Our vision is to "Save the World Through Science Fiction." You can help!
Many of the most promising writers, scholars, and educators don't enjoy the same privileges as others. We strive to level the playing field so everyone - regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, income, nationality or immigrant status, physical ability, neurodiversity or mental-health status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or marital, parental, and veteran status - has equal opportunity for admission to our educational programs, and equal access to our activities. We actively encourage students and scholars from diverse backgrounds to study. We especially encourage people from historically under-represented groups to apply for our courses and scholarships. Click here to see our thoughts on diversity, inclusivity, and commitment to equity.
By making our offerings affordable to those who might not otherwise be able to attend, we hope to increase accessiblity for all while offering a broad, diverse set of writing instruction for attendees dedicated to growing their creative skills and STEM knowledge. We offer a safe space for the diversity of people who attend our events and educational programs.
We want everyone to enjoy the same opportunity to study the SF arts, and - if it's your goal - to learn how to become a professional speculative-fiction writer!
The Ad Astra Institute for Science Fiction & the Speculative Imagination is a registered not-for-profit 501(c)3 educational, arts, and research organization chartered in Kansas in 2023 and housed in Lawrence, Kansas. We're dedicated to speculative-fiction education because we believe the genres under the spec-fic umbrella have the power to change the world for the better. SF inspires, informs, and warns like no other literary or visual mode. It prepares its readers for the future, for change, and for encounters with the Other. We believe that increasing access to SF through offering educational programs, sharing books, offering resources for writers and scholars, and enabling educators and librarians helps SF increase its reach and positive effect on the world, shaping a better future for us all. Check out our thoughts on diversity and inclusivity and our commitment to equity and "Defining Science Fiction" for elaboration on some of these thoughts.
Our founder, directors, Advisory Board, and many others volunteer time and effort to the programs we support, and receive no salary from Ad Astra. The University of Kansas provides space for housing, and our staff and faculty provide space for our material assets like our library, equipment for volunteers, and more. Our only expenses are reasonable honoraria for instructors in our programs and invoiced expenses such as for housing for our residential workshops - we have zero overhead costs and pay no salaries.
Without donors and volunteers, there would be no Ad Astra Institute for Science Fiction & the Speculative Imagination. Our supporters help support, enhance, and grow our science fiction mission to make the world a better place.
You can support our activities by making a charitable donation to help others attend the workshops who might otherwise not be able to, or to support our educational outreach - contact McKitterick (email@example.com) for details. We can accept Zelle (use firstname.lastname@example.org to make a direct donation), PayPal (which takes an additional fee), and checks; please send checks to:
Ad Astra Institute for Science Fiction & the Speculative Imagination
1809 Indiana St.
Lawrence, KS 66044
If requested, we will provide a year-end receipt of your donations for tax preparation; donations to Ad Astra are fully tax-deductible.
Thank you so much to our donors and supporters! You make all this possible.
Both associate director Kij Johnson and director Chris McKitterick have Patreon blogs where they share fiction, writing tips, photos, and stories from their lives. Supporting them on Patreon helps keep food on their tables, which enables them to offer a greater number of scholarships through accepting lower honoraria for teaching their classes and workshops.
You can also support Ad Astra and scholarships for our attendees by using the patron of the arts tiers listed on McKitterick's Patreon, subscribing as either an "Ad Astra Supporter" for $10/month or "Ad Astra Star Patron" for $100/month, and these funds go directly toward student scholarships and help support the ongoing development of our writing resources and blog efforts. Not only do Ad Astra Patreon subscribers get to see patron-only posts, but you'll also get free swag as a thank you (when available). Or just sign up as a patron for McKitterick to ensure he can afford to continue serving Ad Astra!
The Kansas City Science Fiction & Fantasy Society (KaCSFFS) has long supported our educational outreach programs, and we participate in and hold an annual fundraiser at their ConQuesT SF convention in Kansas City.
If you'd like to help support Ad Astra, consider supporting our local fan organization and attend this fun event!
We partner with Farbeyond Books - a fantastic spec-fic bookstore - which donates at least 50% of sales to Ad Astra, so check them out! Also, if you have books you'd like to donate to help support Ad Astra, let us know.
You can help support Ad Astra's mission by volunteering. Send us an email, or ask to join our discussion forum to see calls for help and to make suggestions of your own.
If you would like to donate SF books, magazines, audio/visual materials, clippings, art, or so forth (either for our lending library or for sale to support scholarships), please contact us about logistics.
If you would like donate to support a new program, a new scholarship, or something else, please contact us and we can work with you to focus your donation.
Do you have ideas for other donations, such as supporting a speaker or guest instructor? Let us know! We are more than happy to create new programs upon request and with support.
We appreciate our supporters and love to sing their praises! Of course, if you wish to remain anonymous (as many of our donors do), let us know. Here are some people who have donated funds, materials, and substantial time to Ad Astra:
Amy and Gary Bennett (in memory of Edward Dobert Spear)
Elizabeth Bourne (in memory of Mark Bourne)
Center for Creative Leadership
Patricia M. Collins
Marsha A. Diggs
Anna England (in memory of John H. Beyer Jr)
James E. Gunn
Richard W. Gunn
D. Robert Hamm
Leigh Ann Hartman
KU Achievement & Assessment Institute
Kansas City Science Fiction & Fantasy Society
Lawrence Public Library
James R. Mechler
Julia E. Mechler
Dawn M. Mennear
Andrew I. Porter
Trevor Santarra (in Honor of Stephen Sarratt)
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA)
Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA)
Linda Wilson Stokes
Nöel Sturgeon and the Sturgeon Literary Trust
Terri V. Thompson (in Honor of GE and Louise Patterson, Mae and Charles Blake, and Judith McAllister)
University of Wyoming (Donald A. Wollheim collection of books and papers)
...And many others through gifts of time, money, event space, and materials.
If you don't see your name here and would like to be publicly acknowledged (or you wish your donation to be in honor or memory of another), please let Chris McKitterick (email@example.com) know, and we'll be sure to update this page.
Thank you for helping save the world through science fiction!
Everyone enjoys equal access to our offerings, and we actively encourage students and scholars from diverse backgrounds to study. We especially encourage people from historically under-represented groups to apply for our courses and scholarships. Many of our other courses are available to be taken in hybrid format (if space is available) to help enable those who might not be able to attend in person to participate, and we happily make accommodations to enable everyone to enjoy the fullest experience. We also make accomodations for those who cannot attend in person.
At Ad Astra, we also believe that earning a creative education should not depend on financial privilege, so we offer several scholarships to enable everyone to participate. If you wish to help support others to enroll, please consider donating to our scholarship fund (the Ad Astra Institute is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit). Many of the most promising writers don't enjoy the same privilege as those who do, so we strive to level the playing field so everyone regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, income, nationality or immigrant status, physical ability status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or marital, parental, and veteran status has equal opportunity to participate in our educational programs, and equal access to our activities. We want everyone to enjoy the same opportunity to become a professional speculative-fiction writer! We work to be a safe space for those who come to our events and educational programs.
We believe strongly in the free sharing of information, so you'll find a lot of content - including course syllabi and many materials from our classes - on this and related sites and social networks as educational outreach. Feel free to use this content for independent study, or to adapt it for your own educational and nonprofit purposes; just please credit us and link back to this website. We'd also love to hear from you if you used our materials!
This site is associated with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), the Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA), AboutSF, and other organizations, and its contents are copyright 1992-present Christopher McKitterick except where noted, and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License: Feel free to use and adapt for non-profit purposes, with attribution. For publication or profit purposes, please contact McKitterick or other creators as noted.
Works on this site are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.