What is Shared Worlds?

Shared Worlds is an innovative residential interdisciplinary program for teens that takes place at Wofford College every July. The program dates for 2020 are Sunday, July 19 through Saturday, August 1.

The program, which will feature authors, artists, designers, and scientists, will center on the fictional "shared worlds" participating students create. To build these worlds, participants will have overview classes in many disciplines, including history, religion, and science---many taught by Wofford College professors and instructors, and professionals in the fields of writing and art. 

All classes will emphasize problem solving, collaborative learning, and experiential learning. Each group of about ten students will imagine, plan, and build a world. Students will then write fiction set in the worlds their groups have built. In their writing and world-building, students are free to draw on various speculative fiction genres, including science fiction and fantasy. 

Early registration is open November 19th through April 1st, 2020 for the 2020 program. Applications WILL BE accepted on a rolling basis after April 1st as space allows. There will be a notice on the site as soon as we're completely full and no longer taking new students.

Who is eligible to participate?

Rising 8th through rising 12th grade students are invited to apply. 

Is there a GPA requirement?

No. Shared Worlds is not about grades or tests. However, Shared Worlds is an academic program, and it will appeal most to students comfortable in classroom settings with an interest in creative writing.

How many students will be accepted?

Shared Worlds will admit approximately 60 students every year. 

What does tuition cover?

The tuition includes shared dorms and all meals, as well as instruction, speakers, program materials, supervisory personnel, and all activities throughout the two-week program. 

Where will students stay?

Students will live in college dorms on the historic campus of Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. The 178-acre campus is recognized as a national arboretum and several of its buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

How do I get to Spartanburg?

By car: Spartanburg is located in Upstate South Carolina at the axis of two Interstate highways: Routes 26 and 85. Spartanburg sits between Atlanta and Charlotte on Route 85. It is approximately three hours from Atlanta and one hour from Charlotte. On Route 26, Spartanburg is about one hour's drive Southeast of Asheville, NC and 90 minutes Northwest of Columbia, SC.

By air: The Greenville-Spartanburg metro area is served by the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP). It is located approximately twenty-five minutes from Spartanburg by car. GSP serves a variety of national and regional airlines. If a student is arriving by air to the Shared Worlds program, Shared Worlds staff can arrange to pick him/her up at the airport. (An additional fee is charged for this service.) Click on the following link to reach the Airport Shuttle Reservation Form.

Can my student earn high school or college credit for his/her participation in Shared Worlds?

For reasons of principle and practicality, Shared Worlds does not offer credit. Although our program is intensive, its short duration prevents us from offering students enough contact hours to earn credit. Shared Worlds is primarily about creative writing and world-building. We hope that the students who enroll in Shared Worlds are interested in the experience of participating in the program rather than earning credit. There are many other summer academic programs in which students may earn high-school credit. 

Although Shared Worlds will not offer credit, the program will recognize a student's completion of the program. After the completion of the program, students will receive a brief description of the program and a letter of evaluation from their instructors, and they will have their written work from the summer.

Does Shared Worlds offer grades?

No. Participants in the program will receive letters of evaluation from their instructors. It is the desire of the Shared Worlds program that students are able to use their passion for creative writing and world-building in an environment free of grade pressure. Students are expected to be energetic and motivated participants in the program.