Tales of the Unexpected: Thrilling, Scaring, and Surprising Your Reader

Mon 11 July 2022 - Fri 15 July 2022
Tutors / Tyler Keevil & Katherine Stansfield
Course Fee / From £575 - £675 per person
Genre / Fiction
Language / English

Looking to add some drama to your writing? In need of an edge? Twists, scares, and suspense are fundamental aspects of many genres of writing, including horror, the Gothic, mysteries, crime, and thrillers. But how do we surprise a twenty-first century reader well-versed in genre conventions? How do we keep our readers feverishly turning pages well into the witching hour? This course will explore practical techniques to manage tension, subvert expectations, build suspense, and create hooks – applicable to all good fiction-writing. We’ll look at how other writers scare and thrill their readers in equal measure, and shape our own sinister creations in response, asking, what makes us afraid? Join us for a course rich in the spooky and the strange.


Tyler Keevil

Tyler Keevil grew up in Vancouver and moved to Wales in his mid-twenties. He is now a Lecturer and the Director of the Creative Writing MA at Cardiff University. Tyler’s novels include Your Still Beating Heart (Myriad Editions, 2020), No Good Brother (The Borough Press, 2018), The Drive (Myriad Editions, 2009)and Fireball (Parthian, 2012)and he has also published the short story collection Burrard Inlet (Parthian, 2015). His short works have appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies, including The Missouri Review, New Welsh Review, and PRISM: International. Tyler has received numerous awards for his writing, most notably The Missouri Review’s Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ prize, the Wales Book of the Year People’s Prize, and the Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize.

Katherine Stansfield

Katherine Stansfield grew up in Cornwall and now lives in Cardiff. She writes the historical crime series Cornish Mysteries (Allison & Busby) which is set in the 1840s and combines real-life events with local folklore and supernatural stories: think The X Files meets Sherlock Holmes meets Daphne du Maurier. The most recent book in the series is The Mermaid’s Call (2019). She is also one half of the partnership D. K. Fields, co-writing the gaslit fantasy crime trilogy The Tales of Fenest (Head of Zeus). Katherine’s work has won the Holyer an Gof Fiction Prize twice, and she was shortlisted for the Winston Graham Memorial Prize. She teaches writing courses for Cardiff University’s Lifelong Learning department and runs a reading group for the Royal Literary Fund. She is an Associate Lecturer for the Open University's MA in Creative Writing, a Writing Fellow at the University of South Wales, and has been a mentor for Literature Wales.

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