NaNo Prep 2023: Worldbuilding Workshop

NaNo Prep Worldbuilding Header

When: October 21, 2023 | 9AM – 4PM Pacific – (convert to your time zone)
Where: Online — Zoom Classroom
Price: $125
Scholarships Are Available!

Worldbuilding can sometimes seem a giant task, especially at the beginning of a novel or other narrative work. In this workshop, authors Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford will guide you through short writing exercises that will help you dive into aspects of your world that writers often overlook, but that impact your story and characters in major ways. It’s a great way to warm up for NaNoWriMo or to get creative juices flowing ahead of starting any new narrative project.

You’ll leave with a set of exercises that you can use over and over for world/culture building and at any time in the writing process.

This workshop is for all narrative writers at any skill level (not just those looking to portray cultures very different to your own!). It’s also open to people who are NOT doing National Novel Writing Month. Anyone looking to understand their world better is welcome to attend.

The workshop will be from 9 AM – 4 PM Pacific (click here to convert to your time zone). See detailed schedule below.

Who Should Take This Webinar?

Writers of speculative fiction across all genres — Literary, YA, Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Children’s Books, Romance —  from all backgrounds and any skill level.


All times Pacific (click here to convert to your time zone).

Session 1: 9am – 10:15am
Session 2: 10:20am – 12pm
Food Break: 12pm – 1pm
Session 3: 1pm – 2:30pm
Session 4: 2:35pm – 4pm

The schedule is subject to minor changes.


Zoom meetings software is compatible with standard screen readers and has several other accessibility features that make it possible for writers who are Blind or vision impaired to participate in the webinar. Questions will be submitted via the chat function.

Live closed captions will be available, auto-generated by The final version of the recorded webinar will have auto-generated closed captions available. Note: the accuracy of these captions varies, and for live webinars we do not edit them.

Technical Requirements

Zoom video conferencing works on computers, tablets, and most smartphones. We suggest you access the live webinar via a computer for the best experience. Before enrolling in class, make sure your computer or mobile device is compatible with Zoom. Before class, load the app on your system and join this test meeting.

A webcam/video camera is not necessary for class because students won’t be on video. The Q&A will be text-only. You can call in via phone if audio isn’t working through your computer.

Scholarship Opportunities

We have full and partial Vonda N. McIntyre Sentient Squid Scholarships available for this webinar. If you do not have the financial means to pay for all or part of the registration cost, we encourage you to apply. We have a broad definition of financial need that ranges from writers who do not have the money at all to writers who have the funds but can’t afford to use them for a writing class.

We especially encourage writers who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to apply. Wherever you exist on the financial needs spectrum, don’t self reject! (Still not sure whether you should apply? Read this post.)

Our scholarships are available to any writer regardless of background or identity. We set aside a portion of scholarships specifically for students who identify under the POC, BIPOC, or BAME umbrellas as well as for Palestinian writers/writers of Palestinian heritage, though we do not limit the number of scholarships we give to marginalized authors.

If you can afford to pay for part but not all of the registration fee, please apply for a partial scholarship. Under this financial aid plan you can let us know the amount you can afford. If you cannot afford to pay at all, please apply for a full scholarship. 

To apply, please fill out this form by 11:59PM Pacific September 30, 2023. You’ll be asked to provide:

  • A brief (300 or fewer words) statement of financial need
  • A brief (500 or fewer words) description of a work or works in progress that you hope the webinar will help you create.
  • If you identify as POC, BIPOC, BAME, or Palestinian, you may indicate that if you wish.

Deadline: 11:59PM Pacific September 30, 2023We will notify all applicants of their standing two weeks before class begins. If you have any questions, please use our contact form to ask!

Refund Policy

If you find that you need to drop the workshop, you may do so by requesting a refund via Eventbrite up to 14 days before the class start date. Beyond this date, you will not get a refund, however you may have that credit applied toward a future course.

Register Below

If you have a Gift Card, discount, or code to access tickets, please enter it into the “Promo Code” field at the top of the Registration box below and click Apply before you begin the process. If the whole box below gives you trouble, click here to register on our Eventbrite page.