Better Than Space Camp

One of our favorite reviewers, Jeff VanderMeer, has just told me about a relatively new SF/fantasy writing camp in South Carolina that sounds too cool to be true. Shared Worlds is a two-week experience for kids 13-18 held on the campus of Wofford College July 19-August 1. Campers from around the country will write their own fiction, develop their own fantasy games and create their own art work under the supervision of an incredible lineup of faculty, including Holly Black, co-creator of the Spiderwick Chronicles; Hugo Nominee Tobias Buckell; White Wolf game developer Will Hindmarch; World Fantasy Award winner Jeff VanderMeer; and Weird Tales fiction editor Ann VanderMeer.

The theme of the camp is creating your own world and then imagining what life is like in it.

Jeff tells me, "With the popularity of YA literature, especially fantasy and SF, what better way to get teens involved not just in world-building but team-building and analysis/synthesis than through a fantasy/SF writing camp? Last year, it was gratifying to see that not only were they having fun, but also learning so much. We hit them with a lot of history, politics, etc, but in a context where it doesn't seem like work so they absorb more."

Here's a video from last year showing Jeff and some of his students talking about the program.

Applications will be taken till June 30 (total cost is $2,250). If you've got a young SF/fantasy enthusiast at home, look into it. Sounds out of this world.

-- Ron Charles

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By Ron Charles |  June 24, 2009; 5:30 AM ET Ron Charles
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Interesting piece--glad to have had the chance to read and view it.

Posted by: lheffelkcrrcom | June 24, 2009 10:47 AM

This is such an incredible opportunity. Thanks for spotlighting it, Ron!

I heard about another writing camp in Texas called Discovery College. One of their programs is writing for animated cartoons, taught by Gerard Baldwin, the producer and director of the SMURFS. Campers (ages 12-14) write their own stories and work in an animation studio to see them come to life. Pretty cool. There are additional writing camp options for varied interests.

I wish these kinds of camps had been around when I was a kid! I’d have enjoyed them much more than learning to shoot a bow & arrow and bird watching 101.

Posted by: Sarah_McCoy | June 25, 2009 2:31 PM

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