Fear in Fiction Workshop

Announcement Date : Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Led by: Alexis David, writer

Just Buffalo Writing Center
468 Washington Street @ Mohawk, 2nd Floor
Buffalo, NY 14203
Dates: June 19 & 21, 2018
Time: 4:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m.

Why do people read short fiction? Why do they care about untrue worlds? Made up people? Why choose reading a short story over our other addictions, like: watching Netflix or checking Instagram?


Short stories offer readers the adrenaline of voyaging into the unknown, while promising some mysterious nourishment at the end. Short stories turn plot quickly: they load the reader up with a bit of chaos and then in one quick swoop (climax to resolution), sort it all out. Leaving the reader a bit breathless, spooked and perhaps, illuminated, satiated, maybe even more internally resolved.

Using the work of Alfred Hitchcock, Roland Barthes and Seymour Chatman, this workshop will investigate the fear associated with suspense. Like a suspenseful director, a suspenseful writer is able to plant tiny bombs into a reader’s mind, and then explode them, satisfyingly, terrifyingly at the end.

In this generative workshop, writers will investigate personal and universal fear and fear’s relation to narrative theory. We will talk about non-judgmental drafting, and smart editing: namely, ways to edit using the suspense bombs we planted. Finally, we will workshop using an author-question model, rather than an evaluative approach. My aim is to uncap writers’ unconscious and provide paper for this, our beautiful hidden, to spill onto.

This workshop is FREE, aimed at young students aged 12–18, and limited to 12 participants.