The Disco Ball

Collaborate with us on the backstory for Marcus Rhoder by writing a classically structured short story building out his character’s backstory and canon.

Co/Create Details
Submissions Closed

Co/Create Details

for Marcus Rhoder Backstory


“Marcus was an early and talented mover in the YouTube Educator space. His channel now boasts millions of subscribers and provides orders of magnitude more income than his lowly day job going to space. It should make him easy to hate, but he also happens to be endlessly positive and upbeat, and his videos really do an incredible job of making a host of nuanced and complicated scientific topics not only understandable but downright entertaining. I’ve even referred my own kids to them. Marcus does a better job of explaining something than I ever could.”

So is the beginning of the backstory for Marcus Rhoder as told by Captain Alma Cooke, during her therapy session with Dr. Bauer in Chapter 1. Little else is divulged about Marcus’ backstory in this scene beyond his age (early 40s) and role aboard the ISS (engineer).

  • "Marcus Rhoder's Backstory"


Interested writers should submit an original short based on Alma’s description of Marcus’ backstory.

Submissions should be:

  • English language
  • ~1-2k words
  • Written in script format
  • First person narration in the voice of Marcus Rhoder


The goal is to create a comprehensive backstory written like a short story with a clear beginning middle and end, but in script format and with the freedom to include dialogue with other characters from Marcus' life. Feel free to expand upon the initial backstory that Alma describes for Marcus, fully realizing Marcus as a person using rich, detailed characterizations that address the core considerations necessary to breathe life into a fictional persona as well as key, basic details such as his upbringing, educational background, work experience, etc.



Interested writers should submit an original short story specifically written for Marcus’ backstory (creative portfolio and writing sample optional).

Review & Selection

Our creative team will review all submitted applications, considering narrative writing proficiency, creativity, and alignment with the creative guidelines and existing world of THE DISCO BALL. The writer whose short story best meets the criteria will be contacted and provided with feedback. This may involve discussions on refining plot points, touching up dialogue, or changing narrative details to ensure the design aligns with the vision of the character, episode, and franchise.

Feedback & Finalization

The writer’s whose story is chosen will work closely with the creative team to finalize the short story, incorporating feedback and making any necessary revisions. The focus is on ensuring the prose is gripping, cohesive with the world of THE DISCO BALL, and incorporates the necessary elements of proper character-building to bring this character to life.

Story Integration

Once finalized, the approved short story will be integrated into the story, appearing in Chapter 1 of THE DISCO BALL core narrative.


Writer will be appropriately credited and recognized for their contributions.


Comic Panels
The Disco Ball

Collaborate with us to create the artwork for the origin story of Marcus Rhoder based on the to-be selected Co/Create tasking writers to write the script for Marcus’ backstory.


Collaborate with us to bring Marcus Rhoder’s love interest to life by voicing the part of Jackie, Marcus’ college sweetheart, who will provide roughly 3-5 lines of dialogue for the role.