Ginger Nuts of Horror
“Most great horror is a serious investigation about the strangeness of the world.
Transylvania has been synonymous with horror since Bram Stoker penned his opus back in 1897.
Writers & Publishers International (WPI) offers writers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on a novel or short story in Transylvania, the birthplace of the infamous Vlad the Impaler.
Running from August 7th to 14th, the Horror Writer’s Workshop is the ultimate summer vacation for any writer of dark fiction, from extreme horror to paranormal romance and everything in between. Attendees will dramatically improve their writing skills while exploring the darkness lurking behind the beautiful castles and fairytale villages of Romania.
Between visits to some of the region’s most notorious sites, including the reputedly haunted Bran Castle—one of the inspirations for Stoker’s Dracula, writers will benefit from the experience and knowledge of instructor Brian Evenson. Evenson, a multi award-winning horror writer and professor, has published over a dozen novels and translated many others.
The professor of literary arts at Brown for over a decade, he is now inspiring students at the California Institute of the Arts.
“Brian has a way of making all the things that stifle writing disappear, including fear and self-doubt, leaving only stories to be written,” says K. Scott Forman, a former student of Evenson’s. “His teaching style is conducive to creativity, to experimentation, and most importantly, is focused on the individual writer finding his or her own voice.”
The weeklong retreat takes place at Mama Cozonacilor, a charming family-owned inn located in the stunning mountainous region of Bran, Transylvania. It’s impossible to remain uninspired while walking the cobblestone streets of Sighişoara, where Vlad the Impaler was born, or while exploring the eerie Râșnov Fortress, where two Turkish well diggers met their doom.
“The biggest misconception people have about horror is that it’s gratuitous. They hear horror and think SAW—the most visceral movie they’ve ever heard of,” says Evenson. “Most great horror is a serious investigation about the strangeness of the world. There’s a lot of really interesting, sophisticated writing going on in the world of horror right now.”
Those interested are encouraged to reserve their spot with a deposit, as there is limited space available and the workshop will sell out quickly. During the month of February, WPI is offering a special two-for-one discount—those who book with a spouse, friend, or family member will get 50 percent off their registration fees. This deal ends on February 29th.