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Queer / LGBTQ+ Literature: Post-Stonewall Week-Long Intensive


Writing Diversity: The Dos and Don’ts of Crafting LGBTQIA+ Characters

In this multi-day class, young writers will learn how to effectively write queer characters and tips to avoid typical tropes and stereotypes surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community.
Carina Stopenski
24 total reviews for this teacher
1 review for this class
Completed by 2 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
75 minutes
per class
Once per week
over 8 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does aMulti-Daycourse work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Class Experience

Students will think critically about the tropes presented in queer YA literature and what writing mechanisms perpetuate harmful stereotypes in narratives. Students will apply the topics learned in class to the media that they enjoy in real life and will be encouraged to look at things from a more objective lens. Students will also gain better understanding of marginalized sexualities and gender minorities and why proper representation is important. 
My undergraduate thesis was in misrepresentations of LGBTQIA+ children in young adult fiction, with a focus on transgender children and teens, and my graduate thesis focused on representation of transgender and queer literature in library catalogs. I have facilitated writing workshops to both teens and adults on how to avoid these tropes and have presented on panels about queer representation in literature. I am extremely competent in approaching these topics in a way that is both unbiased and gentle, in order to avoid triggering anyone with the material. 

In regards to week 8's discussion of indigenous gender, we will be viewing this from the lens of queer identity rather from a perspective of racism and colonization. Students are welcome to supplement their discussion points with these lenses, but the lesson itself will focus on the queer aspect due to my personal areas of scholarly focus. I have appeared on panels regarding gender minorities and most of my academic scholarship has been focused on the subject of non-cisgender presentations of gender. The two passages that we will be reading for week 8's lesson are from the books "Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time" and "Pukawiss the Outcast," both of which are texts about Native-American queer identity. We unfortunately will not be reading specific fiction on the other indigenous genders mentioned due to a lack of age-appropriate fiction highlighting those identities. We will explore that lack of representation in the lesson. 
Students will be expected to read two passages a week to prepare for each class--none of these will be full chapters. Weekly reading will not exceed 10 pages. Students will also be expected to write a minimum two-page analysis of a particular trope or stereotype addressed in that week's class and apply it to a book, movie, film, video game, or other work of fiction. These papers will be due four days after the class they are assigned in. There is no final paper assigned for this class, as these short writing prompts will be assigned Weeks 2-8. 
Excerpts from assigned texts will be posted in the classroom in PDF form one week before it is to be read by. For example, texts that are to be read for Week 2 will be posted in the classroom after the Week 1 session. 
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
Students will receive feedback on their writing prompts through evaluation and critique rather than a letter grade. At the end of the eight weeks, students will receive a collective evaluation report of their class participation and their written assignments.
1 hour 15 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 1 - 2 hours per week outside of class.
This is a course that will discuss gender and sexuality. There will be references to poor text representations of LGBTQIA+ identity in literature which sometimes involves trauma or the exploitation of a child’s suffering. These discussions will be approached objectively and critically and will acknowledge the harm of these portrayals. If a parent believes that a child may be triggered by the material presented, please reach out to me and I can assure that trigger warnings are put in place. 


Carina Stopenski
Lives in the United States
Literary Theorist, Creative Writer, Information Science Professional
24 total reviews
42 completed classes

About Me

Hi, all! I'm Carina (pronouns: they/them/theirs) and I'm so excited to spread the magic of the written word. I hold a BFA in Creative Writing with minor certifications in Gender Studies and Women's Leadership, an MSLS in Library and Information... 
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