What is the Wofford Shared Worlds Creative Writing Experience?

Shared Worlds is an innovative, two-week, residential interdisciplinary program that will run from Sunday, July 16, through Saturday, July 9, 2017.

The program, which will feature authors, artists, designers, and scientists, will center on the fictional "shared worlds" participating students create. To build these worlds, participants will have overview classes in many disciplines, including history, religion, and science - many taught by Wofford College professors and instructors, and professionals in the fields of writing and art.

All classes will emphasize problem solving, collaborative learning, and experiential learning. Each group of about a dozen students will apply their created shared world to works of fiction and art. The groups will be exposed to and be able to choose from several speculative fiction genres, including science fiction and fantasy.

Who is eligible to participate?

Rising 8th through rising 12th grade students are invited to apply.

Is there a GPA requirement?

All scholars who attend must have achieved a B+ average or above or have an interest in creative writing.

How many students will be accepted?

The Wofford Shared Worlds Creative Writing Experience will admit approximately 60 students.

What does tuition cover?

The tuition includes shared dorms and all meals, as well as instruction, speakers, program materials, supervisory personnel, and all activities throughout the two-week program.

Where will students stay?

Students will live in college dorms on the historic campus of Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. The 178-acre campus is recognized as a national arboretum and several of its buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

How do I get to Spartanburg?

By car: Spartanburg is located in Upstate South Carolina at the axis of two Interstate highways: Routes 26 and 85. Spartanburg sits between Atlanta and Charlotte on Route 85. It is approximately three hours from Atlanta and one hour from Charlotte. On Route 26, Spartanburg is about one hour's drive Southeast of Asheville, NC and 90 minutes Northwest of Columbia, SC.
By air: The Greenville-Spartanburg metro area is served by the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP). It is located approximately twenty-five minutes from Spartanburg by car. GSP serves a variety of national and regional airlines. If a student is arriving by air to the Shared Worlds program, Shared Worlds staff can arrange to pick him/her up at the airport. (An additional fee is charged for this service.) Click on the following link to reach the Airport Shuttle Reservation Form.

Can my student earn high school or college credit for his/her participation in Shared Worlds?

For reasons of principle and practicality, Shared Worlds does not offer credit. Although our program is intensive, its short duration prevents us from offering students enough contact hours to earn credit. Moreover, successful as it was last year, Shared Worlds is a very new program, and its designers are still developing its curriculum and other aspects. In addition, Shared Worlds is about creative writing and world-building. We hope that the students who enroll in Shared Worlds are interested primarily in the experience of participating in the program rather than earning credit. There are many other summer academic programs in which students may earn high-school credit.
Although Shared Worlds will not offer credit, the program will recognize a student's completion of the program. A few weeks after the program, students will receive brief description of the program and a letter of evaluation from their instructors, and they will have their written work from the summer.

Does Shared Worlds offer grades?

No. Participants in the program will receive letters of evaluation from their instructors. It is the desire of the Shared Worlds program that students are able to use their passion for creative writing and world-building in an environment free of grade pressure. Students are expected to be energetic and motivated participants in the program.
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An Interview with Julia Elliott,'s Writer-in-Residence for Shared Worlds 2016. Read more »

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Paramount Pictures and Scott Rudin Productions have optioned the Jeff VanderMeer novel Annihilation. Read more »

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News Updates

8/04/15 -- Shared Worlds is the Kind of SFF Writing Camp You Wish Existed When You Were a Teenager

8/04/15 -- The Reader Sense of Ann VanderMeer

5/09/14 -- Jeff VanderMeer listed in Huffington Post's 9 Contemporary Authors You Should Be Reading

2/21/14 -- Barnes and Noble interviews Shared Worlds co-founder Jeff VanderMeer about his new novel, Annihilation.

2/7/14 -- Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation reviewed by Kirkus and NPR.

12/3/13 -- Jeff VanderMeer’s Wonderbook named among 2013’s best science fiction by the Guardian newspaper.

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