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Wofford to host second Shared Worlds camp

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Creative writing program to feature ‘Spiderwick Chronicles’ author Black

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College will host the second annual Shared Worlds creative writing camp this summer. Shared Worlds is an innovative educational experience that challenges teenagers to create fully realized imaginary worlds using creative writing, technology, and collaborative problem solving.

The residential camp runs from July 19 through Aug. 1, and is open to rising eighth-graders through rising 12th-graders. Information and registration details are available at

Unlike any other creative writing camp, Shared Worlds offers students the chance to work on fiction writing, game design and other creative arts while also developing problem-solving skills and contributing to a team concept.

In addition to attending overview classes with Wofford faculty members in a variety of disciplines, students will receive one-on-one manuscript evaluation with the program’s assistant director, Jeff VanderMeer, a two-time winner of the World Fantasy Award.

Students also will have the opportunity to work with Holly Black, co-author of the popular “Spiderwick Chronicles;” Ann VanderMeer, anthologist and fiction editor of Weird Tales magazine; Tobias Buckell, New York Times best-selling author of “Halo: The Cole Protocol;” and Will Hindmarch, game designer and author of “Things We Think about Games.”

Throughout the camp, students will display their world-building online using a wiki program that will permit students and parents to watch the worlds “come to life” in real-time.

“Wofford’s goal is to offer creative intellectual experiences of the highest quality,” says Tim Schmitz, director of summer programs and associate professor of history at Wofford. “Shared Worlds accomplishes this by combining creative writing, technology and the growing field of game design with two of the most popular genres for young adults—fantasy and science. Last year’s inaugural program was a huge success, drawing nearly two dozen students from all over the United States and Japan.”

The program is open to a limited number of participants. Cost is $2,000, which includes accommodations, all meals, instruction, supervisory personnel, program materials, activities, professional evaluation, and certificates. The registration deadline is April 17.


Holly Black is the bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels for young adults. Black collaborated with Caldecott award-winning artist Tony DiTerlizzi to create the bestselling “Spiderwick Chronicles.” The multi-volume Spiderwick universe has been called “vintage Victorian fantasy” by the New York Post and Time Magazine reported that “the books wallow in their dusty Olde Worlde charm.” “The Spiderwick Chronicles” were adapted into a film by Paramount Pictures in conjunction with Nickelodeon Films.

As the fiction editor of the legendary Weird Tales magazine, Ann VanderMeer has helped shape a new generation of speculative fiction writers. Her anthologies “Steampunk” and “The New Weird” (both co-edited with Jeff VanderMeer) help define two sub-genres without narrowing their scope; her “Best American Fantasy,” though a “year’s best” retrospective, features stories that are innovative and forward-looking. VanderMeer currently is working on “The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals.”

Multiple World Fantasy Award winner, Jeff VanderMeer is best known for his fiction set in imaginary world of Ambergris. Works such as “City of Saints and Madmen” and “Shriek: An Afterword” will be followed soon by “Finch,” a noir take on Ambergris. In addition to the anthologies mentioned above, VanderMeer has edited a long list of others, including “Fast Ships, Black Sails” (co-edited with Ann VanderMeer), “Mapping the Beast: the Best of Leviathan,” and “The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases” (co-edited with Mark Roberts).

Tobias Buckell is a Caribbean-born speculative fiction writer who grew up in Grenada, the British Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has published stories in various magazines and anthologies. He is a Writers of The Future winner and Campbell Award winner for Best New SF Writer Finalist. Buckell is the author of the novels “Crystal Rain,” “Ragamuffin” and “Sly Mongoose,” as well as the forthcoming short story collection “Tides from the New Worlds.”

Will Hindmarch is a freelance writer and designer with more than 50 professional credits as author, developer, or graphic designer on games, books and magazines. Hindmarch has written for some of the world’s leading game companies, including White Wolf, Fantasy Flight Games, and Turbine, the creators of “Lord of the Rings Online.” In 2007, he co-founded Gameplaywright Press with Jeff Tidball. In 2008, Gameplaywright published, “Things We Think About Games.”

For more information about Shared Worlds, go to the Web site at or contact Cathy Conner at 864-597-4500 or