Want to write epic content for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, but don't know where to start? Start here!

Write, produce, and publish your first D&D encounter in this one-month-long, self-paced workshop!
May 1 - 31, 2022

What is a D&D encounter?

At the end of this workshop, you'll have written and produced a one-page D&D 5th Edition encounter.

Think of an encounter as a "mini adventure." It entails everything you'd expect from a full adventure — a cool setting, a monster, and a quest — with one major difference: it's short! Writing an exciting encounter is a great first step in building your D&D design portfolio.
A pink, purple, and orange dragon sits gazes off to the left

In this workshop, you'll learn...

  • Elements of an Encounter

    We'll break down the essential elements of a compelling D&D encounter (with examples!).

  • Writing Your Encounter

    We'll share brainstorming and outline best practices to guide your writing.

  • Playtesting Your Encounter

    We'll demystify the process of playtesting and how to facilitate it.

  • Designing Your Encounter

    We'll show you how you can make your encounter beautiful and accessible.

  • Dungeon Masters Guild Best Practices

    Our guest contributor shares how to make the most of DMsGuild.com.

Plus... we're going to publish your encounters!

We partnered with the awesome folks over at DMsGuild.com to produce an anthology of your encounters after the workshop ends. This is a great way to score your first publishing credit! 

Dungeon Masters Guild written in blocky white text and outlined in black and red.
Check out the collections from last year's sessions:


  • What do you mean by "self-paced"?

    The lessons in this workshop unlock over the course of the month. (Check out the full schedule in the course.) This means that you can log in when you're able to log in and complete the lessons on your own schedule, any time during the month of May!

  • When does this workshop take place, and do I have to be online at a specific time?

    The workshop takes place from May 1st to May 31st, 2022. You do not have to be online at any specific time; we have a global community and scheduled classes are unfeasible. The lessons unlock on UTC time, but you're encouraged to complete them on your own schedule.

  • What is the format of the lessons?

    In this course, almost all of the lessons are written (like blog posts/articles). The guest lesson by Lysa Penrose is a video. Each of the four units includes a few activities to guide your learning.

  • Where does this course take place?

    Right here on this website. On May 1st, just simply pop over here to StorytellingCollective.com and log in. The course will be available in your account!

Lesson Schedule

The lessons are released over the course of four weeks and unlock on the dates specified below. Here is the schedule. The dates are when that lesson goes live; the deadlines for each activity are included in the lesson content.

What is an Encounter?: May 1-7

M.T. Black breaks down the components of a D&D encounter. 

Writing Your Encounter: May 8-14

Ashley Warren provides tips on effective brainstorming and planning out your encounter, as well as suggestions for starting your encounter and using popular tropes. 

Playtesting Your Encounter: May 15-21

Justice Arman shares the process of playtesting your encounter and implementing feedback.

Producing Your Encounter: May 21-30

Ashley Warren, along with special guest instructor Lysa Penrose from DMs Guild, provide guidance and resources on putting your one-page encounter into layout, as well as DMs Guild publishing best practices.

Submission Day: May 31

Submit your one-page encounter PDF to the Storytelling Collective team, to be published as part of a DMs Guild anthology. 

Meet the Instructors

M.T. Black

M.T. Black (he/him) is a freelance game designer who has published dozens of Dungeons & Dragons adventures. He has accumulated nearly 40 platinum bestseller medals over his career, and his RPG books have collectively sold over 100,000 copies. Recent works include The Book of Wondrous Magic, The Anatomy of Adventure, and Darkhold: Secrets of the Zhentarim. Find out more at https://www.mtblackgames.com/
Two yellow eyes peer out of a dragon's scaled face, partially obscured by orange fog.

Justice Arman

Justice Arman (he/him) is an Iranian American writer based in central Texas. In addition to penning best-selling DMs Guild supplements such as Devil's Advocate: A Guide to Infernal Contracts, Justice is a Senior Game Designer at Wizards of the Coast. You can find him on Twitter (@justicearman) or at www.justicearman.com.
Justice Arman has dark hair and a dark beard. He smiles at the camera while standing in front of a brick wall.

Ashley Warren

Ashley Warren (she/her) is the founder and director of the Storytelling Collective and the RPG Writer Workshop. She is the founder/producer of the Uncaged Anthology and a co-author of Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden (WotC); Heckna (Hit Point Press); and Legendlore (Onyx Path Publishing). Connect with her on Scribemind.com.
Ashley is a white woman with long dark hair. She wears a black sweater and a tan and black plaid scarf. She smiles at you.

Lysa Penrose

Special Guest Contributor

DMs Guild Brand Manager Lysa Penrose (fae/faer) has numerous narrative and game design credits to faer name, including Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage and Descent into Avernus. Lysa contributed a short video lesson about getting started on DMs Guild!
Lysa has dark magenta hair that fae holds back from faer head with faer arm. Lysa has on black lipstick and has dark eyeliner drawn as a cat eye. She smiles at the camera.

Thank you to our sponsors for supporting this workshop!

Here's what StoCo alumni have to say:

Christopher Harding (@Xanethlyon)

RPG Writer Workshop Participant

Joining the RPG Writer Workshop has been the most fulfilling and welcoming experience that I've had in a long time. The connections and friends made, the knowledge gained and the confidence I have has grown. I've gone from being unpublished (and no writing projects), to 2 adventures, 3 supplements, a few collaborative projects, as well as charity bundles in just 7 months. I highly recommend joining the discord and the courses whenever possible. They've proven invaluable for getting my foot in the door and learning how to be a TTRPG writer.

TL Massey (@tlmasseywrites)

RPG Writer Workshop Participant

The RPGWW is not only a fantastic little community, it's also a powerhouse of project management for first-time TTRPG writers. Even if you're an experienced writer or illustrator, the RPGWW framework is a great new way to think about a module from start to finish. Best part about the community? You have baked in real-time access to peers and resources to make your debut into the TTRPG scene. Bonus: You'll still have them when you stick around after you publish module #1. I'm very pleased with how much I've been able to get done since I joined.

Matthew Wulf

RPG Writer Workshop Participant

The Write Your First Adventure workshop gave me the tools, motivation, and communal resources to publish my first TRPG adventure. The importance of having a defined goal every day cannot be overstated. This course will make you a better author and a better game master, guaranteed.

Michael Reid, MikeReidWrites.com

RPG Writer Workshop Participant

The RPG Writer Workshop is the perfect starting point for writers breaking into the tabletop industry. The structure of the course provides a strong foundation for developing each individual's method for writing TTRPG material, while the encouraging instructors and fellow students offer something even more important: community. Crafting my first adventure for the DMs Guild, "False Profits," as part of the July 2020 RPG Writer Workshop was a transformative experience for me as a new independent TTRPG writer. I can't recommend it enough!

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