The Horror, The Horror! Writing Horror Fiction with Substance.
This class is jointly taught by leading authors who currently are members of the Shirley Jackson Awards Board of Trustees: F. Brett Cox, John Langan, Sarah Langan, and Paul Tremblay. The authors are donating their proceeds to benefit the Shirley Jackson Awards.
This class begins with the assumption that there’s more to horror fiction than brute affect (i.e. shock or revulsion). In fact, it’s based in the view that horror is as capable of art as any other kind of fiction, which is to say, of addressing a wide-range of concerns to a wide range of results. Over the space of four weeks, a quartet of today’s leading new writers of horror will take you through the elements that go into constructing a better horror story.
Central to the class is the idea that a good horror story needs good characters, vividly-drawn individuals in whose fates the reader can invest herself. Building on that foundation, the class will consider the particular narrative conventions available to the horror writer, the uses to which examples drawn from the horror tradition may be put, the potential for and benefits of narrative experimentation, and drawing on the resources of place and history. By the end of it, you’ll have a better appreciation of the tremendous possibilities horror fiction continues to offer the ambitious writer.
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A video of the ceremony is available on youtube, here.
In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.
The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.
The 2010 Shirley Jackson Awards were presented on Sunday, July 17th, 2011, at Readercon 22, Conference on Imaginative Literature, in Burlington, Massachusetts. Victor LaValle, winner of the 2009 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel, acted as host.
The winners for the 2010 Shirley Jackson Awards are:
Mr. Shivers, Robert Jackson Bennett (Orbit)
“Mysterium Tremendum,” Laird Barron (Occultation, Night Shade)
“The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains,” Neil Gaiman (Stories: All-New Tales, William Morrow)
“The Things,” Peter Watts (Clarkesworld, Issue 40)
Occultation, Laird Barron (Night Shade)
Stories: All-New Tales, edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio (William Morrow)
The first Board of Directors Special Award was presented to Joyce Carol Oates for her work on the Library of America edition of Shirley Jackson's works.
Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) wrote such classic novels as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, “The Lottery.” Her work continues to be a major influence on writers of every kind of fiction, from the most traditional genre offerings to the most innovative literary work.
The 2010 Shirley Jackson Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, July 17th at 11am at Readercon. Victor LaValle, winner of the 2009 Shirley Jackson Award for Novel for Big Machine, will act as host. Plus, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. will recognize Joyce Carol Oates for her work on the Library of America edition of Shirley Jackson's works with their first Board of Directors Special Award. Please join us!
(If you'd like to volunteer, come by the clubhouse on Wednesday night, or by the hotel on Thursday late afternoon-evening.)
See you soon!