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"Worldbuilding for Speculative Fiction" with Amanda Downum and Marshall Ryan Maresca

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St. Edward's University, Trustee Hall 303
3001 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704

9/16/2017 From 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM



Online registration for this class has closed. You can pay admission at the door with a check for the walk up rate - $59 for members and $119 for nonmembers - as long as seats are available. Thank you!

$49 for members (sign in for member pricing)


Need help introducing the world of your speculative fiction novel or stories without dumping an encyclopedia of background information on your readers?

Want to learn to integrate your worldbuilding into drama and character?

Strong worldbuilding is the foundation for fantastic fiction, from Middle-Earth of The Lord of the Rings to Hogwarts of Harry Potter. But when and where do you add details, and how much is too much? This class will focus on tools to build rich, believable worlds and techniques to integrate that work into your fiction, whether you’re starting a project from scratch or want to add nuance to an existing story.

In this class, learn techniques to build a rich, immersive world, without infodumping or overwhelming readers. Particular focus will be given to worldbuilding without dry infodumps and on incorporating worldbuilding into characterization and description.
  • You're writing speculative fiction, science fiction, or fantasy.
  • You're writing any novel or story set in a place or time that readers must be taught to understand.
Amanda Downum is the author of the Necromancer Chronicles—The Drowning City, The Bone Palace, and Kingdoms of Dust—published by Orbit Books, and Dreams of Shreds & Tatters, from Solaris. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange HorizonsRealms of FantasyWeird Tales, and elsewhere.
Marshall Ryan Maresca grew up in upstate New York and studied film and video production at Penn State. His work appeared in Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction and Rick Klaw’s anthology Rayguns Over Texas. He has had several short plays produced and has worked as a stage actor, a theatrical director and an amateur chef. His novels The Thorn of Dentonhill and A Murder of Mages each begin their own fantasy series, both set in the port city of Maradaine.

Both instructors have been featured on The Writers' League of Texas podcast. Listen to Marshall on "Straight Out of Science Fiction and Fantasy" and Amanda on "Thrills and Chills: Writing to Thrill and Scare."



St. Edward's University, Trustee Hall 303. You can find a St. Edward's University campus map here.



$49 members (sign in for member pricing)

$109 nonmembers

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

Online registration will close at the end of Thursday, September 14. After that you can pay admission at the door with a check for the walk up rate - $59 for members and $119 for nonmembers - as long as seats are available. If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click HERE for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it.

Once a purchase has been made, tickets are not refundable and registration cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a ticket and then find you cannot attend, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at or 512-499-8914 and let us know so that we can update the class roster.



Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven't taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to give us a call at 512-499-8914 if you'd like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.


This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at

Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to


The Writers' League of Texas would like to thank St. Edward's University for its generous support and commitment to community, ongoing education, and the arts. Visit