Does the thought of creating a longer work from scratch make you break out in hives? Are you comforted by the idea of writing with a roadmap? Do you think you have a modern spin on a classic idea that will blow people’s minds? Then adaptation might be the right route for you.
In this one-day workshop with writer Caitlin Kunkel (New Erotica for Feminists, co-creator of the Satire and Humor Festival), writers of all levels will examine stories in the public domain (Greek myths, religious texts, fairy tales, etc.) and subvert, rethink, and reinvent them for modern audiences. Through writing prompts, group work, an exploration of dramatic questions and class feedback, each student will leave the workshop with at least two fleshed out ideas for adapted works that can work across mediums.
Participants should come to class with one story they would like to work with (must be in the public domain). They will leave with an expanded version of their initial idea, suggestions for new dramatic questions and modern contexts, class feedback on structuring their project, and an additional project idea from a story provided by the instructor. They will have an understanding of how adaptation can be used to break a modern story, and learn how to utilize a dramatic question when it comes to conceiving and structuring ideas.
Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the desktop client so you have access to all platform features.
- Students will learn the meaning of a dramatic question, and that can help drive a written story.
- Students will leave with a minimum of two fleshed-out ideas for modern adaptations of classic texts.
- Students will work on isolating specific elements of a classic story, and spin those off into new contexts to create their own original ideas.
- Understand the difference between adaptation and copying or plagiarism
- Access to Catapult's list of writing opportunities and important submission deadlines, as well as a 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
This is a one-day workshop: students will do writing exercises and generative work in the classroom, but there is no outside homework.
Caitlin Kunkel is a satirist and producer with bylines in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. She co-wrote the humor book "New Erotica for Feminists: Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, and Equal Pay," named one of the 10 Best Comedy Books of 2018 by Vulture. She’s the co-founder of the comedy site The Belladonna, created the online satire writing program for The Second City, and co-founded the Satire and Humor Festival. She teaches and speaks on satire and writing across the US and internationally.
"The Belladonna is the new Onion, a combination humor/fake news/lifestyle parody site from a sharp, female and/or feminist point of view that delivers precise, critical blows to toxic masculinity, the dumbass patriarchy, and dumbassery in general. In that spirit, Belladonna editors Caitlin Kunkel, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor, and Carrie Wittmer wrote a piece for MCSWEENEY'S that rightfully went viral for its relatability and hilarity: NEW EROTICA FOR FEMINISTS in which women’s constantly unfulfilled wish for equality and decency and to not be treated like sex objects is expressed via short erotic stories, like a paragraph from a romance novel, or a letter to Penthouse. Well, they turned the idea into a whole book of inspiring and vital “erotica.” For example, when Juliet dumps Romeo because their relationship is clearly toxic, or a fantasy about Tom Hardy filling one’s fridge with LaCroix and then playing with a rescue dog."
“This erotica made my loins enflamed with desire... to smash the patriarchy. I would gladly read a whole book of it and pay even a whole Man’s Salary to purchase said book. It deserves to be promoted as much as any high-performance woman in the workplace.”
"NEW EROTICA FOR FEMINISTS accomplishes what the best satire always should: it's smart, funny, and, most importantly, necessary. I loved it. So will you. I could have kept reading forever."
"We’ve written about former Paste contributor Caitlin Kunkel recently as one of the co-founders of The Belladonna and one of the co-authors of the excellent NEW EROTICA FOR FEMINISTS. However, if you’re thinking about writing some of this stuff yourself, and are concerned at the fact that there isn’t really the same infrastructure for learning how to write humor and satire the way there is for improv and sketch comedy, Kunkel is currently rectifying the situation as the creator of the satire writing program at The Second City."
"Caitlin is pretty great, you guys. She teaches with insight, offers notes with purpose and respect and pushes you farther than you think you can go - over and over again. Her enthusiasm for her students and their work puts Walmart Greeters to shame. And her sense of humor is as twisted as they come. For the record: that is a compliment."
"Caitlin Kunkel was the teacher I needed to take my humor writing to the next level. She's a gifted writer, a knowledgeable instructor, and the most insightful editor I've ever worked with. Her feedback on my work was invaluable. I published nearly every piece I wrote in her classes and ended up recouping my tuition and then some."