Tales of the Unexpected…

Mon 9 November 2020 - Sat 14 November 2020
Tutors / Tyler Keevil & Katherine Stansfield
Guest Reader / Carly Holmes
Course Fee / From £550 - £675 per person
Genre / Thriller
Language / English

…Thrilling, Scaring, and Surprising Your Reader

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 – what better time to unpack the uncanny than Friday 13th?


Tyler Keevil

Tyler Keevil grew up in Vancouver and moved to Wales in his mid-twenties. He is the author of six books and has won a number of 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 of Canada / McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. His horror and suspense stories have appeared in Black Static fiction magazine, Leading Edge, and On Spec, among others, and his story ‘The Herd’ has been optioned for feature film adaptation. His newest novel is the literary thriller Your Still Beating Heart (Myriad Editions, 2020).

Katherine Stansfield

Katherine Stansfield grew up in Cornwall and now lives in Cardiff. She writes the historical crime series Cornish Mysteries (Allison & Busby), set in the 1840s, which combines real-life events with local folklore and supernatural stories. The latest book in the series, The Mermaid’s Call, was published in 2019. She is also one half of the partnership DK Fields, co-writing the gaslit fantasy crime trilogy 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 Historical Prize. She teaches creative writing courses for Cardiff University’s Lifelong Learning department and is also the university’s Royal Literary Fund Fellow. She is an Associate Lecturer for the Open University's new MA in Creative Writing, a Writing Fellow at the University of South Wales, and a mentor for Literature Wales.

Guest Reader

Carly Holmes

Carly Holmes lives and writes on the west coast of Wales. Her debut novel, The Scrapbook  (Parthian Books, 2014) which formed the creative element of her PhD, was shortlisted for the International Rubery Book Award in 2015, and her literary strange short story collection, Figurehead, was published by Tartarus Press in 2018, to much critical acclaim. Two of the stories within the collection have been selected for reprint in Best British Horror 2019 (NewCon Press) and one in Best Horror of the Year Volume 11 (Night Shade Press, 2019). Her award-winning short fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, such as AmbitBlack Static and The Ghastling. Carly works as an editor for Parthian Books.

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