Intro to Horror Writing

WVU Offers Horror Writing Course


This course will teach students how to construct a horror premise, create atmosphere, and complete a final product. The course will allow for exploration of individual voice and sub-genre selection. Length impacts will be discussed as a matter of course; however, short stories will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Beginning with a review of popular authors in the horror genre and an exercise in reading and comparing authors of a similar sub-genre, students will understand their preferences and why they have them. An overall understanding of story construction as it pertains to horror fiction, to include character development, tone, and the use of dialogue, will be amassed by the completion of the course.

This is a non-credit online course that takes approximately six weeks to complete. The cost is $125.

Dates: Registration can be taken now until December 15 at Midnight.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

Learn the mechanics of writing horror fiction (crafting tone and atmosphere for the genre)
Get exposed to classic horror authors as well as contemporary scribes
Understand fiction markets and what prose length means for your work
Review the history and current uses of horror antagonists so that you can use effectively in your work
Find your own voice

Course Structure and Schedule

Content covered in the course is as follows:

Module 1: Define Horror & Horror Fiction
Module 2: Horror Icons and Sub-Genres
Module 3: Antagonists of Horror
Module 4: Story Lengths
Module 5: Finding Your Voice
Module 6: The Mechanics of Writing Horror Fiction


Lisa Wood has authored several works of fiction (ranging from psychological horror to children’s board books), non-fiction, poetry, as well as technical documentation that has been used in the IT and Human Resources fields. Her first full-length novel, Crescendo, and one of her short story collections, Caliginy, were recommended for the coveted Bram Stoker award.