Affiliate Program

Science and Speculative Fiction Short-Versed Poetry: Scifaiku, Scifi-zips, tankas - and more!

Terrie Leigh Relf, M.A.

Course ID: LC014

Current Openings: Yes

Note: Course may be repeated with new content and/or with a detailed focus on a particular form. An advanced course will be offered as well.

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Course Type:

Intensive writing, revision, reading, and critique. Themed and "open" exercises/assignments. Supplementary reading via the web as well as through email attachments. Learners may choose to "workshop" with the rest of the class and/or limit their interactions to instructor/learner contact only.


Learners will develop and/or enhance their writing experience in the science and speculative poetry genre. They will compose and prepare poems for submission to appropriate markets.

Learner Prerequisites

Beginning to advanced poets. No experience necessary. All that is needed is interest in and/or experience with the genre. Familiarity with traditional and English-correlative haiku, senryu, tanka, and other short-verse forms is a plus!

Start Date Ongoing, open enrollment.
Duration 5 lessons.
Limit 8 students.
Class Materials None, although I strongly recommend The Science Fiction Poetry Handbook, written by Suzette Haden Elgin, The Science Fiction Poetry Association's founder. (Available at the Genremall.
Cost $150
Tutorial Option Additional mentoring and critiquing is available from the instructor. The fee is $45 per hour. Please contact [email protected] to register.

Course Outline

Lesson 1:

  • Course Introduction
  • Scifaiku and zip basics.
  • Homework: Compose 8-10 scifaiku and/or zips for instructor feedback.

Lesson 2:

  • Tanka focus.
  • Homework: Compose 5-6 tankas for instructor feedback.

Lesson 3:

  • Freeverse focus.
  • Homework: Compose 3-5 poems for instructor feedback.

Lesson 4:

  • Market focus
  • Homework: Learners will research markets and prepare poems for submission.

Lesson 5:

  • Instructor will evaluate submission "packets" and assist accordingly.

Instructor Bio

Terrie Leigh Relf, M.A. has a B.A. in Buddhist Studies/Buddhist and Western Psychology from Naropa Institute, and an M.A. in English, with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Writing, from San Diego State University. For over ten years, she has been a writing instructor, workshop facilitator and writing coach. A versatile copy editor and content provider, she has worked on a variety of manuscripts in the areas of Art and Entertainment, Business, Education, Personal Growth and Spiritual Development, Social Commentary, Sports Medicine, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The former poetry editor and "Poet's Workshop" columnist for and WORD San, she is currently the "deputy" poetry editor for NFG-writing with attitude, and the editor for "FireWeed", MindFire's literary newsletter, and a staff writer for Writer OnLine. She also pens the monthly "Mistress of Rhetoric" column for The Espresso, an independent newspaper for café society.

With over 300 publishing credits, Relf's short stories, articles, columns, and poetry have appeared in a variety of genre and non-genre publications, both on and off-line. She has published four chapbooks: Lap Danced by the Muse (writersmonthly, 2002), Metro Madness (lucy westenra ebooks, 2003), The Ice Queen, an illustrated story book (Sam's Dot Publishing, 2003), and Jupiter's Eye (Sam's Dot Publishing, 2004).

Relf, a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, was recently nominated for a James B. Baker award for her article, "Science Fiction Zips and Zip Rengays" (Scifaikuest, a Sam's Dot Publication), as well as for two Preditors & Editors Award Categories: Best Poem for "A Poet on Board" (Illumen, a Sam's Dot Publication), and for Best Poet.

You may contact her at [email protected], or by phone: 619-234-0763.