Worldbuilding for Fantasy and Science Fiction: Aug. 29 Webinar (with Critique) by Bestselling Author Philip Athans

New York Times best-selling author and veteran editor Philip Athans, author of The Guide to Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction (Adams Media 2010), knows his stuff. He is a master of creative detailed worlds for his novels. That’s why we’re offering a new webinar from Philip on Aug. 29, 2013 called “How to Create Unique New Settings for Your Novels and Short Stories. It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, Aug. 29, and lasts 90 minutes. All attendees get a critique.

In this new webinar, Philip gets into some seriously detailed techniques for creating worlds for fantasy and science fiction stories, novels, screenplays, and games, drawing from a quarter century of experience in creating new worlds. You’ll get hands-on advice on where and how to start creating a fantasy or science fiction world. We’ll discuss research and sources of inspiration, and the importance of setting and following your own rules. Sign up for the webinar here, and make your novel stand out to agents & editors.


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You are invited to submit a 500-word “Statement of Purpose” for your science fiction or fantasy world. In this document, you are asked to describe your setting to answer three vital questions:

  1. How does your setting support the theme of your story?
  2. How does your setting enrich your characters?
  3. How does your setting fuel your story’s conflict?

All submitted documents are guaranteed a written critique by author/editor Philip Athans. Sign up for the webinar.

Please Note: Even if you can’t attend the live webinar, registering for this live version will enable you to receive the On Demand webinar and a personal critique of your material. Purchasing the On Demand version after the live event will not include a critique.


  • The difference between “realistic” and “plausible”
  • The vital importance of consistently applied rules for your created world (i.e. how magic works, or how fast your starships can go)
  • Tips on research (what do you NEED to know?)
  • Sources of inspiration for your SF or fantasy world
  • How to start to organize your thoughts and notes
  • Why your world should always serve your characters and story, not the other way around
  • What you need to know about your world before you start writing. Sign up for the webinar.


Philip Athans is the founding partner of Athans & Associates Creative Consulting, and the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other fantasy and horror books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction. Born in Rochester, New York he grew up in suburban Chicago, where he published the literary magazine Alternative Fiction & Poetry. His blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook, is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans. He makes his home in the foothills of the Washington Cascades, east of Seattle.


  • Anyone writing in the science fiction and fantasy genres
  • Writers from any media: novels and short stories, video games, movies and TV
  • Writers who understand the importance of a solid sense of place
  • Writers who want to take their SciFi and fantasy to the next level
  • Writers looking to create an ongoing series
  • Writers having trouble getting started
  • Writers who have trouble balancing description and action

Sign up for the webinar here, and make your novel stand out to agents & editors.

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