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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

Genre Essentials: World Building

No Longer Enrolling

  • $150.00 Non-Member
  • $130.00 Member

Class Description

Ernest Hemingway had a theory that a good story is like an iceberg: we only see one-eighth of what is there, but because it is so richly designed, the reader feels the immensity of everything below the surface. And the key to Hemingway’s iceberg? Build your world before you put pen to paper. In this six-hour seminar, you will learn the fundamentals of world building and begin to develop your own universe. We will study masters of mythopoeia such as Hayao Miyazaki, J.K. Rowling, George Lucas, Susan Collins, Margaret Atwood, George R.R. Martin, Liu Cixin (The Three Body Problem), Haruki Murakami (1Q84), Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone), Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Sandman), Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials), Pendleton Ward (Adventure Time), Leah Bardugo (Six of Crows), Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth), Jordan Peele (Get Out) , J.R.R. Tolkein (of course). Through a series of brainstorming sessions and writing exercises, you will create the rules, set the scene, map the world, and uncover the history of your uncharted land. You will share pieces of what you have created and receive peer and instructor feedback. This class is for fiction or screenwriters of any genre looking to give their story a richer and more completely imagined setting.

Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!