Shared Worlds Teen Writing Camp This Summer…

(What happened in week 2, after I left Shared Worlds? My alien baby remained behind, and this photo by Miranda Severance provides some evidence…)

On Omnivoracious, I just posted an account of Shared Worlds 2010, a teen SF/fantasy writing camp for which I serve as assistant director. This is our third year running, and we believe SW is the only camp of its type in North America due to our unique approach.

If you’re a teenager interested in writing SF/fantasy or the parent of a teenager with such interests, consider signing up next year. It’s a really great experience for the participants. The guest instructors for next year will include myself and my wife, Hugo Award winner Ann VanderMeer, as well as Nnedi Okorafor, Ekaterina Sedia, and Will Hindmarch, with more to be announced later.

livingston and harmony
(Students Taylor Livingston and Harmony Riley, posing with the alien baby.)

(Student Killian Glenn.)

Who were the 2010 Shared Worlders? Here’re their bios from the back of the SW chapbook that features samples of their writing…

Jayde Barton is from Spartanburg, South Carolina. She enjoys writing, reading, and all things music. Ask her about Phoenix, and you’ll definitely regret it. She’s finally a senior in high school. Her favorite treats are soft serve (woo!) and sprinkles (yay!).

John Belmont is a high-school freshman in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He has been to South Carolina, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, California, Hawaii, and South Korea. He is “The Riddler” and possessor of a Korean fedora. His favorite quotes include “Food?!” and “We are the Knights Who Say ‘Ni!’” John plans on publishing his novels, one of which discusses how bears solve everything.

Rae Berry hails from Mars. As a young child, she was shot from the planet in a small capsule, much like Superman, but has come to be known on Earth as Superpest. She holds a great contempt for those who stereotype her Martian kind to have green skin and big heads. Her kind in fact has blue skin. The green skinned are on the northern side of Mars, and are much more hostile. Her hobbies include reading, writing, music, and planning world domination for the acceptance of her home planet.

Joe Cain is from Indianapolis and is an avid reader, gamer, and writer. He loves comic books, and coming up with incredibly complex plots and ideas. Low attention span, very passionate when he does finally get focused; big temper, well controlled; control freak, stories must be consistent.

Mikki Churchwell, called “Cannibal Girl” by some, is an artsy 17-year-old girl with an interest in the supernatural and insane. She appeared out of nowhere one day from the land of northeast Tennessee. She is in fact not a cannibal.

Kate Clayborne is a semi-sentient space squid from Memphis, TN. She can juggle purple elephants.

Caitlyn Cody, or “Pixi,” goes to high school in Houston, TX. She likes to read and write, along with riding horses. She is a magical pixie who likes to be very dramatic. She is queen of all pixies, and she loves her two cats, dog, tarantula, and her three awesome Flemish giant rabbits. (Butterz is really a dwarf rabbit, but don’t tell him. He’ll be sad and his girlfriend will dump him because she doesn’t like sad bunnies.)

James Cookson is from Las Vegas. He enjoys psychological thrillers, Shakespeare, and is an avid movie buff. He also enjoys Batman.

Christopher Davis lives in Half Moon Bay, California, and every couple of months he turns into a zombie for a brief period of time. He hungers for brains, but retains some of his humanity. He doesn’t eat brains, just normal food. He continues to shamble around and learn more about his zombie brethren. When he is normal, he attempts to find a cure, but he has not.

Jasper Ferehawk lives in Los Angles, California, and lives with his sister and parents there. He wants to become a video game story writer when he grows up and enjoys writing, reading, and gaming. He is going to be an eighth grader next year. His favorite book is Eldest of the Eragon series and his favorite video game is Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon.

Zak Frey is a native of upstate New York currently residing in Pennsylvania. While he is primarily a musician by trade, he has taken up creative writing in his spare time, which he seems to have copious amounts of. He has a deep and abiding interest in philosophy and will talk your ears off about it at the slightest provocation. He is also an incorrigible punster, so don’t incorrige him.

Kelsey Fuson is a 14-year-old who lives only half an hour from Wofford in Greenville, SC. She has a tendency to make no sense.

Killian Glen was born in northern Georgia and now lives in Spartanburg, SC. He will be a freshman this year.

Jackie Gitlin is just a small town girl, living in a lonely world called Maryland. She writes… a lot. She did not, in fact, take the midnight train going anywhere, but rather came back to Shared Worlds for her second year. She will be a minion of the high school education system for the last time and is a weasel. She does not, in fact, smell of cheap perfume.

Nathan Goldwag is from Brooklyn, New York. He is interested in reading and writing.

Tyler Hayes lives in Atlanta. He enjoys stories in whatever format they appear: books, comics, manga, TV, movies, or spoken. He has a severe fear of ballroom dancing, and openly admits that he is neither normal nor does he aspire to be. At least one of these statements is a lie, it’s most likely the dancing one, but you can decide.

The Taylor Hocutt is a reclusive yet boisterous and arrogant creature that subsides solely off of high-starch meals, Coca-Cola, and usurped attention from his peers.

Will Holcomb was born and then quickly shipped to a mental institution in Kirksville, MO in the distant future of 1994. He enjoys music, existential crises, and the chaos of politics, and has no successful writing career. He may own a cat—only Schrödinger knows.

London Hu is from Baton Rouge, LA. She enjoys writing, drawing, and is, in fact, the youngest person at Shared Worlds 2010. She is 12 years old, an otake (anime freak), and wishes to become a manga artist. She mostly writes fan fiction.

Aimee Hyndman is a 15-year-old from Texas who likes writing (obviously) 24/7, playing video games, making music videos, acting, singing, playing piano, and watching various anime. She is crazy, random, and altogether awesome. She is also very modest… teehee!

Megan Jackson is from a secret base off the coast of Atlanta. Turn left at Main Street, turn right at the Waffle House, travel a light year and you’re there. She is a dark mermaid and blue-haired, although some dispute the color as green. She enjoys shiny things and waffles.

Jake Johnson is from Greenville, SC. He is an avid reader and lives to cook and play video games. He is a vegan of five years. He has five siblings.

Cassandra Konz, age 17, was born in Seattle and now lives in a small Minnesota suburb where nothing happens and probably nothing will continue to happen. Her family includes two biological sisters, five exchange sisters, and one sister who isn’t really her sister at all. She spends her time making paper stars, writing letters to people in basic training, and generally imagining herself far, far away.

Carmen Laughlin is a senior in high school in Prosperity, SC. She is in the process of learning four foreign languages, and also has interests in law and neo-pagan studies. She is a published poet and aims to publish a novel in the future.

Taylor Lewis was born in Kansas City, Missouri, but shortly left at the age of five because the city itself was so boring. She now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she likes it much better. She’s a vegetarian, and makes her parents stop the car to allow squirrels, dogs, and chipmunks to cross the road unharmed. She’ll make an excellent driver next year.

Taylor Livingston has been writing since she was three. She was born and raised in Taylors, SC though she has traveled as far north as Washington, D.C. and as far south as Florida, and all the way through Texas to the edge of New Mexico. She favors long walks on the beach and macaroni. Her astronomical sign is Leo.

Megan McKay is from Cary, NC and is 16 years old.

Grayson Mooney is from Durango, CO. He is 14 years old. He likes to write. This is his bio.

Crawford Muller was born in Winston-Salem, NC. He is 14 years old and has brown hair and blue eyes and enjoys running, playing guitar, and reading. He is a straight-A student and enjoys helping people. He currently lives in Charlotte, NC and likes Georgia UNC and Wofford College. He likes most food and his favorite movie is Old School.

Shannon Owens is a 16-year-old girl who lives in Cedar Park, TX. She plays the tuba in band and loves to read and write.

Claire Pillsbury is to be a sophomore in Greenville, South Carolina. She is currently 15 years old, swims during the summer, and plays the piano and cello. Claire aspires to become the sort of psychiatrist who heedlessly dispenses medication to her patients simply because she has somewhere else to be.

Mónica Quiñones-Rivera has just moved to Cambridge, MA from Berkeley, CA. She has two sisters, one of whom is going to Berkeley School of Music and one of whom is going to UC-Santa Cruz. Monica is 17 and is going into her senior year of high school.

Harmony Riley originates from the small city of Memphis, Tennessee. She is known for her humor and love of video games. She fears nothing, and doesn’t expect nothing from nothing because nothing can do nothing. She bites. Shamalama—my, oh my, Ding Dong.

Isaac Rader is a relatively normal guy from New Hampshire who, when not in school, spends his time in bizarre skiing accidents (or just bizarre skiing), playing Runescape, reading books several times the size of bricks, and eating thick clam chowder. He got the idea of writing from making bad fanfic, then deciding to play Runesape and writing infinitely better fanfic with pirates. It may have been bad brownies or a bad muffin that caused him to do this, but nobody, least of all himself, is entirely certain.

Allie Roose is a girl from Goose Greek, South Carolina. She isn’t good at writing about herself, so she’ll just fill this bio with filler sentences. This is one of those sentences. Here is another one. She kept on like this till the gods got angry and hit her with a flurgel fruit.

Miranda Severance likes western cartoons. She is terrible at athletic activities (including running from anything), is hardheaded, and has the self-esteem of a mashed potato. She is a good artist, singer, and writer, but she is far too cowardly to write anything. [Despite this, she is a brilliant writer. :) – JV]

Connor Smith is 13 years old and is from Spartanburg, SC. He enjoys playing tennis, soccer, and basketball. Connor also enjoys reading and writing. His favorite book is Airman by Eoin Colfer. Connor’s middle name is Payne.

Laura Wagner is a high school senior born and raised in Sweet Home Alabama. She has been writing since she was nine years old and has always had a taste for fantasy in particular.

Ryan Yappert is from California and loves singing and fantasy.


  1. Wenchen Lee says

    I’m looking for a friend who was my classmate in the preschool Green Woods. I left for Taiwan after one year’s happy life with Megan Mckay and her sister Alex McKay. We have lost her contact for several years and we hope to get their family’s information. Their monther’s name is Kirstin and they lived in Durham. Please contact with me if it’s possible for you to transfer this e mail to them.

  2. Wendell brown says

    Looking for a writing reading camp for my teenagers. I want them to enjoying writing and reading.