Writers Beyond Robots: Sci-Fi, Visual Storytelling and Virtual Reality

This five-week workshop will look at the legacy of Sci-Fi and myth-building that promote agency over automation. As we study the craft involved in creating thoughtful text for new media forms, including virtual reality (VR), we’ll use visceral language as a model for designing new narratives. This course leads you through the creation of your own short story, poetry collection, or virtual reality script by the end of the class. Students will read and respond to a selection of short stories, poems, VR storyboards and visual stories each week, and will develop an original piece of their own by the fifth week, to share for critique in a friendly, supportive environment. This class prepares writers exploring new media with skills that let us see where our creative voice can help shape emerging technology, leading with our imagination and insights as creative writers no robot can replicate.   

– Week 1: Intro: Sci-Fi Legacy Survey, Hero’s Journey & Myths
– Week 2: UX Design & Empathy Engines
– Week 3: Poetic Language & Visual Storytelling
– Week 4: Immersive Story Design: Visceral Cues, Identity & Agency
– Week 5: Writing for Virtual Reality: World-building

* Last class date is after a 2-week gap because of July 4th holiday 


June 21, 2020 - July 26, 2020


11:00 am - 1:00 pm



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Caitlin Krause


Caitlin Krause

Caitlin Krause is a learning expert, author, writer and keynote speaker. In her 2019 book Mindful by Design and through her organizational consulting, she helps individuals and groups leverage mindfulness, storytelling, and design principles to connect more deeply with their audiences and communities. Caitlin’s publications include Mindful by Design (2019), From Beginning to End (2012), and a book of poetry-photography The Book of Electric Cattle Prods (2007). Her work has appeared in Forbes, HIGGS, EdSurge, Tech&Learning, Woven Tale Press, The Woolf Quarterly, The Aurorean, Avocet, Her Mark, and Solstice magazine.  As founder of the MindWise consultancy, co-founder of the Center of Wise Leadership, and a virtual reality and AI specialist, Caitlin contributes to building products and experiences that promote humanity, innovation and emotional intelligence. She speaks extensively in Europe and North America, delivering keynotes and leading professional development and learning workshops. Complementing her work with mindfulness and social and emotional learning (SEL), she coaches about effective use of virtual reality, augmented reality, and immersive storytelling to boost innovation, creativity and wellbeing.  Mentoring the 2020 MIT Reality Hack, Caitlin reinforced principles of UX, story, design and empathy as core components of a meaningful XR experience. She works as a scriptwriter and VR/AR story designer in digital therapeutics with a focus on mental health VR, using mindfulness, guided imagery, HCD, biofeedback, BA and CBT. Caitlin's book Mindful by Design debuted at the World Economic Forum, where she spoke about the future of education, sci-fi and immersive technology. Through her leadership and organizational consulting, she helps individuals and teams create connection in the midst of complexity and change. She recently created a mindfulness and SEL series in social VR, fusing presence, storytelling, curiosity and emotional intelligence. Caitlin has more than a decade of experience as a full-time educator, and serves as an interdisciplinary curriculum designer, promoting mindful leadership models throughout organizations. She holds a BA from Duke University and an MFA from Lesley University, and believes in embracing creative constraints, living a life filled with moments of wonder, and connecting with passion, purpose and presence. 

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