July 19 - August 1, 2020
Shared Worlds is an annual summer 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.
Supported by an Amazon grant and featured by The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post, Shared Worlds is a unique writing camp that brings together rising 8th-12th grade students from all over the world. Students work with critically acclaimed and bestselling fantasy and science fiction writers to imagine, build, and write their own stories.
Shared Worlds takes the ideas and enthusiasm of young writers seriously, and encourages their creativity in a fun, dynamic, and safe learning environment on the beautiful campus of Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC.
Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, four novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, The Devil in Silver, and The Changeling and two novellas, Lucretia and the Kroons andThe Ballad of Black Tom. He is also the creator and writer of a comic book Victor LaValle's DESTROYER.
He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Whiting Writers' Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Shirley Jackson Award, an American Book Award, and the key to Southeast Queens. He was raised in Queens, New York. He now lives in Washington Heights with his wife and kids. He teaches at Columbia University.
Kali Wallace studied geology and earned a PhD in geophysics before she realized she enjoyed inventing imaginary worlds more than she liked researching the real one. She is the author of the young adult novels Shallow Graves and The Memory Trees and the upcoming middle grade fantasy City of Islands. Her first novel for adults, the science fiction horror-thriller Salvation Day, will be published by Berkley Books in 2019. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, F&SF, Asimov's, Tor.com, and other speculative fiction magazines. After spending most of her life in Colorado, she now lives in southern California.
Ekaterina Sedia resides in the Pinelands of New Jersey. Her critically-acclaimed and award-nominated novels, The Secret History of Moscow, The Alchemy of Stone, The House of Discarded Dreams, and Heart of Iron, were published by Prime Books. Her short stories appeared in Analog, Baen's Universe, Subterranean, and Clarkesworld, as well as numerous anthologies, including Haunted Legends and Magic in the Mirrorstone. She is also the editor of the anthologies Paper Cities (World Fantasy Award winner), Running with the Pack, Bewere the Night, and Bloody Fabulous as well as The Mammoth Book of Gaslit Romance and Wilful Impropriety. Her short-story collection, Moscow But Dreaming, was released by Prime Books in December 2012. She also co-wrote a script for YAMASONG: MARCH OF THE HOLLOWS, a fantasy feature-length puppet film voiced by Nathan Fillion, George Takei, Abigail Breslin, and Whoopi Goldberg to be released by Dark Dunes Productions.
Gwenda Bond is the author of many novels. Among others, they include the Lois Lane and Cirque American trilogies, and the first official Stranger Things novel, Suspicious Minds. She and her husband author Christopher Rowe also co-write a middle grade series, the Supernormal Sleuthing Service. She is co-host of Cult Faves, a podcast about the weird world of cults and extreme belief. Visit her online at www.gwendabond.com or @gwenda on Twitter.
Christopher Rowe is a science fiction and fantasy author, great cook, raconteur, and independent bookseller. (Some of these things may be lies. Or none of them.) His story collection, Telling the Map, will be released by Small Beer Press in July 2017. He also co-writes a series for younger readers, the Supernormal Sleuthing Service, with his wife, author Gwenda Bond, which launches this year from Harper's Greenwillow imprint.
He is currently hard at work on Sarah Across America, an unusual fantasy novel about maps and megafauna, among sundry short stories, and the second installment of the Supernormal Sleuthing Service. His first novel, Sandstorm, fulfilled his childhood dream of writing a D&D novel and was published by Wizards of the Coast. He has also published a couple of dozen stories, and been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy and Theodore Sturgeon Awards. He doesn't blog nearly often enough, but when he does, you can find the entries below. If you want to catch him more regularly, he's frequently time-wasting at Facebook.
Maurice Broaddus is an exotic dancer, trained in several forms of martial arts–often referred to as “the ghetto ninja”–and was voted the Indianapolis Dalai Lama. He’s an award winning haberdasher and coined the word “acerbic”. He graduated college at age 14 and high school at age 16. Not only is he credited with inventing the question mark, he unsuccessfully tried to launch a new number between seven and eight.
When not editing or writing, he is a champion curler and often impersonates Jack Bauer, but only in a French accent. He raises free range jackalopes with his wife and two sons … when they are not solving murder mysteries. He really likes to make up stories. A lot. Especially about himself.
His work has appeared in Lightspeed Magazine, Weird Tales, Apex Magazine, Asimov’s, Cemetery Dance, Uncanny Magazine, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, with some of his stories having been collected in The Voices of Martyrs. His books include The Knights of Breton Court trilogy and Buffalo Soldier.
Julia Elliott’s writing has appeared in Tin House, The Georgia Review, Conjunctions, The New York Times, Granta online, Electric Literature, and other publications. She has won a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, and her stories have been anthologized in Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses and The Best American Short Stories. Her debut story collection, The Wilds, was chosen by Kirkus, BuzzFeed, Book Riot, and Electric Literature as one of the Best Books of 2014 and was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her first novel, The New and Improved Romie Futch, arrived in October 2015. She is currently working on a novel about Hamadryas baboons, a species she has studied as an amateur primatologist. She teaches English and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, where she lives with her daughter and husband.
Ann VanderMeeer serves as the Shared Worlds editor-in-residence.
Over a 30-year career, she has won numerous awards for her editing work, including the Hugo Award and World Fantasy Award. Whether as editor-in-chief for Weird Tales for five years or in her current role as an acquiring editor for Tor.com, Ann has built her reputation on acquiring fiction from diverse and interesting new talents. As co-founder of Cheeky Frawg Books, she has helped develop a wide-ranging line of mostly translated fiction. Featuring a who’s who of world literature, Ann’s anthologies include the critically acclaimed Best American Fantasy series, The Weird, The Time Traveler’s Almanac, Sisters of the Revolution, and the Big Book of Science Fiction (Vintage, 2016).
Jeremy L. C. Jones is a freelance writer, editor, and lecturer. He contributes regularly to the third-party role-playing game magazine Kobold Quarterly. He also writes for a variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites.
Jones is a board member for The Hub City Writers Project and The South Carolina Academy of Authors. Along with collaborators at the Alzheimer's Association, The Hub City Writers Project, and the Department of Psychology at Wofford College, Jones helped create Living Words, a creative writing program for people diagnosed with dementia and their caregivers.
Jones is a shameless fan of shared world fiction in general and Forgotten Realms in particular, which lead to his creating a pilot of the shared worlds program at a high school in Lexington, KY. His favorite fantasy novelists are R. A. Salvatore, Greg Keyes, and David Gemmell. He prefers Robert E. Howard to J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings, and is still not convinced that one day he won't find the magic doorway to Narnia. He's pretty fond of Greek drama, southern literature, Vietnam War novels, and American nature writing, too.
Jeff VanderMeer is an award-winning novelist and editor, and author of the New York Times bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy—the first volume of which, Annihilation, is currently being made into movie to be released by Scott Rubin/Paramount this year. His latest novel, Borne, will be published by MCD/FSG April 25th, 2017 and has been optioned by Paramount. His fiction has been translated into thirty-five languages and has appeared in the Library of America’s American Fantastic Tales, Conjunctions, and multiple year’s-best anthologies as well as on such sites as Slate and Vulture.
VanderMeer grew up in the Fiji Islands and spent time traveling through Asia, Africa, and Europe before returning to the United States. These travels have deeply influenced his fiction. He is the recipient of an NEA-funded Florida Individual Artist Fellowship for excellence in fiction and a Florida Artist Enhancement Grant. A three-time winner of the World Fantasy Award and fifteen-time finalist, VanderMeer has also won the Shirley Jackson Award and Nebula Award as well as been a finalist for the Hugo Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award.
In addition to his writing, VanderMeer has edited or co-edited several anthologies, including Best American Fantasy, The Weird, and The Big Book of Science Fiction. His award-winning Wonderbook is the world’s first fully illustrated creative writing book. He also writes for The NY Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, the Atlantic online, Electric Literature, LitHub, and many others. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, Ann VanderMeer, and two cats.
Tim is Professor of History and Associate Provost for Administration at Wofford, but for twelve of the past sixteen years, he has spent his summers working for the Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth (CTY) summer academic program as a history instructor and as a site director. He has worked in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York for CTY. In 2008, CTY selected him to direct the inaugural year of the CTY International site in Spain, which was held at the European University of Madrid.
Tim teaches European history at Wofford. His research interest is the intersection of state power and religious reform in sixteenth-century Spain.