- Grades 5-6
What draws audiences into the settings of their favorite fantasy worlds? What makes these otherwise mythical places feel like real locations in readers’ minds? In this course, we’ll use applications of geography, cartography, and anthropology to create and develop our own fantasy worlds. We’ll learn the literary elements of storytelling, analyzing specific examples from the genre as we engage in writing exercises that give you the tools to compose stories in your newly minted fictional setting. We will pay special attention to characterization, description, conflict, setting, exposition, and aspects of the hero's journey through excerpts from Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Activities include creating a detailed map of your world, constructing profiles of civilizations, and writing short stories featuring heroic characters who live in your setting.
Fall, Winter, and Spring Time Commitment: 4-5 hours per week (1 hour class time, 3-4 hours independent work).
Summer Time Commitment: 12-15 hours per week (3 hours class time, 9-12 hours independent work).
Register for an Online course by selecting an open class below. If no open classes are listed, then course enrollment is currently closed. Note: You will need to have an active CTY Account to complete registration through MyCTY.
Testing and Prerequisites
|Required Level||Not required||CTY-Level|
Students must achieve qualifying scores on an advanced assessment to be eligible for CTY programs. If you don’t have qualifying scores, you have several different testing options. We’ll help you find the right option for your situation.Sign up for Testing Learn More
Cost and Financial Aid
- Nonrefundable Application Fee - $15 (Waived for financial aid applicants)
- Nonrefundable International Fee - $20 (outside US only)
Financial Aid is available
We are committed to serving all talented youth regardless of financial circumstances. Financial assistance is available based on need.
Please acquire all course materials by the course start date. If you have questions about these materials or difficulty locating them, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students will be notified by email of any required course materials 2-3 weeks prior to the course start date.
- Beagle, The Last Unicorn
- Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea
- Rhodes, Bayou Magic
Important note: The Beagle text that we will use is the original publication (1968). Quick online searches will likely present families with the graphic novel adaptation (for which Beagle was a partner). Use ISBN 9780451450524 to avoid confusion.
This course requires a computer with high-speed Internet access and an up-to-date web browser such as Chrome or Firefox. You must be able to communicate with the instructor via email. Visit the Technical Requirements and Support page for more details.
This course uses a virtual classroom for instructor-student communication. The classroom works on standard computers with the Zoom desktop client, and on tablets or handhelds that support the Zoom Mobile app. Recorded meetings can only be viewed on a computer with the Zoom desktop client installed. The Zoom desktop client and Zoom Mobile App are both free to download.
About Language Arts at CTY
Enhance your skills in creative writing and critical reading, learn to craft effective sentences, and develop an analytical approach to reading and writing through our Language Arts courses. Guided by our expert instructors, you can further develop your communication skills in our interdisciplinary visual fluency courses, and explore topics in communication theory, design theory, and cognitive psychology. Through coursework and online discussions with classmates from around the world, you’ll elevate your writing structure and style, hone your craft, and become an adept wordsmith fluent in the language of literary arts.
Write, Edit, Publish
Walk in the shoes of a writer, editor, and publisher this fall in Master Class I: Writing, Editing, and Publishing, and then collaborate with peers to create the next issue of our CTY Online student-developed literary journal, Lexophilia, in Master Class II: Writing, Editing, and Publishing, offered in the winter.
Explore Greek Myths
Newly revised for fall 2021, you'll read, discuss, and write about Greek myths in Young Readers’ Series: Greek Myths Revisited, studying exciting, heroic characters and ancient narratives that continue to teach us all valuable lessons about life, love, and family.