Writing Contemporary Horror with Kirsty Logan

How do we figure out what we’re really afraid of – and how do we transform those fears into effective fiction? How much should we leave to the reader’s imagination? How do we take from other genres to identify what’s scary, tense, affecting or emotional? What do we consider the true source of horror?

We can move beyond the tired old tropes of fear of the foreign, fear of the damaged or disabled body, fear of the ageing (particularly female) body, or fear of the homosexual, transgender or queer elements in ourselves or others. We can instead use horror to explore issues in a spectrum of identities and reflect our experiences in contemporary society.

In this one-day workshop we will discuss sources of horror, spark new ideas, and learn techniques for unnerving, bold and effective horror fiction. Writers of all levels and styles are welcome. Perhaps you’ve long been a horror fan but haven’t explored the genre in your work yet. Perhaps you’ve already written horror fiction and want to know how to sharpen up your skills. Perhaps you write other sorts of fiction but want to take a step into the darker side. Or perhaps you’re just curious! Wherever you are with your writing, this class will help you to understand how to use horror to tell the stories you want to tell.

Kirsty Logan is the award-winning author of six books, most recently Things We Say in the Dark, a collection of feminist horror stories recently optioned for TV. She also wrote and presented a 10-part series for BBC Radio 4, A History of Ghosts. Her next publication is an original audio novel for Audible, an Arctic-set ghost story, The Sound at the End (due for release October 2021).

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