Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor

Jean Braithwaite

Second Advisor

Amy Cummins

Third Advisor

Jose Rodriguez


This thesis briefly discusses the genres and subgenres of speculative fiction—focusing on fantasy, horror, and science fiction—and is primarily a short story collection that also includes a few novel chapters. The critical introduction delves into the present and overly complex subgenre categorization methods, how and why new subgenres are created, and provides simple definitions for the main genres of speculative fiction and fantasy subgenres.

The subgenres that will be discussed through either a short story, novel chapter(s), or definition include, but are not limited to: fairytales, portal fantasy, paranormal romance, dark fantasy, historical fantasy, magical realism, epic fantasy, mythic fiction, grimdark fiction, and contemporary fantasy.

The critical introduction will also discuss creative difficulties I experienced with each project and the motivations behind each story. I want my thesis to convey that creative writing can feel dichotomous, and it is up to the individual writer, their compendium of collected knowledge, and having the conviction to write what they want to write no matter the marketing tags or opinions of respected authorities.


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