I have taught several classes and guest lectures about asexuality for the Writing the Other series:
Crafting Diverse Relationships: Family and Friends, Lovers and Life Partners
co-taught with Piper J. Drake and Jae Koyanagi
Relationships between characters are key to character development and plot progression in every genre, not just romance. Family bonds, friendships, and lifelong partnerships create support networks around characters in every narrative. Writers often struggle to represent the connections and bonds between people that are outside their experience.
In this class, authors Piper J. Drake, Lauren Jankowski, and Jae Koyanagi will discuss family and found family, platonic relationships and friendships, poly and interracial relationships, and how to recognize and challenge the Love Hierarchy.
Join Writing the Other in exploring a range of relationship arcs and interpersonal dynamics to create vivid narratives and character-driven plot lines.
This class will be taught virtually from July 1–23, 2023.
More than Eunuchs and Extraterrestrials: Writing Positive Portrayals of Asexual Characters
Since the movement for asexual visibility has become more widespread, people have begun to demand more openly asexual characters in popular media. However, too many creators are trying to write asexual characters without doing any research or talking to asexual people. This results in incredibly damaging and stereotypical asexual characters.
In this seminar, asexual author Lauren Jankowski walks students through the general terminology related to the asexual spectrum, discusses the importance of dismantling the love hierarchy, and provides tips for avoiding common stereotypes of asexuals.
The class includes both the video recording of the live seminar plus supplemental resources and reading recommendations. All class materials are online, and a download link will be emailed to you after you complete your purchase.
Building a World Without Love Hierarchies
Part of “Deep Dive Into Building Inclusive Worlds”
There has been a push to get more asexual and aromantic representation in literature, particularly in the speculative genres. However, with this push, we’re still seeing the same tired romantic tropes playing out. Authors are frequently plugging ace and aro characters into romances, thus creating characters who are ace and aro in name only.
In order to accurately represent asexuals and aromantic people, authors need to tackle the issue that has dogged both communities: love hierarchies. How does one do that when we live in a world with an incredibly narrow view of what love is and what sort of love is important? This lecture will help writers understand how to build a world that isn’t reliant on love hierarchies. It will touch on ways characters can platonically show love to each other and challenge students to face their own preconceived notions of love in the worlds they create.
This class includes video lectures and interviews by eight instructors and extensive discussion and Q&A on each topic. Students will leave the class with a deep worldbuilding toolset, resources for further study, and access to a database of sensitivity readers.