Shared Worlds: Student Bestiaries, 2012-13 Guests, Essay Contest, World SF Fund Donation, and More!

Hot on the heels of the grant we received last year, a lot of cool things are happening around Shared Worlds, the teen SF/f writing camp I help run along with founder Jeremy L.C. Jones.

First, check out this Amazon feature on the camp that includes some samples of the students’ bestiary entries, like this one!

Jada Thomas: With small kitten ears and a matching soft voice, this creature is known for its warming kindness and shy personality. It lives in the blazing heat and despises chilly winter nights. It is always seen creating something wonderful. This sweet creature is called a Shima. When you meet a Shima, you won’t forget it.

That’s the result of a writing exercise where they wrote about themselves as if they were fantastical beasts; we’re using those pieces as author notes in the back of the Shared Worlds student writing book, which they’ll be receiving in a few weeks. (We may actually also offer it for sale as a fund-raiser.)

Second, the Amazon feature reveals our list of guests for 2012, as well as noting that Holly Black, Karen Lord, Lev Grossman, and Nathan Ballingrud will all be guests in upcoming years. We’ll have an official press release out next week, but our 2012 guests are: Julianna Baggott, Tobias Buckell, Will Hindmarch, Karin Lowachee, Naomi Novik, and Ann VanderMeer. I will also be at the camp both weeks.

Third, Shared Worlds recently gave a donation of $250 to the World SF Travel Fund—in fact, our donation is the one that put them over the top for their original goal of $6,000. We strongly support this effort, and hope you will support it, too, since they’re now trying for additional funding.

Fourth, Shared Worlds will be partnering with Underland Press to sponsor a writing contest for teenagers. I am currently working on a nonfiction book entitled If You Lived Here: The Top 30 Fantasy & SF Worlds for Underland. Two winning essays submitted by readers about their favorite worlds will be included in the book: one in the under 18 category and one in a adult category. In addition, Shared Worlds will contribute the $500 prize for the winning teen entry and Underland will contribute $500 for the winning adult entry. More details on that in the next couple of weeks.

Fifth, you’ll soon be able to donate to Shared Worlds to help make sur we can meet financial need of applicants. The Amazon grant was wonderful because it allowed us to offer scholarships to 19 students, but we always want to make sure that talented teens who want to come to the camp are able to do so. For some, it is a defining experience that literally means the world.

For more information on the camp, read this Strange Horizons article.

2 comments on “Shared Worlds: Student Bestiaries, 2012-13 Guests, Essay Contest, World SF Fund Donation, and More!

  1. Paul says:

    Hi Jeff, Sorry to post on an unrelated topic. I am a librarian in Australia and have just written on Veniss Underground on the library blog. As well as Cordwainer Smith and JG Ballard. Thought you might like to check it out, at


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