Bring Your Story World to Life

An iterative approach to world-building


Julie Artz


Live on Wednesday, June 14, or watch the recording


First-time novelists


Closed captions by Otter; transcript provided with recording

Whether you’re writing science fiction/fantasy, historical fiction, romance, mystery, or thriller, taking a methodical approach to building your world will make your story come alive on the page for readers. If you want to immerse readers in a world they haven’t seen yet, whether it’s on Mars, in 16th-century France, or in Kansas, it takes solid world-building.

But how do you do you build a world that draws readers in? That’s exactly what consummate story geek, fantasy author, and book coach Julie Artz will teach you in this 90-minute webinar. She’ll lead you through the concepts, research, exercises, and tools she uses to teach her practical approach to world-building to her clients.

Learn to avoid common pitfalls and stereotypes; explore ways to take a universal story theme and express it in a fresh way that will make agents, editors, and readers keep turning pages; build rich worlds big enough to support a series; learn techniques to avoid the dreaded info dump. This 90-minute webinar provides an iterative approach to world-building for your novel so that you can avoid tired tropes, create a world that enhances plot, theme, and character, all while maintaining enough flexibility to explore and further refine the world while drafting and revising.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Define world-building across genres
  • Identify the top 3 world-building pitfalls
  • Use planning and research to avoid those pitfalls
  • Understand how world-building enhances the plot-theme-character triumvirate
  • Apply Julie’s iterative approach to world-building while drafting and revising your story

This information-packed class has been developed over the years by a book coach who has guided many authors through drafting, revision, and publication. Registrants will receive Julie’s World-Building Workbook to help them flesh out their story worlds.

Who should take this class

  • First-time novelists who are struggling to build their first story world
  • Writers drafting or revising a novel, wondering if their world-building is fresh enough to stand out
  • More experienced novelists who are switching genre and need a crash course in world-building
  • Authors wondering if their world is big enough to support a series
  • Querying writers who are getting feedback that their story isn’t fresh enough to stand out in the marketplace

Who should NOT take this class

  • Nonfiction authors. Memoirists might benefit, but this class is biased toward fiction and will not offer advice that’s targeted to memoirists. If you have the ability to see a fiction example and understand how the concepts translate to nonfiction on your own, the class will be helpful. If you want devoted instruction that explores the unique concerns of nonfiction writers (concerns that do not affect novelists), we do not recommend registering.
  • Children’s picture book writers and chapter book writers
  • Writers of short works (e.g., short stories, flash fiction)
  • Writers who are not prepared to revise

What’s included in all of Jane’s classes

How do I attend the live class?

This class uses Zoom webinar technology (see system requirements). You will join through your Internet-connected computer or mobile device. When you register, you will receive information via email on how to join the class. If you don’t receive it within 1 hour of registering, please contact us.

  • When: Wednesday, June 14, 2023
  • Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Eastern / 10:00 a.m. Pacific
  • Registration fee: $25

The webinar is broadcast via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer or mobile device speakers. The visual presentation is displayed directly from the presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions read and answered by the presenter for the entire class to hear.

Closed captions are provided during the live class. We use Zoom’s automated closed caption service (powered by Otter), which is about 80%+ accurate. We also use Otter AI to generate an unedited transcript, provided with the recording.

About the instructor

Julie Artz spent her young life sneaking into wardrobes searching for Narnia. When people started to think that was creepy, she went in search of other ways to go on mystical adventures. Now she finds those long-sought doors to magical story worlds in her work as an author, editor, and book coach. An active member of the writing community, she has volunteered for SCBWI, TeenPit, and Pitch Wars and is a member of EFA, the Authors Guild, and AWP.

With over a decade of experience as a freelance editor and book coach, Julie has helped many writers draft, revise, and publish their work both in the traditional and indie markets. And one key to that success is the ability to help writers connect character and plot to their world-building.

A consummate social and environmental justice minded story geek, Julie lives in an enchanted forest outside of Redmond, Washington, with her husband, two strong-willed teenagers, and a trio of naughty furry familiars. She’s building a thriving book coaching business based on her values, her editing chops, and her knowledge of story. She talks about writing and books on No Blank Pages, Jane’s blog, Writers Helping Writers, and Medium. Connect with her on TwitterInstagramFacebook, or get in touch via her website.


Julie has an unusual ability to see story from a big-picture perspective that connects the external aspects of setting and plot with the internal ones of character and emotional arc. That connection strengthens authenticity and helps to make the work more compelling. Her guidance on the intricacies of building a world (and the characters and emotions inhabiting it) is sure to be useful for writers of all genres.

Joni Sensel, author of A Curse on the Wind and Feeling Fate

Julie did such a great job of keeping the big picture of my story in her head as we worked through a draft. She has an incredibly creative mind that can see the big-picture of the world you’re building. She knows the right questions to ask to get you thinking about what will work or not work, and she keeps you focused. World-building can feel overwhelming, but working with Julie made the task much easier, more manageable and fun.

Jen Braaksma, author of Evangeline’s Heaven 

Julie teaches world-building with enthusiasm that will bring your own world-building alive.

Lily LaMotte, author of Measuring Up, Unhappy Camper, and Chloe’s Lunar New Year

All students receive the following

  • Access to the 90-minute live class. After roughly 75 minutes, the instructor will take questions using in-class chat/text. The class will end after roughly 90 minutes. If we can’t get to all of the questions live, the instructor will answer them in writing and you’ll receive the answers with the recording.
  • A recording of the class—audio and video. This is especially helpful if you have a conflict with the class time or something comes up and you can’t make the session. Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for 30 days. You do not have to attend the live event to access the recordings.
  • Presentation slides. All participants receive the slide presentation in PDF form.
  • Automated transcript. We use Otter to create an automated transcript of the entire webinar, which we’ll share with you in addition to the audio and video recording.
  • Supplemental materials: Registrants will receive Julie’s World-Building Workbook to help them flesh out their story worlds.

Event Attendance & Anti-Harassment Policy

We strive to provide an environment where all present—whether attendee, presenter, or staff—can feel supported. In order to ensure a welcoming event, here is what we expect from all who participate.

  • That the presenter and the presenter’s work be treated with respect by attendees and that all attendees treat each other with respect and a generosity of spirit.
  • That attendees will refrain from harassment of any sort including (but not limited to) comments or questions of a racist, homophobic, sexist/sexual, or threatening nature. This includes actions that disrupt or interfere with anyone’s ability to participate. Offenders will be disconnected from the live event.