December 2nd Writing Workshop: Worldbuilding

Writing in the Dark Workshop:


for science fiction and fantasy authors

When: *Saturday, December 2nd from 10 am – 5 pm

Location: Bear Gallery (3rd Floor, Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts, Pioneer Park, 2300 Airport Way)


Great science fiction and fantasy stories take place in worlds that seem real to the reader, no matter that they are inhabited by spell-casting wizards or marauding space aliens, or that they contain floating cities or enchanted forests. The invented worlds of fantasy and science fiction are often as compelling and essential to the plot as the characters that inhabit them. So it is fitting for authors, when beginning a new work, to first take time to develop a believable and consistent place for their story to unfold. Their readers will thank them for it.

In this workshop, award-winning science fiction writer, David Marusek, author of Counting Heads and “The Wedding Album,” will explore the issues and techniques of worldbuilding for science fiction and fantasy short stories, novels, and screenplays. Both beginning and experienced writers are encouraged to attend. The workshop session will include lecture, discussion, worldbuilding exercises, individual writing time, sharing our work, and the opportunity for a one-on-one consulting session with Mr. Marusek.

Some of the areas of worldbuilding to be explored include:

— What are the laws of physics or rules of magic that govern your world? — What other “rules” does your world enforce? — What variety of “people” inhabit your world? — What sort of governments, religions, and economies dominate your world? — What cultures exist in your world? How are they similar to each other? Different?

Cost of Workshop:

$60 – Current Fairbanks Arts member rate

$75 – Non-member rate

About the Instructor:


Author David Marusek writes science fiction in Fairbanks, Alaska. His work has appeared in Playboy, Nature, MIT Technology Review, Asimov’s, and other periodicals and anthologies and has been translated into ten languages. According to Publisher’s Weekly, “Marusek’s writing is ferociously smart, simultaneously horrific and funny, as he forces readers to stretch their imaginations and sympathies.” His three novels and clutch of short stories have earned him numerous award nominations and have won the Theodore Sturgeon and Endeavour awards. “. . . Marusek could be the one sci-fi writer in a million with the potential to make an increasingly indifferent audience care about the genre again . . .”—New York Times Book Review. His recently released novel, Upon This Rock, is a tale of faith, family, and alien invasion in the Alaska bush.