Shared Worlds is a program designed for teen writers interested in speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, etc.). The students work in groups with an experienced “world-building coordinator” to design and build a world. They also attend sessions on particular aspects of worldbuilding with historians, scientists, authors and philosophers. Within a few days, the students have produced a world complete with its own life forms, languages, laws and cultures. The students then write stories set in the worlds they have built. Professional writers on the Shared Worlds staff, as well as a number of guest authors, instruct the students in various aspects of creative writing. At the end of the program, the guest authors meet the students individually to discuss their stories; they also provide a constructive written evaluation of each student’s story. Finally, the students’ stories are published annually in book form.

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