Mystery & Horror Writing, Week One

I’m going to try a little experiment this semester: blogging weekly about the content of my Mystery & Horror Writing course that I’m teaching at Rosemont College this semester.

Today is the first day of class, so there will be introduction and getting-to-know-you and workshop setup and the like. After all of that is finished, we are going to read Bennett Sims’ “A Premonition” (from Gigantic Magazine) and Hubert Dade’s essay “Why I Write Horror” out loud and discuss why we are should write horror, mystery, and suspense. (Hint: it’s not just because we’re taking the class.) We will also be looking through the Deep Dark Fears tumblr as a class, and I will be assigning students to make a list of one hundred things of which they are afraid.

Next week’s theme is “Monsters,” and for it I’m assigning three stories:

  • “Exotic Pleasures” by Peter Carey (from The Fat Man in History)
  • “The Moving Finger” by Stephen King (from Nightmares & Dreamscapes)
  • “The Crowd” by Ray Bradbury (from The October Country)

I am also assigning Elizabeth Barrette’s essay “Elements of Aversion: What Makes Horror Horrifying?”

3 thoughts on “Mystery & Horror Writing, Week One

  1. Pingback: Mystery & Horror Writing, Week Two | Carmen Maria Machado

  2. Thanks for posting these weekly updates; they’re wonderful. I’m on an AWP pedagogy panel on this exact topic (best practices for teaching SF/F/horror)–would you mind if I cited some of your blogposts?

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