Alec Worley is a freelance creative writer based in London. He works full-time in comics, fiction, and audio drama creating stories in the worlds of fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and every genre in between.
Most of his time is taken up writing original stories for licensed properties (for both adults and younger readers), as well as custom projects, and comic-book adaptations of novels and TV.
He’s created plenty of his own original material and is the co-creator of apocalyptic werewolf saga Age of the Wolf (with Jon Davis-Hunt for 2000 AD), paranormal comedy Dandridge (with Warren Pleece for 2000 AD), and plenty more either in the pipeline or waiting to be announced…
Best Known For...
So, What's My Background...?
But I've Also Written...
And There's That Time I Got Nominated For An Award...
2020 Scribe Award Nominee for the audio drama The Watcher in the Rain.
Here's Some Nice Things People Have Written About My Work...
Along With Some Interviews I've Done...
Finally, Some FAQs...
Always happy to hear from professionals and readers alike (but please don’t ask me to read your short story, novel, screenplay, comic script, radio script, or this great idea you’ve got for this, that or the other. Thanks, guys).
Well, I was born in Portsmouth, raised by my mum and grandparents in South London, messed up at school and never went to uni. Every last thing I know about writing, storytelling, genre, fiction, comics and audio scripting I learned from reading about it, doing it badly and figuring out how to do it better.
After a year or so on the dole, I became a projectionist in the picture palaces and fleapits of London’s West End before making the - genuinely idiotic - choice of jacking it in to become a freelance movie journalist for Sight & Sound, Total Film, SFX, and a bunch of others.
In 2005 I published Empires of the Imagination: A Critical Survey of Fantasy Cinema from Georges Méliès to The Lord of the Rings, a comprehensive study spanning every fantasy movie genre from fairy tales to sword and sorcery.
I struggled to make a living as a movie journalist and got into comics through the slush pile at 2000 AD, for whom I went on to write a number of classic characters including Judge Dredd, Judge Anderson, Durham Red and Robo-Hunter.
It was for 2000 AD that I created my first few original series: the paranormal comedy Dandridge (with artist Warren Pleece), apocalyptic werewolf saga Age of the Wolf (with artist Jon Davis-Hunt), and supernatural crime tale Six Brothers (with artist Mike Dowling).
For younger readers, I enjoyed a long run writing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics (based on the 2012 TV show), before moving on to write a string of adaptations and original comics for Star Wars and DreamWorks’ Trollhunters.
I’m currently building my own little niche within the Warhammer universe, writing shorts, novels and audios published by Games Workshop’s Black Library. I’m still writing licensed comics for outlets including 2000 AD, but also developing projects of my own with John Carpenter’s Storm King Comics and others.
My goal with any project – whether my own or licensed – is to innovate as much as possible within the boundaries of that genre and develop characters that will resonate with readers on a primal human level. I want to evoke that sense of wonder I felt when discovering these worlds for the first time, as well as explore my own themes and obsessions.
What Do I Stand For...?
Firstly, I stand for knowing what I’m doing.
Nothing is more important than the craft. Not branding, not networking, and certainly not social media. Beneath all that ephemera, writing will only ever be about your ability to get what’s in your head onto the page.
I value learning and literacy above all else. Knowing what you’re doing is your best chance of finding solutions to a story problem, for arguing your corner should you ever need to, and for building a neutral sense of self-worth, one that isn’t measured by reviews (good or bad), mood swings, or how many followers you have.
I stand for writing the best story I can and learning how to make the next one even better.
Secondly, I stand for progress and inclusivity.
Diversity is intrinsic to good storytelling. It’s that unfamiliar angle, that seldom-heard voice, that foreign perspective that the writer always needs to find to put a new spin on familiar tales.
When writing characters with experiences that differ from my own (which, of course, is EVERY character), then I do my due diligence. I read thoroughly and I listen carefully. I don’t write what I know so much as what I want to know.
I don’t subscribe to the stay-in-your-lane approach to writing. There’s too much I want to learn. Ideas and cultures, experiences and perspectives should be exchanged in good faith. It’s how we learn from each other, how we empathise and grow. Hate, suspicion, and paranoia will never help us to look beyond ourselves. I stand for literacy over cancellation, inclusivity over gatekeeping.
Stories transcend all boundaries, reminding us of our common humanity. Different stories may say different things to different people, but storytelling is for everyone.
Finally, I stand for giving honest, practical advice when asked for it.
I came to writing from a nuts-and-bolts working-class background. Everything I learned about my craft I’ve taught myself. My family are good at taking apart cars and boilers; I’m good at taking apart stories.
Like many people from my background, I came to writing with no degrees, no industry contacts, and no bloody clue. It cost me time and plenty of misery before I figured out that the world of writing and publishing is staunchly middle-class, and beset with smoke and mirrors.
When I blog about writing I stand by telling the truth, as much as I can. I’ll say what I wished someone had told me straight when I was starting out. I stand by staying positive, but also staying honest. Because clearly I also stand by making things hard for myself…
Logo by Pye Parr