NaNo Prep: Worldbuilding Workshop

NaNo Prep Worldbuilding Header

When: October 16, 2021 | 11AM – 6PM Pacific
Where: Online via Zoom video conference
Price: $125
Scholarships 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.

This workshop is part of our NaNo Prep series. Sign up for one and get a discount code for 20% off the others!

Who Should Take This Workshop?

Writers of all genres — Literary, YA, Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Children’s Books, Romance — and narrative mediums — Prose, Playwriting, Screenwriting, and Graphic Novels, from newbie to professional. You can join this workshop whether you’re participating in National Novel Writing Month or not.


The workshop will run from 11AM to 6PM Pacific Time (click here to convert to your time zone) on this schedule:

Session 1: 11am – 12:30pm
Session 2: 12:35pm – 2pm
Break: 2pm – 3pm
Session 3: 3pm – 4:30pm
Session 4: 4:35pm – 6pm

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. 

Because we will use breakout rooms, closed captions (auto-generated by will be available, though only for students in one workshop group. If you need captions, you’ll have an opportunity to let us know before the workshop begins.

Technical Requirements

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

Webcams are not necessary, microphones are.

Full and Partial Scholarship Opportunities

A small number of scholarships are available. If you do not have the financial means to pay for all or part of the registration cost for the workshop, 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.)

Additionally, in acknowledgment of the difficulty Palestinian writers may have in accessing resources and the obstacles their voices face in being heard, we have set aside scholarship spots specifically for writers of Palestinian heritage.

IMPORTANT: We set aside scholarship spots ahead of opening registration. Even if the workshop sells out before the deadline, scholarship spots are still reserved. If you plan to apply for a scholarship you do not need to register below.

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. 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 you hope the workshop will help you with.
  • If you customarily identify as POC, BIPOC, BAME, or Palestinian, you may indicate that if you wish.

Deadline: 11:59PM Pacific October 2, 2021. We will notify all applicants of their standing by October 4. 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.

If you drop by October 1, you will receive a full refund minus a service fee.

If you drop on October 2 or after you will not have your registration fee refunded. However, you will get a copy of the exercises and a credit applied toward a future course.

NaNo Prep Series

This workshop is part of our NaNo Prep series alongside a Character Workshop and The Friend, The Lover, The Enemy – Interactive Workshop. Sign up for one and get a discount code for 20% off that you can use on one or both of the other workshops.

Register Below

If you have a Gift Card, discount, or code to access tickets, please click the “Enter promo code” link in the Registration box below before you begin the process. If the box below gives you trouble, click here to register on our Eventbrite page.