Books with Bite Highlights Foundation Workshop with Me & Micol Ostow

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be teaching a new writing workshop in 2015—this time in the fall and co-led with a certain brilliant author I admire like crazy, Micol Ostow, author of the terrifically terrifying AMITY! So if you’re writing a horror or otherwise dark & twisty YA or middle-grade novel (spine-chilling horror! hauntings! ghost stories! psychological thrillers! dark magical realism! serial killers! suspense! Gothic tales! I could go on!) and if you’d like to go to the truly wonderful Highlights Foundation in Pennsylvania for a five-day intensive workshop next year, I hope you’ll consider taking ours!

I realize this photo isn't at all creepy, so it may not go with the theme of our workshop... But these are some of the cabins writers stay in at Highlights! Aren't they perfect?
I realize this photo isn’t at all creepy, so it may not go with the theme of our workshop… But these are some of the cabins writers stay in at Highlights! Aren’t they perfect?

The Books with Bite Workshop and Retreat at Highlights will run September 16–20, 2015, and if you like to plan your life way early, you can apply RIGHT NOW! For the full description of the workshop and the link to apply, please visit the Highlights Foundation website.

Plus, if you register by May 1, you will get 10% off tuition, so apply sooner rather than later… Writers will be paired with a mentor, either Micol or me, and will be workshopped in small groups, so spaces are limited. Admissions will be rolling, and we will be reviewing applications as they come.

…In fact, I heard we already got our first application this morning! Isn’t that amazing?

Feel free to ask me any questions here, in the comments, or via email.

And of course, if horror and dark fiction isn’t your thing, or if you’re closer to the West Coast, and you would still like to do a workshop with me, the deadline to apply for my upcoming June 2015 YA novel workshop & retreat at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in California is February 26. Djerassi applications are now open, and spaces are limited!

That’s my news for now! Now back to writing my own book!

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After Workshop

My silence this past week had a purpose: I was away in Portland, Oregon, for the Tin House Writers Workshop. I had a midnight flight back home Sunday night, but it was delayed and didn’t leave Portland until 2 a.m. I’m not sure if I have jet lag or am just tired from a very tiring week?

So much to report, but I’ll say a few words now, because who knows how tired I’ll be once I go back to the day job tomorrow:

It has been an insanely long time since I lived in a dorm. E was with me—his screenwriting partner lives in Portland and they were working out a script—so we shared a double in a men’s hall. SO WEIRD. The rooms were very sparse. The beds were so narrow we had to pull the thin mattresses onto the floor. Let’s just say I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own albeit uncomfortable bed tonight.

My workshop was with Aimee Bender, a writer I’ve loved since first discovering her in a literary journal where I assisted as a work-study student and then especially in her first short story collection, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt. So it was very strange to be sitting in a room with her, and stranger still to have her read my writing. As a workshop leader she is fantastic.

In workshop, I went up on the first day. I really don’t know how it happened. Aimee asked for volunteers; someone said she’d go first, and then there was this long moment of silence in which no one wanted to go second. All at once my hand shot up and I said, “I’ll go.” I have no idea why I did that except I knew, if I got it over with on Monday, I’d have the rest of the week to have fun. This theory worked, actually. I was exceptionally nervous to be workshopped for the first time in years, but it went very well. People responded and I was very flattered. Of course, there were suggestions, and I’m thinking hard on Aimee’s advice from our conference especially. I also made some writing friends; we’ve said we’ll trade work. I hope so.

So much more to say about the week; maybe I’ll talk about it later.

But, finally, the city of Portland: what a wonderful place. I spent most of the week on the beautiful campus of Reed College, but what I did see of the city was very influential. I could live there…