Shared Worlds Workshop

I recently contributed to a cool fundraising effort for Shared Worlds, a teen fantasy and science fiction writing camp in South Carolina.

Artist Jeremy Zerfoss created a tableaux of fanciful monsters, and each writer chose one to write a short description about.

Click here to see the full-size work, and click on any monster for its description. See if you can find mine!

From that page, you can donate to Shared Worlds or register if you think attending would be fun. It’s open to 8th through 12th Graders.

Here’s the press release from Shared Worlds:

Neil Gaiman, Lev Grossman, Scott Westerfeld, and thirty-seven more of the most imaginative writers from around the world have contributed to Shared Worlds’ “Critter Map,” a webpage of fantastical beasts. Their whimsical descriptions of imaginary creatures created by pop artist Jeremy Zerfoss are in support of the Shared Worlds registration and fund drive for 2012. Every summer up to 50 teen writers come to Shared Worlds SF/F Teen Writing Camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, from as far away Japan to participate in this unique camp. This year, registrants include teens from all parts of the United States as well as Germany and Indonesia. Wofford College provides a structured, supervised environment in which the students can excel and demonstrate their creativity.

At Shared Worlds, the students form teams in classrooms to build entire fantasy or science fictional worlds in the first week and then write stories in those worlds the second week. Top professional writers are on hand to provide feedback and to conduct workshops. The guest writers for the 2012 include New York Times bestsellers Julianna Baggott, Naomi Novik, and Tobias Buckell as well as Prix Award Winner Karin Lowachee and Hugo Award winner Ann VanderMeer. The teens also get to attend author readings, take fieldtrips to bookstores, and create videos about their imaginary worlds. Shared Worlds also publishes an annual book of the students’ writing.

“For many of our students, Shared Worlds is a transformational experience,” said the camp’s assistant director, fantasy writer Jeff VanderMeer. ”They not only learn more about writing, they also get to have fun solving problems in in the world-building groups, and they form what will probably turn out to be life-long friendships with like-minded teens.”

The “Critter Map” is the cornerstone of a donation drive intended to ensure that attending the Shared Worlds Teen Writing Camp can be a possibility for all registered students, no matter what their financial need.

Click here for more info about Shared Worlds.

33 thoughts on “Shared Worlds Workshop

  1. @10: I was thinking that too: Leviathan! Nope, just camouflaged behemoth-size slug. Wickedly awesome.

  2. Scott and everyone, please don’t think of me as a dummkopf, but how do we KNOW which one’s yours???

  3. @19: It says when you click on it in the full picture, which you get to from the highlighted “click here.”

  4. I thought you’d chose The Lithosphere Whale given your books…
    Everyone should go for a different style sometime right?

  5. too funny. it took me two tries to find it, but it’s actually REALLY well thought out. good job!!!! snaps for you!!!!!

  6. Ahaha that’s awesome. Loved yours Scott-la. “And imperiled damsels, likewise, are advised to articulate their distress clearly, thus reassuring their champions that they are storming a portcullis, and not a gullet.”
    I know that’s roughly half, but it just sums up your style so clearly.

    This seems like an interesting camp. Sounds like fun too.

  7. @24 Yes, I had eaten a TINY LITTLE BIT TOO MUCH SUGAR. ’twas Valentine’s day after all, which translates directly to CANDEH.
    I thought it was the whale too… jumping to conclusions, I suppose. (PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH REFERENCE)

  8. Thank you for contributing to our little bestiary Scott. Your insight into the mind of a Rook is extraordinary.

  9. Very, very clever! It was the second to last one I discovered, and though I went to the page with the intent of finding Mr. Westerfeld’s , all the monsters and their descriptions are incredibly whimsical and adorable and worth reading. I want to move in to wherever they are!

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