Rewriting Utopias: Rethinking Climate Narratives for a More Radical Future with Chinelo Onwualu

09/30/2023 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM PT


  • $120.00  -  Supporting Tuition
  • $95.00  -  Helping Hands


Using an interactive lecture and breakout group format, aspiring writers will be guided through frameworks that they can use to create immersive future scenarios free of deeply entrenched patterns of thinking, such as white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, and even hierarchy. Writers will be encouraged to reconsider what a sustainable future could look like when designing their fictional utopias. We will then critically examine their fictional societies to uncover hidden biases and break down barriers to radical worldbuilding.

The workshop's objective will be to inspire writers at all levels to craft speculative cli-fi that embodies hope and justice, creating worlds that acknowledge historical wrongs while amplifying those voices and perspectives that continue to be most affected by systems of oppression.

Bring a 500-1000 word description of what a climate utopia would look like for you. Come prepared to discuss and provide feedback.

This class meets online for two 90-minute sessions.

Class meeting dates:

Saturday, September 30th, 10 -11:30 am

Saturday, October 7th, 10 -11:30 am


About the Instructor: 

Chinelo Onwualu is a writer, editor, and unrepentant dog person living in Toronto, Canada. She is the non-fiction editor of Anathema Magazine and co-founder of Omenana, a magazine of African speculative fiction, and the former chief spokesperson for the African Speculative Fiction Society. She attended the Clarion West Writers Workshop in 2014 and was the recipient of the Octavia E. Butler Scholarship. Her writing has been featured in several anthologies and magazines, including Uncanny Magazine, Strange Horizons, The Kalahari Review, and Brittle Paper. She has been nominated for the British Science Fiction Awards, the Nommo Awards for African Speculative Fiction, and the Short Story Day Africa Award. 


This event will be held in Zoom. By registering for this class, you agree to follow the Clarion West Code of Conduct and Zoom policies

Limited Free Seating: 

We offer a percentage of seats in every class to People of the Global Majority (Asian, Black, African, Latina/o/x, Middle Eastern, Indigenous, Pacific Islander, and/or have been racialized as 'ethnic minorities') for free, regardless of financial need. 

Eligible folks should fill out this survey to be entered in the lottery for free seats.  We will reach out by email 10-14 days before the class begins if there is a seat available. For more information, see our equity and inclusion policies.

Sliding Scale Pricing:

The Supporting Tuition rate is shown for each class or workshop for folks who can pay it. Paying the Supporting Tuition rate enables us to continue to pay our staff and instructors equitably, as well as support access to classes for others who may be in a different situation. 

The Helping Hands rate is available to folks under more limited economic circumstances, no matter your background.

For more information, see our financial aid policies.

Our Refund Policy:

Clarion West will refund all class fees if the request is made 30 days before the class date. Refund requests made within 30 days of the class will be honored if we can fill the seat.

Any exceptions are subject to approval by our workshop staff.