Speculative fiction writer, translator, and editor

4,000 words

Seat Time:

4,000 words × your reading speed, plus time to complete any exercises





In this course, you will learn how to write with neopronouns, such as e and xe. You will also learn about nonbinary genders and experiences and how to determine whether a story is high-context or low-context.

Introduction to Neopronouns by S. Qiouyi Lu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This course is free to access online. You may save the files and make copies of the course for offline use and to redistribute. Any adaptation of this course must be shared under a compatible license.

Tuition is optional. If you would like to leave a token of appreciation for my labor on this course, you may do so through the Tuition page in my shop.

Send tuition

Never required; always appreciated, no matter the amount.

Course Objectives

As a result of this course, you will be able to:

  • Broadly define the terms “gender” and “nonbinary.”
  • Explain why research helps to create richer narratives.
  • Define what a “neopronoun” is.
  • Recall at least three sets of neopronouns.
  • Demonstrate how at least one set of neopronouns is used in a sentence.
  • Define the terms “high-context” and “low-context” in reference to narrative and worldbuilding.
  • Analyze whether a story’s engagement with gender and presentation of neopronouns is high-context or low-context.
  • Write a 100-word passage using at least one set of neopronouns.

Course Syllabus

Planned developments and updates

Last updated October 14, 2022

  • Add explanation of possessive nouns vs. adjectives
  • Expand background on case
  • Include background on agreement for grammar
  • Explain that “singular” they is to distinguish it from plural and not necessarily for agreement, but that usage can change (i.e., is it “they is” or “they are”)
  • Add reflexive pronouns and how they’re typically formed from possessive adj + self
  • Include no-pronouns as pronoun choice, name only, interchangeable pronouns, multiple sets
  • Include note about pronunciation varying and to ask users if unsure
  • Add IPA for pronouns and links to audio where possible
  • Include section on pronoun notation and reference full expanded notation on Pronoun.is
  • Describe various notation abbreviations, including:
    • subj only
    • subj/obj
    • subj/obj/poss adj
    • subj/obj/poss n
    • mixed pronoun sets like “she/her/they”
  • Expand Neopronouns in Speculative Fiction resource to include new releases and a change log
  • Add automated text-to-speech extension—updating recordings to match updated text is currently too much production for instructor, will need to add caveat that automated pronunciation may be inaccurate


October 20, 2022 | v1.4.0

  • Converted reading questions into interactive form.
  • Consolidated writing exercises into one page.
  • Expanded writing exercise instructions to include explanations of point of view, intent, and examples.
  • Added scratch paper drafting area to writing exercises.
  • Converted writing exercise reflection questions into interactive form.
  • Expanded background and explanations of high- and low-context narratives.
  • Added practice questions for identifying high- and low-context narratives.

October 14, 2022 | v1.3.0

  • Added bookable office hours appointments.

October 11, 2022 | v1.2.0

  • Added print button to lessons. Disabled as of 12/5/2022 while I find a better option.
  • Revised learning objectives.
  • Simplified course description.
  • Removed target audience on syllabus—this is a general audience course.
  • Streamlined course philosophy.
  • Revised accessibility note on syllabus to make rationale more explicit.
  • Removed redundant roadmap on syllabus.
  • Revised background on nonbinary gender lesson, now renamed “What is gender? What does it mean to be ‘nonbinary’?”
  • Added review questions for gender lesson.
  • Minor revisions for clarity.
  • Added link to gender lesson text for more information on Two-Spirit identities.
  • Split pronouns lesson into standard pronouns and neopronouns.
  • Added practice questions for pronouns.
  • Split “How do we write respectfully?” into its own lesson with review questions.
  • Added feedback survey.

October 8, 2022 | v1.1.0

  • Revised course description to reflect earlier date of neopronoun use in anglophone genre literature.
  • Minor corrections to text.
  • Increased frequency of paragraph breaks to improve legibility.
  • Removed paywalled reading assignment (“Grow Green” by Rem Wigmore in Capricious 8: Gender Diverse Pronouns Special Issue, January 8, 2018).
  • Changed “Required Reading” to “Reading List.”
  • Added Pronoun Page to resources list.
  • Added planned developments and updates log.
  • Updated images for writing exercises to Creative Commons images.
  • Licensed course under CC BY-SA. Chose not to license under -NC. Further reading: The case for Free use: reasons not to use a Creative Commons -NC license

April 27, 2020

  • First published as LifterLMS course on self-hosted WordPress.
  • Registration suspended on paid Rambo Academy platform, as course is now offered for free.

May 2019

November 3–11, 2018 | v1.0.0

  • “Deep Dive Into Neopronouns” taught as a Writing the Other course.
  • No longer affiliated with Writing the Other because I disagree with the concept of reifying an “Other” through writing pedagogy.

May 2018 | v0.1.0

  • “Neopronouns” presented as workshop at WisCon 42.
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