The Shale Project is a multimedia storytelling initiative roughly in the shape of a planet. It's about three things:
Frequently Asked Questions
Wait, so what is this exactly?
Shale can be described as a multimedia storytelling initiative roughly in the shape of a planet! It serves as a hub for the different stories we intend to publish, and is essentially a world building playground. The website itself offers you the tools to navigate different parts of the world featured in our stories, and gives more in-depth information on these places. Feel free to ask us questions about the specific places as well–your questions are what help us know what kind of information people might like to see when exploring!
Why build a planet?
Well, because we wanted to. We believe that storytelling is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and that it is absolutely essential to the human experience. At the very least, it’s how we keep ourselves sane. Using the entire planet as a resource gives us the opportunity to interweave these stories on a large scale. As artists, it creates a sense of consequence. Sometimes, the tiniest things can change the entire world. Sometimes, the big things aren’t actually that big. We’re just trying to process the whole point of existence. No biggie.
On a less existentially fraught note, it’s just a whole lot of fun to do! There are a lot of questions we have about our own world that we are able to explore and play with here. How do people navigate a world far less globalized than Earth? What if money wasn’t the primary tool of exchange? Precisely how big and ugly can we make a creature called a “molewhale” before it goes from an adorable mascot to a blight on society?
Where can I find your fine works?
Our current flagship piece, The Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming, is available both through the website and on Amazon. The first chapters are also available to read for free, so you can get an idea if it might be your vibe! If you like what you’ve read, please feel free to leave a review on Goodreads and spread the word about both the book and Shale itself!
I want to write a story for Shale!
We’re so glad that you’re excited about the project! Unfortunately, we are not currently accepting story submissions. However, if you are interested in worldbuilding alongside us and have a specific skill to offer (visual artists, costumers, musicians, etc), please shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We may be interested in checking out your portfolio and seeing if you’d be a good fit as a one-time or regular contributor!
When are you gonna do something on Cygmia? I heard Avi say something about… dinosaurs?
It takes a while to write a story, but I assure you that we intend to touch down on every continent! Sign up for our email list and you will know precisely when Avi’s dinosaur dreams come true.
I want to smooch Ronoah, is that allowed?
That’s his choice, really. We’re just the publicists.
It takes a pantheon to build a planet. We are so grateful to all who have supported Shale in its earliest years, but we give special thanks to Carisa Van de Wetering, Rebecca Spence, Alex Wright, and Neil Hughes for all of the invaluable help they have provided.
Please take an opportunity to look through the works of our brilliant contributors, and send us an email if you think you have something to offer the project! As the planet grows, we hope to see the pantheon do the same.
Sienna Tristen is the author of Shale’s flagship project, The Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming. As the Shale’s resident linguist, she’s responsible for nearly all of the planet’s languages and names. Many of the regions’ economic and agricultural realities come from her hours of eager research, and she can spit out a creation myth any time. She is currently working on the second book of The Heretic’s Guide.
Haley Rose is the cover artist for Shale’s works of fiction, including The Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming. When she isn’t drowning out the demands of the masses to “draw me“, she works as a posing artist and character designer in Toronto. She received her Bachelor’s in Animation from Sheridan.
Avi Silver is the author of Shale’s web serial, Tales from a Library. They are also responsible for much of the website’s upkeep and content creation. To absolutely no one’s surprise, it was their choice to make shalledrim capable of purring. Currently, they are working on their first short novel, which is due to be published in 2019. Follow them on twitter to watch them cry about it.
Irene Zhong is a 2018 graduate of Melbourne Conservatorium as a Bachelor of Music specializing in Composition, and The Shale Project could not be more blessed to call them Master Composer! At any given moment they are about six coffees deep into work on their concept album, their commissions, and the Heretic’s Guide album. Catch them tweeting about Mitski, devouring inspiring content, and picking up as many instruments as their arms can carry.