Julia Golding: Building a Real Community in a Fantasy World

Creativity at its Best

Julia Golding is a creative force to be reckoned with. 

An award-winning author who has penned over 60 books, she has found her way into the hearts of children and fantasy-lovers everywhere with her adventurous tales. Her riveting books, which reach across age groups, have been published in multiple languages around the world. 

Her audience loves diving into the intricate worlds that Julia creates for them. 

(Who wouldn’t want to take a deep dive into the story of Connie Lionheart, the heroine of Secret of the Sirens, companion of the golden dragon Argand and protector of mythical beasts? We do!) 

When you read one of Julia’s books you are invited to an adventure of both the heart and mind. In the past two years, Julia has taken her adventures of the heart a step further. 

A New Adventure

An Oxford native, her passion for fantasy and creativity led her to launch a crowdfunding campaign to purchase J.R.R. Tolkien’s home on Northmoor Road. Having lived in the house from 1930 to 1947, it was the home that birthed The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series. 

Julia envisioned a literary center dedicated to Tolkien’s work, promoting inspiration and creativity. The public’s response was enthusiastic. The love of Tolkien and a fantasy center had an irresistible pull. 

Project Northmoor had the support of Sir Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman, two actors who portrayed Tolkien’s character in Peter Jackson’s films based on Tolkien’s works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

However, when the fundraising goal was not met, it was time to pivot.

A New Vision

Julia’s dream of a literary space focused on Tolkien gave birth to a bigger vision: a center focused on fantasy. 

Julia says, “The odd thing about Oxford is that we almost have an embarrassment of riches here of famous people who have done really important things. Around every corner, there is some noted scholar or scientist.

The extraordinary thing about Oxford is the number of huge fantasy names that have come out of it.”  

Lewis Carol (Alice in Wonderland), C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass). The list goes on.

The richness of the creative community coupled with the beautiful surroundings has inspired countless novels. 

While thousands visit Oxford and the local haunts of the Inklings, Lewis and Tolkiens’ famed writers’ group, Julia dug deeper. She wanted more for the creative community that had risen to support the Northmoor Project.

Julia shared, “What I was interested in is what can we take from the Inklings that inspires creativity as writers–taking people around to the places that inspired their writing.” 

The many colleges with their towers, battlements, gargoyles and secret gardens. The Bodleian Library. The Ashmolean Museum. The Downs with their ancient barrows and Iron Age White Horse. The willowy banks of the Thames and the Cherwell.

The city of dreaming spires had inspired a new dream.

In exposing a new generation of readers to the words and spaces that inspired the greatest fantasy writers of our time, she is asking:

What does it mean for you? How does it inspire your writing? 

Julia says, “The mission is to inspire new creativity in a new generation of fantasy creatives.”

The Oxford Centre for Fantasy was born. 

The Oxford Centre for Fantasy

Julia invited her readers and fantasy-lovers around the globe into a new adventure. Launching an online community, members are invited to engage through social media, online courses, and in-person events. 

You can join the Lord of the Rings Read-a-thon on Facebook and Instagram, read through your favorite Tolkien tomes, and interact with the online community. If you love Hobbits, you have found your people here.

Or if you are an aspiring author, take the OCF Novel-In-A-Year course. You attend eight workshops and are partnered with a professional writing tutor for 1:1 sessions to craft your long-awaited fantasy novel. Helping writers carve out the time to create is at the epicenter of the OCF mission.

Or this April and September, Inklings fans will be joining Julia, in a Tolkien-inspired tour: Walking and Writing the Shires

Creatives get to step into the author’s shoes, visiting the places and spaces that inspired his great works. They will mingle with Inkling experts and stay in Merton or Magdalen college–an Inkling creative’s dream come true.

In less than two years, Julia’s vision of a fantasy community has quickly become a reality.

CCB Loves Fantasy

CCB has had the honor of partnering with Julia in launching this fast-growing online community. Growing the Facebook page and Instagram community from scratch, OCF now has over 21,000 followers. 

She connects with her OCF followers via Livestream and through traditional social media posts.

In keeping with Julia’s vision, we have come alongside her with a three-pronged social media strategy: inspirational, educational, and promotional.

Inspirational posts engage the community with all things fantasy-related. From fun memes…

to inspiring quotes…

Our inspirational posts engage the OCF community as they like, share, and comment regularly. These posts draw in new followers and strengthen the growing community. 

Our educational posts invite the OCF community to flex their writing muscles and inspire them to create. Each post adds to their knowledge base, encouraging their inner creative to come out and play.

Our promotional posts inform the OCF community about events and courses that are launching shortly. Each post invites the followers to engage online and in-person, building out the creative relationship.

As well as helping Julia build out a strong social media campaign, CCB has helped her launch her fantasy podcast, Mythmakers, which is currently listed in the top 2% of podcasts. 

We get it. Her unique outlook, her interesting guests, and her writing expertise make the podcast a fascinating listen.

We’ve Only Just Begun

Creativity begets creativity. 

Julia and The Oxford Centre for Fantasy are just getting started. You can be certain with each post and podcast, Julia’s infectious love of fantasy is spreading to every corner of the globe. 

In the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, “Home is behind, the world ahead,
And there are many paths to tread.”

We can’t wait to see where Julia and the OCF are headed next!