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Master Class: Worldbuilding Workshop

In this class, you’ll learn a variety of approaches to worldbuilding in science fiction and fantasy, building on examples from writers like Ursula K. Le Guin, N.K. Jemisin, China Miéville, Octavia E. Butler, and others. We’ll discuss overall approaches to designing fictional worlds, including how to make imagined worlds vivid to readers, then put our ideas into practice with in-class exercises on inventing magic systems and technologies, designing aliens and monsters, and other topics. Whatever stage of your worldbuilding project you’re in, you’ll leave our session with new ideas and new writing bringing you ever closer to fully realizing your own imagined world.

Instructor: Matt Bell is the author most recently of the novel Appleseed (a New York Times Notable Book) published by Custom House in July 2021, and the craft book Refuse to Be Done, a guide to novel writing, rewriting, and revision, from Soho Press. He is also the author of the novels Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, as well as the short story collection A Tree or a Person or a Wall, a non-fiction book about the classic video game Baldur's Gate II, and several other titles. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Tin House, Fairy Tale Review, American Short Fiction, Orion, and many other publications. A native of Michigan, he teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.


Details: Worldbuilding Workshop takes place Saturday February 18 from 12-3pm online via Zoom.

Prerequisites: None

Genre: Fiction

Level: All levels

Format: Craft talk with Q&A.

Location: This class takes place online via Zoom.

Size: Limited to 50 participants (including scholarships).

Suggested Sequence: Follow this class with a generative fiction writing workshop or feedback course.

Scholarships: Two scholarship spots are available for this class for writers in Northeast Ohio. Apply by December 1.

Cancellations & Refunds: Cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the first class meeting to receive a full refund. Email

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