2466 Online: Moniack in a Month – Speculative Fiction with Rachelle Atalla

2466 Online: Moniack in a Month – Speculative Fiction with Rachelle Atalla

Date(s) - Wed 8th May - Thu 30th May, 2024
7:00pm - 9:00pm

Writing new possibilities for our realities

Join award-winning novelist, short story writer and screenwriter Rachelle Atalla online for a month, exploring the art, breadth and beauty of speculative fiction.  

Limitless in its scope and study of human nature, speculative fiction allows us the opportunity to imagine worlds that are unhindered by the constraints of reality. Through a combination of close reading, discussion, writing exercises and one-to-one feedback, we will study some of the masters in this form of literature, while working towards creating our own new fictional worlds.

As part of this course, you will also be invited to attend an online Guest Speaker event with commissioning editor Sorcha Rose from Hodder & Stoughton, who will be sharing her expertise in editing and publishing speculative fiction  

Moniack in a Month: Speculative Fiction includes: 

  • a short introductory welcome session 
  • four stimulating online workshops, preceded by optional drop-in social time 
  • one 30-minute tutorial 
  • a Guest Speaker event 
  • a final ceilidh session – sharing of work 
  • Contact and support from your community of writers via Google Classroom (optional) 
  • Drop-ins before each workshop to help you get to know your group (optional) 
  • Support from your Moniack Mhor host
Rachelle’s workshops will focus on the following themes:

Workshop 1 – What keeps you up at night?

We’ll consider the societal questions that inspire different forms of speculative fiction, how we approach writing these stories and the research versus personal experience process.  

Workshop 2: Brave New World 

We’ll be exploring the importance of setting and world building, interrogating the rules of your imagined new societies. 

Workshop 3 – Whose journey? 

This session will focus on voice, narrative choices and the characters who will drive your speculative story.

Workshop 4 – The arc of speculation

Building on from previous weeks, we’ll interrogate structure, conflict and plotting, while thinking about the economy of writing and what room we leave for the reader.

Guest Speaker Event

In an hour-long event that will also be open to the public, commissioning editor Sorcha Rose from Hodder & Stoughton will be in discussion with tutor Rachelle Atalla, breaking down the process of publishing speculative fiction, from acquisitions and the editorial process to placing speculative fiction in a commercial market. There will also be time for questions from the audience.



Week 1        Wednesday             8 May         19:00–21:30      Welcome Session and Workshop 1

Week 2        Wednesday           15 May        19:00–21:00      Workshop 2

Week 2        Thursday               16 May         20:00–21:00      Guest Reader Event 

Week 3        Wednesday           22 May         19:00–21:00      Workshop 3

Week 4        Wednesday           29 May         19:00–21:00      Workshop 4

Week 4        Thursday               30 May        19:00–21:00       Ceilidh



Your one-to-one tutorial with Rachelle will be scheduled when the course starts.



Rachelle Atalla is a Scottish-Egyptian novelist, short story writer and screenwriter based in Glasgow. Her debut speculative novel The Pharmacist was published by Hodder and Stoughton in 2022 to critical acclaim and was shortlisted for Best Fiction at the Scottish National Book Awards. In 2023, she published her climate-focused second novel Thirsty Animals and is now working on her third novel. Her short stories have been published widely, she has written for BBC Radio 4, and she is also the recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. In screenwriting, her first short film Trifle was commissioned by the Scottish Film & Talent Network, her first feature-length film was developed with BBC Film, and she is now developing a film adaption of The Pharmacist with Compact Pictures and the BFI.

Guest Speaker

Sorcha Rose joined Hodder & Stoughton in April 2019 and is an Assistant Editor on the Fiction Team. Before this and during her time studying creative writing, Sorcha quickly realised giving feedback and helping mould her fellow students work was her favourite part of the course, and knew she wanted to be an editor. During her time at Hodder, she has assisted and edited on authors such as John Grisham, Peter Robinson and Sophie Hannah. Alongside this, she has been commissioning her own list of commercial fiction, with exciting authors such as Rachelle Atalla, Pip Finkemeyer, Patricia Marques and Catriona McPherson. 


The full fee for this online course is £360.  A deposit of £100 is required to secure your place, which is non-refundable after a 14-day cooling-off period. The balance payment of £260 is due six weeks before the course begins.

Bursaries are available, and you also have the option to pay in instalments, please email online@moniackmhor.org.uk to enquire.

All activity takes place on Zoom, and workshops include a short break. Moniack Mhor staff will be on hand to support you during your course. 

For more information please email online@moniackmhor.org.uk.


Please let us know in your booking form if you have any access requirements when working online so we can do our best to support you. For more information about access to our courses, please visit our Access page.

Terms and Conditions

Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking.


Ticket Type Price Spaces
Access to Online Course (Deposit) £100.00
Access to Online Course (Full Payment) £360.00


Booking Summary

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