Paid event
 -  (UTC)
This is an online event

Organised by The Guardian

Dr Sally Gales guides you through practical reading and writing exercises, to form, solidify and add detail to your own fictional worlds.

Save 15% on all full price standard tickets by entering the code SPRINGSALE15 at checkout, subject to availability. Hurry, this offer ends on Monday 17 April 2023.
When you read a fantasy or sci-fi novel, you might have wondered what lends itself to the authenticity of the story. Is it the intricately detailed setting that is not merely a backdrop to the characters’ action, but is itself a central character? Could it be the ensemble of characters with unique backstories that add weight to the plot?
As an aspiring writer of sci-fi and speculative fiction, one of the most valuable skills you can sharpen is your ability to craft worlds that are believable, authentic and weighty. Far from being a simple landscape, your world needs to envelope character and reader alike, to help and hinder their journey to the triumphant - or bitter - end.
In this interactive workshop for beginners, Dr Sally Gales will teach you the fundamentals of fictional world-building, beginning with practical exercises and leading you through the differences between place and space, what constitutes a ‘world’, and how to make a viable world without committing every last detail to the page.
By the end of the workshop, you will have crafted the initial development of your fictional world, and will leave with a new set of tools to continue building and fine tuning it.
Course Content
  • The difference between place and space
  • The foundations of world-building: examining the everyday
  • The elements of successful world-building
  • The creative process - outside of writing
  • World-building writing exercises
  • Q&A
This course is for ...
  • Writers with a desire to develop their skills in world-building and writing for sci-fi, fantasy and speculative fiction
  • Writers who are looking for support and guidance in creating viable worlds for their fiction
  • Beginners who want to explore a new creative outlet
Tutor Profile
Originally from South Florida, Dr. Sally Gales graduated from the University of Glasgow with a Doctorate of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Before pursuing her doctorate, she worked as an architect, and she utilises her knowledge of built space to inform the worlds she creates in her speculative fiction. Her short stories have appeared in a variety of publications, such as New Writing Scotland 39. She recently won third place in Faber Children’s Imagined Futures Prize, which included a book deal for her debut, young adult science-fantasy novel. She lives in Glasgow with her fiancé and their large, sooky greyhound.
Course Details
  • Date: Saturday 15 April 2023
  • Time: 2pm-4pm BST
A catch up recording will be shared after the class and will be available for two weeks.
This masterclass is available globally. If you are joining us from outside the United Kingdom, please use this time zone converter to check your local live streaming time.
2pm BST | 3pm CST | 6am PT | 9am ET
You will be sent a link to the webinar 24 hours and 30 minutes before the start time. Please email masterclasses@theguardian.com if you do not receive the access link.
We aim to make Guardian Masterclasses accessible to all. If you require any adjustments to enable your participation in this course, please get in touch with us at masterclasses@theguardian.com.
This event will be hosted on a third-party live streaming platform Zoom, please refer to their privacy policy and terms and conditions before purchasing a ticket to the class.
Once a purchase is complete we will not be able to refund you where you do not attend or if you cancel your event booking. Please see our terms and conditions for more information on our refund policy.


Attendees — 2

 -  (UTC)
Fiction skills: How to build worlds in sci-fi and speculative fictionLondon, United Kingdom