Beyond Dystopia: Authoring the Future with Season Butler

Following her sold-out workshop last year, Season is back for another round…

Fiction writing is a technology of possibility, using imagination in the service of world-making. Whether we are working in literary realism or speculative genres like sci-fi and fantasy, can we use fiction to write the futures we want to see?

Looking at examples from Ursula Le Guin, Ishmael Reed, Toni Morrison and Octavia Butler, we will experiment with strategies that allow us to look beyond utopia-dystopia binaries and use stories to construct empowering visions of unfettered futures.

This two-day workshop will employ the tools in the fiction writer’s kit, with a focus on identity, narrative subjectivity and compelling descriptions that appeal to the senses through engaging, inspiring prose. We will ask: How do we endow our character with resources, how do we fight the real enemy and what does it feel like when we win? 

Writers at all levels of their practice are welcome, and this workshop is suitable for those interested in both speculative and literary fiction (or any other genre), as well as activists, artists and anyone who thinks that the future is ours to author. 


To sign up email us at


Season Butler is a writer, artist, dramaturg and lecturer in Performance Studies and Creative Writing. Her writing, research and art practice centre around intersectionality and narratives of otherness, isolation and negotiations with hope. Her recent artwork has appeared in the Baltic Centre, Tate Exchange and Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art. Her debut novel, Cygnet, was published in Spring 2019 and won the Writer’s Guild 2020 award for best first novel.


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