Meet the Instructors!

SDFutures is coming soon, so we wanted to highlight each of the AMAZING instructors leading FREE classes to teen writers over the few months via Zoom.

First up is the indelible Lilliam Rivera, whose writing spans genres and styles but is always fearsomely unique. DEALING IN DREAMS, in particular, imagines one of the most fascinating YA dystopias in recent memory. Her new book PHEUS & EURY re-tells the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice but through Afro-Latinx characters in the Bronx.

Oh, and she’s writing for STAR WARS, too, in FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. No big deal.

But an amazing person to learn the ins and outs of writing YA science fiction and fantasy from—don’t miss out!

Next up is the inspiring Kali Wallace, author the near-future science fiction thriller SALVATION DAY, about a virus on an abandoned spaceship (which is being adapted for film to boot) but includes cults and the struggle between the haves and have-nots and so much more. Her previous books, SHALLOW GRAVES, THE MEMORY TREES, and the middle-grade novel CITY OF ISLANDS, mix magic, mystery, and the monstrous in intoxicating ways, criss-crossing genres, and her stories can be found in the pages/webpages of Clarkesworld, F&SF, Asimov’s, Lightspeed, and

Not only that, but Kali has a Ph.D. in GEOPHYSICS. She’s amazing. Don’t miss this chance to workshop your own works-in-progress with Kali and a small group of peers. (And check out her wise words on “The Reality of Writing in Uncertain Times.”)

In World Making for Stories and Life, get ready to use the tools of worldbuilding or world making to not only enhance your storytelling but for creating visions for YOUR future as well.

Drs. Jeanelle Horcasitas and Olivia Quintanilla are both UC San Diego graduates who organize workshops that reimagine professional development and personal growth experiences for first generation and underrepresented students through the perspective of world making, community knowledge and relationships, and speculative fiction by people of color.

The multitalented Minh Lê will be leading a class on creating YOUR superhero story—and we can’t imagine anyone better to do it. Not only is he an early-childhood policy expert, he wrote the amazing Green Lantern: Legacy (with artist Andie Tong), which gives us an important new story of our times set within the world of Green Lantern, and has created books of all kinds alongside visual artists, including his latest, Lift, a picture book with one of our favorite quotes about imagination:

We’re living in a golden age of superhero stories—so take this chance to learn how to create new heroes rooted in your experiences and communities with a brilliant writer.

Next, we’re honored and excited to have Rebecca Roanhorse leading the second of our two workshop classes. She’s the author of the AMAZING Sixth World series (in Trail of Lighting and Storm of Locusts) that follows Diné (Navajo) monster hunter Maggie Hoskie across the supernatural landscape of the Southwest, and the middlegrade novel Race to the Sun. She also brought her signature style to the Star Wars universe in the fiery Resistance Reborn.

This, along with the workshop with Kali Wallace, represents a unique chance to have YOUR writing read by Rebecca and a group of peers, and for you to give feedback on their works-in-progress (and learn how to do so helpfully) with one of the most brilliant writers working. Don’t miss it!

If you’re new to Roanhorse, hearing LeVar Burton read her story “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™” might be a good place to start:

And get excited about her forthcoming Black Sun, “an epic Fantasy set in a secondary world inspired by the Pre-Columbian Americas”!!

And last but not least, we’re thrilled to have the incredible Leah Thomas leading a class on creating believable characters—and she knows believable characters. In her genre-spanning stories, tender-hearted and complex humans capture our attention as they’re caught up in mysteries both mundane and metaphysical.

Whether its the Vasquez siblings’ encounter with the haunting Luz in When the Light Left Us, or the isolated Ollie and Moritz of Because You’ll Never Leave Me connecting through letters, or Kalyn and Gus navigating a history of murder in their rural small town in the riveting Wild and Crooked (which Library Journal said “stands out for its sensitive and complex depiction of disability, queerness, and classism”), Leah knows character, and compelling characters are the heart of all kinds of imaginative stories.

Oh, and she’s an AMAZING cosplayer to boot:

We hope you or, for you adults, the teens in your life can take advantage of one of these free online classes this summer!