Danika Dinsmore


Danika Dinsmore is an author, performance artist, and educator with an MFA in Writing and Poetics, an advanced certificate in screenwriting, and a diverse creative background. Over the past 20 years she has developed content for the page, stage, screen, and web. She currently works in speculative fiction, with an emphasis on juvenile and young adult literature, and teaches world-building and creative writing at conferences and festivals across North America. Her interactive Imaginary Worlds Tours assemblies and workshops, based on her children’s fantasy adventure series Faerie Tales from the White Forest, are wildly popular with elementary school students and teachers alike. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and over-sized feline.

SiWC Workshops

Sunday 9:30am

This workshop picks up where Intro to Speculative Fiction leaves off and focuses on world-building

as a jumping off place for endless storytelling. It is recommended, but not required, to attend the Intro session on Friday first, especially if you aren’t familiar with the elements of speculative fiction. Many authors have built multiple series stemming from one imagined world, but what does it take to create a full-scale imaginary world and how do you make yours so enticing readers won’t want to leave? Attendees will discuss various types of imaginary worlds and learn exercises for generating “new world” ideas as well as different ways to approach the speculative elements. They will leave with a list of exercises to flesh out the story using the contents for their World Book. Doing the work in advance will not only save writers a hassle later, the process itself is ultimately inspiring.     

Friday 10:30am

Dystopian, cyberpunk, steampunk, and slipstream. No longer do we think solely in terms of Sci Fi, Fantasy, and Horror when it comes to speculative fiction. As readers and writers become more sophisticated, genres are being bent, blended, and blurred. In this workshop, Danika leads the participants on a journey through the contemporary world of speculative fiction, examining the various sub-genres with explanations and examples of each. Then she introduces two writing exercises. The first plays with the possibilities of creating new subgenres. The second exercise combines elements of speculative fiction to create story ideas participants can develop later on. Students leave with access to resources to further expand their knowledge of these genres.