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The SFF Masterclass is a three-day event in science fiction criticism. It offers an intensive course in which students broaden their critical perspectives, sharpen their critical tools, and make contacts with other people working on and in sf and fantasy. The Class Leaders, consisting of leading figures from sf literature, criticism and academia, prepare sample texts for the students to closely scrutinise, and gain insights in both the writing and analysis of sf. The SFF also runs a Mini-Masterclass at Eastercon which acts as a taster for the main event. 


To apply please send a short (no more than 3,000 words) piece of critical writing (a blog entry, review, essay, or other piece) and a one page curriculum vitae (see Contacts). Past students are encouraged to apply although we will prioritise applications from those who have not previously attended. For details of the latest Masterclass, see our regular blog updates.

The previous Class Leaders have been:

2018    Nick Hubble, John Johnston, Stephanie Saulter

2017    No Masterclass

2016    Andrew Milner, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Tade Thompson

2015    Pat Cadigan, Nick Lowe, Graham Sleight

2014    Andy Duncan, Neal Easterbrook, K.V. Johansen

2013    No Masterclass

2012    M. John Harrison, Edward James, Kari Sperring

2011    Mark Bould, Claire Brialey, Paul McAuley

2010    Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Roz Kaveney, Liz Williams

2009    Joan Gordon, Paul Kincaid, Adam Roberts

2008    Wendy Pearson, Geoff Ryman, Gary K. Wolfe

2007    Andrew M. Butler, Joan Haran, Brian Stableford










The SFF Collection is particularly interested in filling its gaps of (especially but not solely):


  • First editions of British science fiction novels and collections.

  • Books which have won or been shortlisted for the field’s major awards.

  • Biographical/bibliographical/critical works on science fiction and fantasy.

  • DVDs of the major sf films/tv series.

  • We are also trying to fill gaps in our runs of sf magazines and the major fanzines in the field.


We do not, unfortunately, have the capacity to collect artwork or artefacts.


We rely entirely on the generosity of publishers, writers and fans, and our consultancy work, for money to spend on adding to the Collection. We welcome donations of material on the basis that saleable duplicates may be sold or traded to enable us to acquire other items we need, or (if in better condition) release copies in poor condition: for example, although we have fairly full runs of many magazines, conditions of  our early pulps sometimes leaves much to be desired.


If necessary, we may pass on material to other collections.


  • If you are an author of science fiction, or sf-related scholarship, we would be very grateful if you or your publisher would donate a copy of each new book of yours to the SFF library. If you publish in the field, whether as a fiction publisher or as a convention organiser, again, your donations would be extremely welcome.


Dealing with large quantities of material at short notice is always difficult and we would ask potential donors to contact the SFF librarian if they are unsure whether we in fact have the material they would like to give us. 


Please note that financial donations also help us to buy material and, importantly, enable us to purchase preservation and storage materials, especially for our growing and increasingly fragile collection of magazines. If you want to support the preservation of our sf heritage in this way, please contact the SFF librarian.