ETJ Writes

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Fantasy Cartography at the Guthrie Memorial Library

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Happy to report that the Fantasy Cartography workshop went really well. We had so much fun!

First we discussed maps, both historical and fantastical, and how the way we view the world, and thus represent it, changes over time – in fact boundaries are still being drawn and redrawn to this day! We explored the parallels between navigating unknown spaces in our real world and the uncharted territory of a first, second or even third draft – because the act of writing itself is akin to a grand adventure – and learned how to created an imaginary world that influences, or is influenced by, the maps we as authors and readers discover in the beginning of many fantasy and adventure novels.f0af7a34-422a-456f-b4c5-8e83a8fe180b

Finally, we put everything we’d learned into practice, creating a variety of unique and interesting maps based on a mix of history and our imaginations. It was so wonderful to see the fun and imaginative worlds the children had designed come to life on their sketchbook pages.

Here is a small list of print and online resources you might find useful should you decide to explore fantasy cartography for yourself:

  • Azgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator – Generates a new map each time the page is reloaded.
  • Generating Fantasy Maps – Web page that allows users to experiment with a simple fantasy map generator.
  • Inkarnate – Dedicated map building website – free & paid versions available.
  • Mythic Maps – Twitter feed featuring fantasy maps from many different novels.
  • Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer by Peter Turchi.
  • Small Worlds: Maps and Mapmaking by Karen Romano Young.

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Thanks so much to the Guthrie Memorial Library for making this event possible (in particular, the teen librarians, Mike, Alissa, and Kody), and for providing such a wonderful space for the program.

This was just one of many programs for teens and kids taking place this summer at the library, so check out the other events, and keep on celebrating literacy and the wonderful world of books!

Happy writing,
~ETJ

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