Genre Hybridization: The New Normal with Paul Goat Allen

Examine the history of genre hybridization, explore the challenges of writing narratives that utilize seemingly disparate genre elements, and analyze how such releases are being marketed today.

Your Instructor: Paul Goat Allen has been a genre fiction book critic for 25+ years. He is an instructor and mentor in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate writing program.

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here


Price: $275

Class Description

Genre hybridization isn’t a passing trend—it’s the New Normal.

Although genre hybridization has been around for centuries, the last two decades have seen a meteoric rise in the popularity of genre-blending storylines across all genre categories. In this 3-week class, veteran book critic and instructor Paul Goat Allen will examine the history of genre hybridization—from its 19th century roots to the Golden Age of Paranormal Fantasy to present-day; explore the advantages (and challenges) of writing narratives that utilize seemingly disparate genre elements from the perspective of novelist, publisher, and reader; and analyze how such releases are being marketed in today’s publishing landscape.

You will leave this class with an understanding of how to write a commercially viable genre-blending novel and how to market it, all from a critic that has his finger on the pulse of the current publishing landscape.

What This Class Covers

Week 1: The History of Genre Hybridization

Algernon Blackwood was writing genre-blending stories back in the 1900s, but even at the height of his popularity, his stories featuring psychic detective John Silence were considered niche. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, the boundaries separating genre categories began crumbling with bestselling genre-blending releases like King’s The Gunslinger, Outlander by Gabaldon, and Hamilton’s Guilty Pleasures, but when the paranormal fantasy wave hit like a tsunami in 2000—and lasted for more than a decade—those boundaries were obliterated and genre fiction was irrevocably changed.

Assignment: Write the first 10 pages of a hybridized story or construct an in-depth outline.

Week 2: The Advantages (and Challenges) of Selling a Genre-Hybridized Novel

With innovative genre hybridized releases seemingly everywhere, Allen highlights numerous new genre hybridized releases and examines why these storylines work so well. He also discusses the challenges of publishing a genre hybridized novel and, after critiquing the students work from the previous week, dissects each submission with a focus on originality, market, audience, and overall commercial viability.

Assignment: Revise 10-page submission with the criteria (market, audience, commercial viability) in mind.

Week 3: How Publishers are Marketing Genre-Hybridized Titles, and What That Means to You

Allen shares numerous press releases and reviews of genre-blending releases and investigates the savvy way in which these titles are now being marketed and categorized. Even if students write historical romances or epic fantasy sagas or mysteries—and aren’t planning on writing a genre-blending novel any time soon—the information shared in this class is still invaluable: especially when it comes to selling your novel in a brutally competitive market.

Assignment: Write a pitch and/or blurb for your genre hybridized novel utilizing the information shared in the class.

Goals Of This Class

  • Analyze the history and evolution of genre hybridization.
  • Examine why these storylines work so well.
  • Tailor your own projects with commercial viability in mind
  • Learn how to position your hybrid story or novel in today's competitive marketplace.  
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