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  • Workshop
  • Online: Zoom
  • Introductory
  • 5 Weeks

Horror Fiction: Writing the Dark and Grotesque

No Longer Enrolling

  • $385.00 Non-Member
  • $370.00 Member

Class Description

Scary stories have long captured the public imagination, tapping into personal and societal fears to create narratives that shock and horrify. But why are so many readers—and writers—drawn to fiction so unsettling? Horror is a genre that challenges and transgresses. It’s a mirror that reflects the ugliest parts of the world back at us, daring us not to avert our eyes. Writers who engage with the frightening and grotesque are free to explore those darkest of areas, whether through mundane horrors (like serial killers) or supernatural ones (like ghosts and demons). By confronting these fears in the safe space of a story, writers of dark fiction may release pent-up tensions or challenge real-world norms that perpetuate such horrors. For these reasons, horror can, paradoxically, often be a genre of comfort.

Over the course of six weeks, students will read examples of horror fiction from a variety of subgenres (including psychological horror, cosmic horror, supernatural horror, and new weird). We will discuss what makes a story “scary” and how to implement strategies that create atmospheres of dread and terror in our work. Students will also get to workshop their own short horror pieces, and will leave the course with potential venues to publish their work.

This course is open to writers of any level who are interested in horror fiction. Authors studied may include Mariana Enriquez, Stephen Graham Jones, Cassandra Khaw, Stephen King, Carmen Maria Machado, and Paul Tremblay.



Class Format

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!



Scholarship Information

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!