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Much like how an art museum might present a special exhibit, the Loft is introducing seasonal thematic programming. Our themes will help connect you across many of the Loft program offerings. We believe that poems and stories can be an important lens through which to view the world, and these themes will compel us all to look at the words we write and authors we read in new ways.

This fall, our theme will be Fairy Tales: Some see fairy tales as simple escape dressed up in ball gowns but, when you look more closely, these stories have been shared across generations and continents as a way to cope, warn, and instruct. They deal with injustice, violence, contradictions, and sometimes transformation. This fall, we will examine the classics, present contemporary tales, and write our own new endings.

In addition to the events and classes listed below, the Loft plans to re-launch our podcast with a six episode season dedicated to fairy tales, post regular content on the blog from guest writers on fairy tales, and offer a school residency on fairy tales (contact Melissa Wray at mwray (at) to learn more about how your school can participate).

We invite you to explore our fall theme of Fairy Tales in as many ways as interest you.




Big Ideas: Fairy Tales
with Daniel Mallory

Thursday, Nov 8
Fairy Tales were meant to
function as a moral compass.
But on closer inspection, are
they even moral? Join us for
this Big Ideas conversation
featuring Daniel Mallory


Fairy Tales for
Grown Ups

Wednesday, Nov 14
So much new writing retells or
subverts fairy tales and myths, but
why? What is it about these
warnings, morals, and stories that
seem as potent and important as
ever? Join Carter Meland, Sequoia
Nagamatsu, and Allison Wyss for
a conversation about how
traditional and modern fairy tales
influence storytellers.

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(Start dates listed)


Fairy Tale Redux with
Debbie Vance
(Online Class)

Starts Oct 3
In recent years, fairy tales
have become popular
source-material for young
American female writers whose
stories reclaim agency in a
troubled world. Monsters are
making a comeback. Magic
isn’t just for wizards. In this
class, we’ll read contemporary
fabulist fiction to learn how
to write our own dynamic
fairy tales.


Into the Forest Together
with Sarah Sadie
(Online Class)

Starts Oct 3
Join us as we travel "into
the forest, together," with
four weeks of daily prompts
all designed around Fairy Tale
themes. These open-ended
prompts are designed to
engage your creativity and
take your writing in new




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Nonfiction Fairy Tales
with Miranda Schmidt
(Online Class)

Starts Oct 3
Fairy tales aren’t only for
fiction writers. We’ll explore
methods for incorporating
fairy tales into our nonfiction
writing by looking at critical
and pop culture essays about
fairy tales. We’ll try our hands
at stranger forms in which
fairy tales influence the shapes
and preoccupations of creative
nonfiction and memoir.


Fairy Tales and Creative
Nonfiction: Harnassing
Fantasy to Tell the Truth
with Majorie Hakala
(CNF class at the Loft)

Takes Place October 6
Although fairy tales describe
impossible things, they
also provide a powerful
story-language for talking
about family, trauma, love,
and the environments where
we live. Together we will
examine essays that use fairy
tales for nonfictional ends and
do in-class writing exercises
to explore how tales can
enrich our nonfiction work.


Wagging Tails for Fairy Tales
with Kate St. Vincent Vogl
(Youth Class, Ages 9–11)

Takes Place October 13
Love fairy tales about
slaying serpents, shifting
shapes, and dealing with
difficult siblings? We'll explore
tales from China, Costa Rica,
and South Africa, among others,
to learn about world building
and writing enchantments.
Discover ways to capture your
readers' attention with a tale.
Discover the magic of writing!


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World Building with Myth
and Fairy Tale with
Joey Lee
(Youth Class—Ages 13–17)

Takes Place Oct 20
In this class, we'll explore how
mythology and folklore are key
components to world-building,
and consider how fairy tales,
myths, legends, songs, and
old stories can guide story,
motivate characters, and enrich
fictional worlds. Students will
write an original folk-tale,
myth, or song.


Fairy Tales: New, Old, Retold
with James Figy
(For Readers Class at the Loft)

Starts Oct 23
By reading contemporary, literary
fairy tale retellings by writers
like Emma Donoghue, Matt Bell,
Sequoia Nagamatsu, and others,
we'll examine how they're made and
how contemporary writers work to
retell them.


Transformations: Reading 
Fairy Tales in Poetry
with Morgan Grayce Willow
(For Readers Class at the Loft)

Takes Place Oct 27
Experience the transformative
power of fairy tales in poems that
fracture and reassemble them.
Discover a pathway into poems
that can deepen your experience
as a reader of poetry. We'll read
work by poets such as Anne Sexton,
Jane Hirshfield, Jeanine Hall Gailey,
and Eve Sweetser.

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Fairy Tales and the Art
of Subversion with
Allison Wyss
(Fiction Class at the Loft)

Starts Oct 31
In form and content, the fairy tale
is an affront to "workshop craft."
We can find subversive elements in
the old stories and subvert
oppressive tropes in new tales we
write. We'll read and analyze modern
fairy tales, explore techniques for
subversion, and practice what we
uncover through concrete exercises.


How to Write a Modern
Fairy Tale with Zack
(Youth Class–Ages 15–17)

Takes Place Nov 10
The fairy tales we know embrace
the scope of human experience.
This class will cover both classic
fairy tales and their literary
re-imaginings, as well as the aspects
of magical realism and literary fiction
that make them successful. Students
will design their own re-imaginings
through in-class writing prompts
and workshop.


Writing Against the Fairy Tale:
The Truth of Women's Lives
with Kate Kysar and April
(Poetry Class at the Loft)

Takes Place Nov 17
Fairy tales uphold our culture
where women are brutalized,
erased, made passive. In this
poetry class, participants will
write against the false fairy tales
about women’s lives. We’ll read
model poems, then dive into
exercises to reclaim our voices.

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