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Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writing Course
Offered at Virtual University
Online class reveals how to write short stories and novels in the
wildly popular genre of 'Harry Potter' and the 'Twilight' saga.

by Justine Flaherty

February 22, 2011 — An online course for writers looking to break into the popular genre of science-fiction and fantasy is being offered at KSURF's Virtual University. The course, Fantasy Writing Workshop, is mentored by author Andrea Stanet, who began writing fantasy stories at the age of nine. Fantasy is currently one of the most popular genres with the blockbuster successes of “Avatar,” “Twilight” and the “Harry Potter” series.

The course is taught online and begins with a breakdown of the various sub-categories making up the sci-fi and fantasy genre. It goes on to provide tutorials, examples, techniques and helpful tips that writers can use to spark their imagination and create believable plots, fascinating characters and compelling new worlds. The course also examines how to get a short story or novel published and some markets worth exploring. Fantasy writer Andrea Stanet, who developed the course for Virtual University, is on hand to offer helpful feedback.

Stanet, an avid fantasy writer herself, is currently writing a novel that paints a terrifying, post-Apocalyptic world inhabited by dragons and zombies. Mixing seemingly incongruous characters and worlds was an evolutionary process, she recalls. A native New Yorker, Stanet's first novel, “Obsession,” was an urban vampire story in which a difficult and noisy, real-life neighbor was fantasized into the storyline as a blood-thirsty vampire. She submitted the novel as the thesis requirement for her graduate program.

Stanet says she finds inspiration from many authors for different reasons, but her favorite writer in the fantasy genre is Stephen King. "No matter what you think of him, you can't deny that the guy can spin one heck of a tale. Beyond that, though, I just like his philosophy on writing. J.K. Rowling runs a close second to King; others would include Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Madeline L’Engle, Tamora Pierce and Marion Zimmer Bradley."

Stanet gives time-honored advice to aspiring fiction writers: “Write what you know! Write what excites you. Write what you'd like to read. Use what you know the way an alchemist uses a lump of lead and turn it into something shiny, golden, magical.”

Fantasy Writing Workshop is affordably priced at $20 and students have up to three months to complete the course. The virtual classroom environment at Virtual University allows students to learn at their own pace and study from the comfort of home.

For more information or to enroll in this course, visit

To browse Virtual University's catalog of 100+ professionally designed courses on today's in-demand subjects, navigate to

About Virtual University

KSURF's Virtual University is a friendly and supportive e-learning community that offers high-quality, affordable courses on today's in-demand subjects, including HTML and Web design, Internet technology, creative and nonfiction writing, inspirational and self-help topics, and academic classes. Courses are offered for continuing education, developing and enhancing job skills, corporate training and self-improvement. Virtual University can be reached on the Web at

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