. In the past decade, she’s assembled some of the most talented and inspiring writers and teachers working in the genre today, each speaking on their areas of expertise.

Course Curriculum

  Literary Devices
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  Using a Literary Device In a Story
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  Final Thoughts
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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

This is the class that produced Rachel Swirsky's Hugo-winning flash piece, “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love."

Not only do I feel like I isolated some important bridges between literary and genre fiction, I also feel like I came away with a treasure trove of secrets and information pertaining to real life career, time management, and market considerations. I came away feeling deviously lucky — like a lotto winner. -Camille Griep

Get started now!