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How Will AI Change Writing?—Join our FREE Writers' Stage event "Writing for Change: Exploring The Question of AI" next Wednesday 4/17.

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  • Seminar
  • In-Person: Seaport
  • Adult (18+)

World Building Workshop

No Longer Enrolling

  • $170.00 Non-Member
  • $150.00 Member

Class Description

Ernest Hemingway had a theory that a good story is like an iceberg - meaning we only see one-eighth of what is there, yet because it is so richly designed, the reader feels the immensity of everything that rests under the surface. The key to creating Hemingway’s iceberg is to do the work and build your world before putting pen to paper.

In this six-hour seminar, writers will learn the fundamentals of world building and begin the process. Through a series of brainstorming sessions and writing exercises, writers will create the rules, set the scene, map the world and uncover the history of their uncharted land. Writers will share pieces of what they have created and receive peer and instructor feedback. We will study the works of Susan Collins, JK Rowling, George R.R. Martin, Tomi Adeyami, George Lucas, Neil Gaiman, Ryan Coogler, Haruki Murakami, Guillermo Del Toro, Ursula k. LeGuin, and more.

For prose or screenplay writers of science-fiction, fantasy, young adult, horror, historical or any writer looking to give their story a richer and more completely imagined setting.

Class Format

This class will take place in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood.

Covid-19 Update:

GrubStreet's space will be mask optional when Boston's Covid-19 Community Level is low or medium. When the Covid-19 Community Level is high, our space will require masks. Please check GrubStreet's Covid-19 page for the latest info on masking and Community Levels before visiting in-person.



Scholarship Information

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

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 in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood.


Covid-19 Update:

GrubStreet's space will be mask-optional when Boston's Covid-19 Community Level is low or medium. When the Covid-19 Community Level is high, our space will require masks. Please check GrubStreet's Covid-19 page for the latest info on masking and Community Levels before visiting in person.


Space Accessibility:

Our space is ADA accessible with automatic door openers, ADA-compliant restrooms, desk and table spacing, braille signage, and elevator. Our classrooms can be equipped with ALS for hard of hearing individuals. We cannot guarantee a scent-free environment. For more accessibility requests, please contact our Operations team at [email protected] or (617) 695-0075.