Award winning author Zoraida Córdova guides students through the different entry points of science fiction and fantasy worlds in Fantasy Gateways: Approaches to Magical Worldbuilding.

Drawing from her extensive experience, Zoraida Córdova walks students through her worldbuilding process, including character, setting, and magic system development. Presenting her own works as case studies, Córdova shows students how to bridge the fantastic to reality through research and cultural analogs. Students will join Córdova as they map a hero’s quest using her preferred story beats, research checklist, and worldbuilding questions. This course applies to all writing genres, expanding beyond novels into screenplays, comics, video games, and more.


This course includes three modules of teaching over the span of three weeks. Each module is broken into three individual lessons that include video lectures, assignments, exercises, and opportunities to participate in community discussions with classmates and Zoraida Córdova. All three lessons for each module will go live at the beginning of their corresponding weeks, concluding with a live Q&A session hosted by Zoraida Córdova on Saturdays at 12pm EST at the end of each module.


August 26 - September 14, 2024



Since 2012, Zoraida has written more than two dozen novels and short stories, including The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina, Valentina Salazar Is Not a Monster Hunter, and Star Wars: The High Republic: Convergence. Her 2016 novel Labyrinth Lost, book one in the Brooklyn Brujas trilogy, won an International Latino Book Award. When she’s not writing, Zoraida serves on the board of We Need Diverse Books, cohosts the writing podcast, Deadline City, and develops intellectual property for Cake Creative & Electric Postcard Entertainment as a Tastemaker. She’s the editor of the SFF anthology, Reclaim the Stars, co-editor of the bestselling anthology Vampires Never Get Old, and occasionally writes adult romance novels as Zoey Castile and other pseudonyms.