(below is the official press release announcing the Critter map and Donation Drive. A worthy cause for sure. My creature “Knoyr” is included).
Shared Worlds SF/Fantasy Teen Writing Camp Launches 2012 Registration and Donation Drive
Neil Gaiman, Lev Grossman, Scott Westerfeld, and thirty-seven more (including me!) 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 Amazon.com.
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.
Critter Map stories alphabetically by author: https://www.wofford.edu/ sharedworlds/critters/ byauthor.html
Shared Worlds Website: http://www.wofford.edu/ sharedworlds/
Donation Page: http://www.wofford.edu/ sharedworlds/donate/
Registration Page: https://www.wofford.edu/ sharedworlds/inner-register. aspx