The Horror, the Horror: Writing Horror Fiction with Substance

Master the Elements for Constructing a Better Horror Story

Your Instructor: Paul Tremblay, Sarah Langan, John Langan, F. Brett Cox

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here

Enrollment: 15 Students Maximum

Price: $397

Class Description

This class begins with the assumption that there’s more to horror fiction than brute affect (i.e. shock or revulsion).  In fact, it’s based in the view that horror is as capable of art as any other kind of fiction, which is to say, of addressing a wide-range of concerns to a wide range of results.  Over the space of four weeks, a quartet of today’s leading new writers of horror will take you through the elements that go into constructing a better horror story. 

Central to the class is the idea that a good horror story needs good characters, vividly-drawn individuals in whose fates the reader can invest herself.  Building on that foundation, the class will consider the particular narrative conventions available to the horror writer, the uses to which examples drawn from the horror tradition may be put, the potential for and benefits of narrative experimentation, and drawing on the resources of place and history.  By the end of it, you’ll have a better appreciation of the tremendous possibilities horror fiction continues to offer the ambitious writer.

What This Class Covers

Week 1 -  Assembling the Monster:

What Tools Will You Need for Your Horror Story?  (Sarah Langan)

Week 2 - Prowling the Cemetery:

The Importance and Uses of Tradition (John Langan) 

Week 3 - Chimeras:

Experimenting with Narrative Conventions (Paul Tremblay)

Week 4 - There’s No Place Like Home:

Sense of Place and History in Your Horror Story (F. Brett Cox)

Goals Of This Class

  • Write vivid characters who engage the reader
  • Create dynamic narratives that engage the conventions and history of horror fiction in order to chart new directions in the field
  • Experiment with narrative form in order to learn the benefits of doing so
  • Draw on your particular place and its history in order to add depth and resonance to your fiction
  • Complete one or more short stories/novel chapters written to a professional standard

Additional Info

This class is jointly taught by leading authors who currently are members of the Shirley Jackson Awards board of trustees: F. Brett Cox, John Langan, Sarah Langan, and Paul Tremblay. The authors are donating their proceeds to benefit the Shirley Jackson Awards.

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