There are many resources about how to begin worldbuilding—but how and when do we end? When is worldbuilding finished, and does it need to be complete? How can we improve on a setting we already created? We will take a look at some common difficulties and examine how our undeclared assumptions affect the settings we construct. If we are aware what our speculative worldbuilding says about us as writers and people, and about our own social context, then we can adjust the settings we create to match our narrative goals better. This process can also help us locate gaps that might leave readers with lingering questions, details that might cause trouble in a sequel, and places where we can add more vivid detail.

This class is for writers who would like to take an introspective and structurally directed look at their own settings and worlds. The techniques discussed will be applicable to fiction of any length, and also poetry. It is recommended that you bring a setting you’ve created to the class to participate in exercises.


This workshop is available to anyone aged 18 or older for a $55 fee.

Unless otherwise stated, all times listed are US Pacific Time.

We offer a limited number of scholarships for each class to Black and Indigenous writers and writers from other marginalized backgrounds on a first come, first served basis. Please email us at workshop@clarionwest.org with a one-paragraph statement about your scholarship interest and/or need. Please include the name of the class you would like to apply the scholarship to.

By participating in any Clarion West activity, you are agreeing to our Code of Conduct, the Clarion West Harassment Policy, and our Zoom Guidelines.

Clarion West will refund all class fees if the request is made 30 days prior to the class date. Refund requests made within 30 days of the class will be honored if we can fill the seat. Any exceptions are subject to approval by our workshop staff.