The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

A time machine smashes into earth after a fatal mistake, a 42nd infantry is destroyed, a team of scientists jumps into a parallel dimension, and a victory is won for Arthon.

All in the same classroom in Iowa City.

Before coming to the Iowa Young Writer’s Studio, I had been an avid lover of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Nothing excites me more than a new Doctor Who companion or a reference to Battlestar Galatica. And don’t even get me started on the amount of Harry Potter memorabilia that adorns every inch of my bookshelf.

So when I received course descriptions in April, I was immediately taken by a class that asked me if “maybe [I] find reality to be a walloping disappointment.  Maybe [my] imagination is just too big for [my] body.” In just those two lines, I knew there was no other first choice for my class selection.

Although I had never attempting to write any fiction involving a sword, a robot, a daemon, or a dragon, I decided to jump on the USS Enterprise and go for it (Star Trek anyone? Nope? Worth a shot). Within just my first few days of classes, I have enjoyed some of the most analytical and captivating conversations about everything ranging from the practicalities of battle strategies to the different types of zombies and their effectiveness as sympathetic characters.

These are topics that teachers wouldn’t dare to cover in my English classes, but Anjali Sachdeva serves as our fearless leader through the perils of inaccurate explanations of the limitations of magic. She approaches each student’s work with an eye to the core necessities of storytelling and the more intricate layers that Scifi and Fantasy bring.

I love to strap on my armor and enter the classroom every day; and I cannot wait to traverse the universe with my fellow workshop participants.

-Madeleine Remi

Madeleine Remi is a rising high school senior from McLean, Virginia. She’s currently attending the Iowa Young Writer’s Studio.