Speculative Literature Foundation Opens Kickstarter for the Portolan Project

Nalo Hopkinson, Andrea Hairston, Sheree Renee Thomas, and Mary Anne Mohanraj.

The Speculative Literature Foundation has launched a Kickstarter appeal to fund the Portolan Writing Project.

The Portolan Project is an open-source creative writing and literature resource. SLF is creating lessons where they interview masters of the field (including so far George R.R. Martin, Nalo Hopkinson, Kate Elliott, Paolo Bacigalupi, etc.) and editors (such as Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden and Liz Gorinsky), on aspects of craft. These modules include study questions and writing exercises, both for people working on their own, and for teachers to use in the classroom.

At this first stage of the project, they’re raising funds to provide honoraria to teachers who are creating the lessons. They’ve created 10 modules so far and want to create 90 more in the next six months, so that we have 100 initial — enough to represent a wide range of writers, and let SLF start organizing them into ‘courses,’ such as:

  • speculative ecofiction (hopepunk and otherwise)
  • queer & feminist writers of the 70s: remembering our history
  • world-building: its challenges and delights
  • Black futures: on Earth, and elsewhere in the galaxy
  • vampires, fairies, and other supernatural beings (including Shakespeare!)
  • the map is not the territory: building realistic histories
  • and much more!

While the Portolan Project does not plan to become an accredited MFA, they hope to offer many of the same benefits of such a program, for free, to anyone in the world.

For more details, cool rewards, and a video of SLF Executive Director Mary Anne Mohanraj talking about the project, check out their Kickstarter for Phase 1.

[Based on a press release.]