Fantastic Voyage Q&A


Discover your voice and make meaningful friendships! Our Teen Summer Workshops (for 11-14 year olds) provide students with an intensive, enriching writing experience that not only fosters open creative expression but also builds confidence and strengthens communication skills in a safe, supportive environment.

We would love for you to join us, whether you’ve been writing for years or just want to be part of a unique creative process.

We spoke with Jim McConville, who is teaching our “Fantastic Voyage” summer workshop (August 5-9, 1 to 4 p.m.; ages 11-14), to find out what he loves about the fantasy genre.

Read more and register here.

PWN: What do you look for in a Fantastic Voyage story? To learn? To travel? To laugh? A combination?

JIM: In any story that involves a Fantastic Voyage, I look for the character who is going on a journey to experience some type of change—positive, negative, surprising, expected. To me, this shows that the character is open to the presumably fresh setting they are facing and willing to be influenced by it. The change can be minor, but I do expect it’s going to stick with them. Laughing and learning are great aspects of it, as well.

PWN: What type of reading do you do to escape the everyday world? (Or, your favorite made-up destination to read about?)

JIM: If I could live anywhere real or imagined, I would love to live in JRR Tolkien’s Shire. Simple, intentional living surrounded by green scenery as far as the eye can see. And it being socially acceptable to walk around barefoot sounds pretty great too. I love reading poetry collections to unwind. I find something so relaxing about diving into the verses and letting the mood and tone of the poems take me somewhere else. My first love of poetry was Walt Whitman, and after recently seeing The Belle of Amherst at the Two River Theater, I have been rediscovering my love for Emily Dickinson. I love the language of past writers—there is something so essential about it.

PWN: What moment in the classroom gets you excited as an instructor?

JIM: Anytime I see a student excited about life in general, but specifically learning and thinking, I can’t help becoming so full of excitement too. I also love when students realize they are capable of more than they initially think. That is super rewarding as well.

PWN: Why do you write?

JIM: I write because I love to breathe in the world around me, no matter how polluted it can seem at times.

Read more and register here.

Jim McConville is a Writing Instructor for Project Write Now.