Transforming Fairy Tales With Anca Szilágyi - Atlas Obscura Experiences

Transforming Fairy Tales With Anca Szilágyi

4 sessions
$225 per person
Up to 30 people
See Dates
$225 per person
$225 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

In this 4-part seminar, learn how to emulate, draw from, and remix concepts from the fairy tale genre to create new writing of your own.

Course Description

This class invites beginners and experienced writers alike to use concepts from fairy tales as a launch pad for new writing. Drawing from Max Lüthi’s The Fairy Tale as Art Form and Portrait of Man, we’ll play with archetypes and motifs (and explore how motifs play with us), consider how far a fairy tale can be stretched into something new while still retaining some glimmer of recognition, and contemplate how the trope of the tiny flaw can serve as a source of tension in a story. We’ll look at work by authors such as Margaret Atwood, Michael Cunningham, Sofia Satmar, and more. In our final class, students will exchange drafts for peer and instructor feedback in a supportive environment.

While this class is designed for folks of all experience levels who are interested in fairy tale writing, it can also serve as an appropriate complementary course for students who have previously taken courses with Anca.

Syllabus at a Glance

This course includes four total sessions each lasting 1.5 hours meeting on four consecutive Mondays starting on Monday March 4.

Session 1 (Monday, 3/4, 12:00–1:30 PM ET) | Fairy tale Archetypes & Motifs

What are recurring characters, settings, and themes across fairy tales? How can we mix, mash, and re-imagine them?

Session 2 (Monday, 3/11, 12:00–1:30 PM ET) | Stability vs. Dynamism

We’ll explore how far we can stretch a fairy tale. 

Session 3 (Monday, 3/18, 12:00–1:30 PM ET) | Perfection vs. Imperfection

We’ll look at the trope of the tiny flaw, and think about how it can become a source of tension in a fairy tale.

Session 4 (Monday, 3/25, 12:00–1:30 PM ET) | Workshop

In our final session, we’ll provide one another with supportive feedback on our fairy tale drafts?

Between Sessions

Outside of class, students will read published stories and work on a story of their own to share for peer and instructor feedback during the final class. 

Course Materials 

PDFs and links to stories will be provided!

Pricing Options

In addition to full-price tickets, a limited number of no-pay spots are available for this course. Please note that these tickets are reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course and who expect to attend all sessions. No-pay spots are distributed via a randomized drawing two weeks before each course begins. For more information and to apply for a no-pay spot, please click here. To learn more about our pricing model and randomized selection process for no-pay spots, please visit our FAQ page

Community Guidelines for Students

Please take a moment to review our community guidelines for students, which aim to share our classroom ethos and help set the stage for the best possible learning experience.

Atlas Obscura Online Courses

Atlas Obscura Courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.

Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura created the definitive community-driven guide to incredible places across the planet and is now an award-winning company that shares the world’s hidden wonders in person and online.

Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to each class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access all sessions of your course via Zoom.

About Your Instructor
Anca L. Szilágyi
Anca L. Szilágyi

Anca L. Szilágyi is a Brooklynite living in Chicago. Her fiction appears in Lilith Magazine, Confrontation, Fairy Tale Review, and elsewhere. Her nonfiction appears in Los Angeles Review of Books, Orion Magazine, Newsweek, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from Made at Hugo House, Jack Straw Cultural Center, 4Culture, Vermont Studio Center, and Artist Trust. The Stranger hailed Anca as “a fantastic magical realist.” She is the author of the novels Daughters of the Air, which Shelf Awareness called “a striking debut from a writer to watch” and Dreams Under Glass, which Buzzfeed Books called "a novel for our modern times."

What Else You Should Know

This is an interactive, small-group seminar that meets over Zoom. Students may be encouraged to participate in discussions, work on assignments outside of class, and workshop projects with their instructor or classmates. Due to the interactive nature of this course, we strongly recommend students attend as many live sessions as possible. Within 72 hours after each session meets, students will receive access to a recording of the live session, which they can watch for up to two weeks after the course concludes.

Instructors may use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors may use this platform to post resources, discussion questions, or assignments. This platform also offers a space for students to connect with one another about course material between sessions. 

We provide closed captioning for all of our courses and can share transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at if you have any questions, requests, or accessibility needs.

Group Size

There are 30 spots available on this experience.

Dates and Availability

There are no upcoming experiences at the moment. Fill out the form below to be notified when we add new dates.

All fields required.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.