Shared Worlds Critter Map: Unique SF/F Teen Writing Camp Registration and Fund Drive!

sw critter map

The Shared Worlds SF/F teen writing camp 2012 registration and fund drive has begun–and it’s all being driven by the wonderful fiction contributions you can find here from the likes of Neil Gaiman, Lev Grossman, N.K. Jemisin, Scott Westerfeld, Karen Lord, Amal El-Mohtar, Eugie Foster, Michael Moorcock, Kit Reed, Tobias Buckell, Patrick Rothfuss, Gene Wolfe, Lavie Tidhar, and many more. (Including a lively Finnish contingent: Johanna Sinisalo, Viivi Hyvönen, and Leena Litikalo.)

Click on a critter and a read a story. Like what you read? Please donate. Interested in registering for the 2012 Shared Worlds camp? There’s a link for that, too.

The art by Jeremy Zerfoss was also the cover of the Shared Worlds student writing book from 2011, displayed below surrounding my wife Ann. The stories were compiled and edited by Therese Goulding. Greg Bossert created the site. Below the cut you’ll find the official press release. Please spread the Critter link far and wide. Thanks!



Shared Worlds SF/Fantasy Teen Writing Camp Launches 2012 Registration and Donation Drive

Neil Gaiman, Lev Grossman, Scott Westerfeld, and thirty-seven more of the most imaginative writers from around the world have contributed to Shared Worlds’ “Critter Map,” a webpage of fantastical beasts. Their whimsical descriptions of imaginary creatures created by pop artist Jeremy Zerfoss are in support of the Shared Worlds registration and fund drive for 2012. Every summer up to 50 teen writers come to Shared Worlds SF/F Teen Writing Camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, from as far away Japan to participate in this unique camp. This year, registrants include teens from all parts of the United States as well as Germany and Indonesia. Wofford College provides a structured, supervised environment in which the students can excel and demonstrate their creativity.

At Shared Worlds, the students form teams in classrooms to build entire fantasy or science fictional worlds in the first week and then write stories in those worlds the second week. Top professional writers are on hand to provide feedback and to conduct workshops. The guest writers for the 2012 include New York Times bestsellers Julianna Baggott, Naomi Novik, and Tobias Buckell as well as Prix Award Winner Karin Lowachee and Hugo Award winner Ann VanderMeer. The teens also get to attend author readings, take fieldtrips to bookstores, and create videos about their imaginary worlds. Shared Worlds also publishes an annual book of the students’ writing.

“For many of our students, Shared Worlds is a transformational experience,” said the camp’s assistant director, fantasy writer Jeff VanderMeer. ”They not only learn more about writing, they also get to have fun solving problems in in the world-building groups, and they form what will probably turn out to be life-long friendships with like-minded teens.”

The “Critter Map” is the cornerstone of a donation drive intended to ensure that attending the Shared Worlds Teen Writing Camp can be a possibility for all registered students, no matter what their financial need. Monies will join contributions from donors like Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman and major support from

The contributors to the “Critter Map” range from such icons as Michael Moorcock and Gene Wolfe to exciting new authors like Viivi Hyvönen and Kirsten Imani Kasai. Filmmaker and writer Gregory Norman Bossert has created the Critter Map website, and Therese Goulding served as editor for the contributions.

Additional Links:

Critter Map stories alphabetically by author:

Shared Worlds Website:

Donation Page:

Registration Page:

3 comments on “Shared Worlds Critter Map: Unique SF/F Teen Writing Camp Registration and Fund Drive!

  1. Sam M-B says:

    Note for other IBM employees — IBM is listed in the matching donation database there, so print and fill out those forms.

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