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Writing Workshops

Writing Fiction for Social Justice with Ruth Mukwana


8 Sessions

Out of stock

Once a week Mondays, 12:00 pm EDT - 2:00 pm EDT October 2 to November 20, 2023

Online via Zoom

Registration for this workshop has closed.

Can fiction change the world? Is it the role of fiction to change the world? On my podcast, SAHA (Stories and Humanitarian Action), I ask writers and humanitarian practitioners whether fiction can raise awareness on the causes and consequences of humanitarian crises and motivate prosocial action. My guests have told me that fiction creates empathy and compassion, connection, dismantles prejudice and stereotypes, gives us pleasure, has healing power, raises our consciousness as a society, makes us better people, tells us the truth, enables us to change perspectives, has the power to create transformation, and above all, fiction makes us curious, question, gives us the imaginative power that is needed to understand our opponents and engage with them. Research on the uses of fiction has come up with similar findings. Chinua Achebe once said: “Art is, and always was, at the service of man.” Our ancestors created their myths and told their stories for a human purpose. Any good story, any good novel, should have a message, should have a purpose. I am among those writers who believe that our stories should serve a purpose.

Course Outline

In this eight-week workshop, we’ll explore how to write fiction for social justice. The workshop is appropriate for all levels of writers and will follow the MFA/ MA in Creative Writing Model. During the first four classes, we’ll review fiction stories and excerpts from novels that deal with social justice issues and discuss questions of craft with dedicated time for writing with writing prompts. In the last four classes, we will have workshops to discuss your work shared advanced of class.

Books and short stories we will read:

Capacity: 12


Led by

  • Ruth_Headshot_Edited, Small - Ruth Mukwana

    Ruth Mukwana

    Ruth Mukwana

    Ruth Mukwana is a fiction writer. Her work has appeared in several magazines including Bomb, Solstice, and Consequence. Her short story, “Taboo” was a runner-up in the Black Warriors Review 2017 fiction contest. She’s the Co-Fiction Editor of Solstice Magazine. She is the Creator and Host of SAHA, Stories and Humanitarian Action, a Podcast that investigates whether fiction can raise awareness on the causes and consequences of humanitarian crises. Her works in progress are a collection of short stories and a novel that follows Queen, a middle-aged woman working for the UN, as she’s forced to confront a past, she wants to forget, and her quest for justice. Told through multiple points of view, the novel interrogates trauma and memory, and resilience and forgiveness. She’s a graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars (MFA), a 2022 Bennington Alumni Fellow, and a 2020 Center for Fiction / Susan Kamil Emerging Writer Fellow, and a former humanitarian worker with the United Nations. She lives in New York with her daughter.

    As a fiction writer with an MFA from Bennington College and a humanitarian worker whose work and writing deals with social justice issues, she is passionate about writing for social justice and has a deep familiarity with both the research and questions of craft. Therefore, she offers a wide perspective and comparative approach.

    Keep up with Ruth on Facebook at @ruthmukwana.