Introduction to Parody Writing with James Folta

The New Yorker writer and and managing editor of Points In Case takes your parody piece from concept to first draft
Registration for this course is closed.
Email us to add yourself to the waiting list in case someone cancels.

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7pm–9pm ET (4pm–6pm Pacific)
Thursdays, May 19 – June 2, 2022, and Fri., June 3*
*the last two classes are back-to-back

Learn how to write parody for the likes of The New Yorker magazine and McSweeney’s in this course with writer, editor and comedian James Folta. Over the course of three weeks and four classes, we’ll discuss how to create longer and shorter print parody projects, how to write close to the voice and format of what you’re parodying, and how to use parody as a way to strengthen your humour writing. We’ll analyze parody, discuss pieces together, and write and workshop your work. You’ll get an introduction to terminology and techniques, and leave class with a draft of a short parody piece.

Recommended prerequisites: Some humour experience is preferred, but not required.

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  • Understanding what makes good parody
  • How parody is a useful lens for thinking about and writing all short humour
  • How to come up with ideas for parody pieces
  • Techniques for planning and outlining
  • A workable draft for a short parody piece, or a plan for a longer project
Thursdays, 7–9pm ET, May 19 – June 2, 2022, and Fri., June 3

*The last two days are back-to-back work-shopping sessions

  • Class 1 (May 19): Terminology, concepts, and writing exercises
  • Class 2 (May 26): Longer parody projects; outlines and beginnings; starting your short parody
  • Classes 3 & 4 (June 2 & 3): Work-shopping your first drafts together

After checkout, you’ll receive a receipt with a link to download your syllabus, which will include Zoom passcodes, pre-class homework, and additional course information. You will also receive an emailed reminder a few days before your first class.


This is an introductory course intended for committed students. Some humour experience preferred, but not required. Please be on time, meet your deadlines, and read other classmates pieces to workshop together.

Students expected to be present and intellectually curious during class time. In addition to attending each class, you are expected to be available across all dates to complete your writing assignments. If your work is more than 48 hours late, however, you may or may not get feedback.

The course is intended for live participation, however, if you can’t be present for a class, or must leave early, a recording will be provided in the student folder the morning after.


Pandemic University is committed to offering a fulfilling and inclusive education. Classes are held via Zoom with Closed Captioning features enabled through auto-transcription technology. A teaching assistant will be present to correct transcription mistakes and assist in other ways. The course includes workshops and class discussions, thus students are required to participate through audio; accommodations can be made for people with speaking or other disabilities if they inform us ahead of schedule. Video is encouraged of all students in order to optimize everyone’s virtual classroom experience.


Space is limited to sixteen students. Anyone wishing to cancel their registration have until May 11, 2022 to receive a guaranteed refund. If you cancel between May 12 and May 18, we will only offer a refund if and after the vacated spot is filled. No refunds whatsoever will be offered after the course begins on May 19. Violations of the Code of Conduct may also result in your removal from the course without compensation.


Although PanU is technically a fake university, we’re committed to high standards of artistic integrity, quality education, and maintaining a safe virtual environment for students. Abusive behaviour toward classmates or instructors will not be tolerated at any point during the course, including in private messages, and will result in expulsion without refund.

Other violations that could have you expelled from this course include: refusing to participate in group workshops; plagiarism and misrepresentation of others’ ideas as your own; racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia either in your notes (written or spoken) or in your work; sharing recordings of classes; sharing classmates’ work without their consent.

The final say on whether or not you continue in class belongs to the instructor alone. If you have any questions, email

About the Instructor REGISTRATION CLOSED-Join the waiting list Class Catalogue