The Shale Project is a multimedia storytelling initiative roughly in the shape of a planet. It's about three things:


On Shale, no story is truly a stand-alone. Each work further adds to the planet’s history, building the world across continents and over centuries. We aim to create an engaging home base for the stories we tell, and explore everything from international trade disputes to local coming-of-age ceremonies.


Art often requires us to be geologists and linguists and occasional assassins. But above all, we are storytellers. The Shale Project is a place for us to explore our love of storytelling through a variety of mediums, and to create exciting, dynamic content for a curious audience.

Art as Medicine

Our philosophy is that the stories we tell on Shale should not only serve to entertain, but to help us critically examine our own lives and experiences on Earth (or whatever planet you currently inhabit!). Through our stories, we strive to foster a culture of connection, empathy, and curiosity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wait, so what is this exactly?

The Shale Project is best described as a multimedia storytelling initiative roughly in the shape of a planet! We see Shale as a hub for all of the stories we publish, and treat it like a worldbuilding playground. Our award-winning website provides the tools to navigate different parts of the planet that are featured in our stories, and offers more in-depth information on these places. Feel free to ask us questions about the planet as well–your curiosity helps us to know where you’d like to see us grow!

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.

On a less existentially fraught note, it’s a 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?

When do you plan on opening up the rest of the planet?

It takes a long time to write a story, but we do intend to touch down on every continent! So far we’ve explored a lot of North Berena, the setting of the Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming duology, as well as certain parts of Cygmia with Avi Silver’s Sãoni Cycle series. As new locations are featured in in our works, new detailed segments of the website will open up. Sign up for our email list to be the first to hear when new locations have been unlocked.

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 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!

Where can I find your fine works?

All over the place! You can order any of our titles from your local independent bookstore, as well as the big boys like Barnes & Noble, Indigo, etc. Our whole catalogue is also available via Amazon.

Prefer eBooks? Not a problem! Shale’s titles are also available through all the usual eBook channels, such as Kobo, Nook, Apple Books, and Kindle (not to mention you can lend a copy from your library!)

If you like what you’ve read, help spread the word by writing a quick review on Goodreads, Storygraph, or your own personal blog/newsletter/piece of the Internet!

How can I help Shale continue to grow?

Thank you so much for wanting to support us! The best way to help us out (aside from engaging with the stories we tell!) is by becoming a patron over on our Patreon. For as little as $2 a month, your name will be featured in the back of the books we publish, and higher donations give you access to all sorts of bonus content. All of the money we receive helps us continue to run The Shale Project and help it expand!

I want to smooch Ronoah, is that allowed?

That’s his choice, really. We’re just the publicists.

Creators and

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 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 at if you think you have something to offer the project!

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The Shale Project is made possible by our incredible supporters over on Patreon. Thank you so much to Amy Raboin, Carisa, Cass Meehan, Charlotte Ashley, Cheryl Hamilton, Emily Colgan, Jamie Harsip, Joy Silvey, KTFartes, Laurence Dion, Natalie Lythe, Nicholas Mackenzie, Nick Calow, Rebecca Diem, Seann Alexander, Spenser Chicoine, and Susan Meehan. This would not be possible without you!


Sienna Tristen is the author of the award-winning Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming duology. As Shale’s resident linguist, they’re responsible for nearly all of the planet’s languages and names. Many of the regions’ economic and agricultural realities come from their hours of eager research, and they can spit out a creation myth any time.



Sienna Tristen

Fickle God of the Harvest

Haley Rose is the award-winning cover artist for Shale’s works of fiction, including The Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming and Two Dark Moons. 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.

Haley Rose

She Who Draws Your Doom

Avi Silver is the author of the Sãoni Cycle, a trilogy two-thirds complete (Two Dark Moons, 2019; Three Seeking Stars, 2021). 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.


Avi Silver

Meddling God of Despair

Carisa Catherine graduated from York University in 2018 with a BA in psychology, but her true love has always been theatre. Fueled by caffeine and musical soundtracks, she is willing to part with her video games only to make the occasional transformation into a shalledra. Bow before her!

Carisa Catherine

The Shalledra Melailah