Some folks here might know that Worldbuilding Stack Exchange has an unofficial blog, Universe Factory. We've been running it since 2015, when we had an explosion of content from a number of users in the site. As some of the initial writers and editors drifted away, though, activity has kinda dwindled: We had a grand total of 7 posts last year, from six different writers. It's felt a little bit like a ghost town. After some recent discussions, though, it seems like there might be some renewed interest - a bunch of folks have told me they'd consider writing, editing or both.

Historically, the posts have been a mix of short stories and posts about the worldbuilding process itself - everything from terrain generation to space travel logistics to things veering into plain old "what-if" territory. Here are some examples of the latter two categories:

We've also had some posts about the site itself. Lately it's been skewed heavily towards short fiction, but we'd love to have posts like any of the above.

Therefore, I'm putting out a call for contributors. If you're interested in being a part, let me know! Write an answer talking about what you'd like to, ideas for posts you have, thoughts about short stories to write, or something else. Once we have a better idea of what we've got to work with, we can start planning for the future. That would include:

  • Helping folks set up accounts on Medium to allow them to submit stories
  • Planning rough schedules so we can coordinate the timing of posts
  • Ideally adding another couple editors so that we're not reliant on me to go through all the content (which has only happened because the other editors have left, so I've had to take over)

I don't know if this is overoptimistic or what - that's the whole point of this post, I think. So if you're considering contributing let us know. We also have an old chat room that might be of use, if people want to talk in a less formal setting.

For more information, see

Update, May 11

Wow, we've had quite a bit of interest so far. We've already published three new posts (all short fiction) in the last couple of weeks, which is awesome! I hope we see many more, as well as non-fiction-related posts about building worlds. If anyone has a submission, let me know - I'll have to give you access to submit a post on Medium.

  • $\begingroup$ Public service announcement: the Universe Factory is published by A Medium Corporation, a medium-sized for-profit corporation. To leave a comment on one of the articles it is necessary to log in to A Medium Corporation with one's Google or Facebook account. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Apr 28 '20 at 1:30
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP That's incorrect; it's hosted on medium.com, but it is not published by Medium. Moreover, we do not use the paywalls Medium offers, we don't pay anything to have the blog there, and Medium doesn't profit from it. I'm also not sure what your point is - we're on a website run by a for-profit corporation. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Mod Apr 28 '20 at 1:33
  • $\begingroup$ So, I can read it without connecting to medium.com? Because if I can't, this means that it is exclusively published by A Medium Corporation. That's the definition of being published. Please note that there is nothing wrong with A Medium Corporation. All electronic publications need to be published by somebody, Medium, Blogger, WordPress etc. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Apr 28 '20 at 1:36
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP I'm confused by what your point is, and what your objection is. Anyone can read the posts. Stack Exchange stopped hosting per-site blogs a while back; we've all had to use external services of some sort. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Mod Apr 28 '20 at 1:38
  • $\begingroup$ No objection. My only point was exactly as I said, a public service announcement; I am the kind of person who actually reads the publisher's name on books and magazines. Most interesting electronic publications are published by various corporations, foundations, etc. Self-published interesting web sites do exist, but they are very rare. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Apr 28 '20 at 1:39
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I think I see now, thanks. I do object to the wording because it implies that Medium has a say in the content, though, but I see what you're trying to say. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Mod Apr 28 '20 at 1:41
  • $\begingroup$ What's asked for in blog posts (today)? Is it just stories themselves or worldbuilding research? As, I had a (or a few) conversations with JBH about the guidelines, criteria, and ability to ask strategic questions (and in a broader viewpoint the ability to make more qualitative, social science, questions in a format that would allow an "answerable" question - per SO guidelines).... or maybe it was a CVn...But, due to SO's behavior: I am not sharing my research. However, if this (here meaning even "defining strategy") was within the guidelines of the blog I'd consider sharing that research. $\endgroup$ – LinkBerest Apr 29 '20 at 3:51
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I am aware of the breakdown in tabs (Process to Community? or maybe World - not actually sure what community is) but having a breakdown within the post might make people who don't have a story - but do have a World or Process to contribute - more open to it. Currently I only saw it as a story sharing blog, as all the current process based posts (after 2017) seem to be more stories so still confused $\endgroup$ – LinkBerest Apr 29 '20 at 4:00
  • $\begingroup$ @LinkBerest-GoodbyeSE It's a bit of a mix - we used to have more posts about worldbuilding in process and techniques. I should definitely add in something about that - Thanks to the suggestion. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Mod Apr 29 '20 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ i have a question, i have written a story but, how can it get added to universe factory blog? $\endgroup$ – Topcode May 11 '20 at 7:34
  • $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 apparently i need to be listed a writer so could you maybe do that for me. my medium username is @.topcode. $\endgroup$ – Topcode May 11 '20 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Topcode Thanks for letting me know. Done! $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Mod May 11 '20 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 Thanks for doing it. $\endgroup$ – Topcode May 11 '20 at 14:24

I enjoy writing fantasy short stories and I've occasionally dabbled in a bit of sci-fi in the vein of the classic short stories of yesteryear. (Think Arthur C. Clarke or Ray Bradbury, for instance.) I do have editing skills and a bit of experience when it comes to editing so I would also be able to do that; but if at all possible, I'd really rather be writing stories, especially if it comes pre-packaged with an audience that's ready to read the kind of stories I like writing.

I joined Worldbuilding off a friend's recommendation that it was someplace I'd like to hang out given my writing hobbies and my own technical knowledge. But it was also someplace that I could sharpen my quill, and I think I'd enjoy joining the Universe Factory, and I've even got a few old pieces that I can turn around for a quick submission.

EDIT: According to the 'Want to Contribute', I need to be listed as a writer for Universe Factory on Medium. I set up a Medium account under the username 'Halfthawed'.

  • $\begingroup$ Well, no excuses! Post one of those stories! $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Apr 28 '20 at 0:51

Well, like I said in the comments on the other thread, I'm willing to help with curatorial / editorial duties. (And if MontyWild doesn't see this question, he expressed a similar desire.)

I'm also interested in posting more stories and perhaps articles in the non-fiction sections.

Still have a question, though: any ideas why my recent story didn't show up in Universe Factory? Did I mess up a setting or something? Kind of defeats the purpose of writing a story and then it doesn't appear in the place I want it to be!

  • $\begingroup$ It shows up for me: medium.com/universe-factory/elektrodrome-69e66b02b084 and also on the homepage. Can you share the link you're using? $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Mod Apr 27 '20 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ it seems the post is in the PROCESS tab, and not the fiction tab where it should be $\endgroup$ – Topcode Apr 27 '20 at 21:36
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Topcode -- though I don't know how it got there! I don't recall being asked where it should go. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Apr 28 '20 at 0:41
  • $\begingroup$ @elemtilas i think its the way you tagged it $\endgroup$ – Topcode Apr 28 '20 at 1:49
  • $\begingroup$ @elemtilas It had to do with the way the story was tagged - I've made an edit to add the fiction tag, so it should show up in the fiction section now. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Mod Apr 28 '20 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 -- How silly! Thanks for sorting that out! Will remember for next time. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Apr 28 '20 at 14:17

I may join in but I need to get organized first. Been writing fan fic off and on for a few decades. I can certainly assist as editor. I'll let you know when I establish an account on Medium.


As you know from the post i made i am interesting in being a writer, but i would also like to be an editor if possible. Although, i also think it would be beneficial to try to start back up some older series, mainly because even if lots of new writers are interested it takes a long time to build a world which would mean it would take a while before a flow of posts is established. I also think we should make it more well known, i stumbled upon it just looking through old posts, its not really put somewhere new users are likely to find it.

edit, i have created a medium account that is @.topcode.

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    $\begingroup$ Concur: I think it would be a good idea to perhaps link to U.F. from our tour. On writing: do post a story to U.F.! $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Apr 28 '20 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ @elemtilas i think it would be great to put it in the tour. as for the story, im working on it, i have an idea to post a semi behind the scenes about the process before the story to maybe help new creators tho, i have it mostly planned out but i still have to write it, and make a medium account $\endgroup$ – Topcode Apr 28 '20 at 2:18

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