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The Horror Imaginary: Writing Horror for Inspiration, Subversion, and Delight 4-Week Zoom Intensive, Starts Monday, October 14th, 2024
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The Horror Imaginary: Writing Horror for Inspiration, Subversion, and Delight 4-Week Zoom Intensive, Starts Monday, October 14th, 2024

Unit price per

Begins Monday, October 14th, 2024

Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Monday, 5:00 - 6:30 PDT; 7:00-8:30 CDT, 8:00 - 9:30 EDT

Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.

Instructor Syr Beker (they/them) is a speculative fiction writer. Their book What A Fish Looks Like is forthcoming from Stelliform Press. Their stories are found in Michigan Quarterly Review, Joyland, Fairy Tale Review, Spunk, Foglifter, Gigantic Sequins, Home is Where you Queer Your Heart (Foglifter Press, 2021), and on ships and in cemeteries and on stages across the bay area. They are proud to be a Lambda fellow, a Tin House scholar, a graduate of Clarion West, and an associate editor at Pseudopod. They are the co-founder of Queer Cat Productions theater company. 

Reading and writing from horror for inspiration, subversion, and delight. 

The Horror Imaginary is an all levels, all genre class in which we will explore horror in fiction, theory, art, music, film, and popular culture as a way to find inspiration and delight, to ask: ‘what makes something scary,?’ ‘what is a monster and how do we make one,’ and ‘what makes horror delightful, and how can we use horror for inspiration?.”

Whether or not you are a horror writer, wish to write horror, or are just curious about the genre, this class will offer many entry points for exploring the spooky, mysterious, and uncanny. 

We will read excerpts from horror artists and writers including Tananarive Due, Jordan Peele, Alice Sola Kim, as well as horror theorists, from Freud to Kriteva to Due. 


  • One first draft, and at least two other starts of a new short story, poem cycle, play, or hybrid work.
  • A toolbox of horror ideas, theories, and tropes to apply in work across genre.
  • A way to appreciate and talk about horror and its mechanics, inspired by artists working in the genre now. 


Week 1: The Dark Well: the horror image, what is horror?

Week 2: Monsters, Vampires, Ghosts: characters, desire, absence.

Week 3: The Haunted House, The Bad Place, Don’t Go In There!

Week 4: Setting and plot. The jump scare, the monster rises again. Endings. 


"Syr pushes writers to tear down their limiting beliefs about what they can and can’t do, and shows them how to rebuild their creative cities to accommodate the new and wildly born being taking root inside. With Syr’s help, writers don’t just find their creative genius, they wrestle it to the ground and then learn how to make it fall in love with them." — Lauren Sapala, Writer and Writing Coach

"I have participated in several workshops with Syr and am incredibly grateful for all of the generative exercises and thought-provoking discussions they entailed. These workshops have all influenced my evolution as a writer and contributed to my personal growth. I had not written much since completing my MFA,, and provided the inspiration, guidance, and support I needed to restart and cultivate my writing practice. This empowered me to climb out of an existential depression, as well as to transition to the next stage of my career. As a QTPoC cross-genre writer with an interdisciplinary background in the arts and humanities, I often find myself in between (and/or part of multiple) conversations and communities. Syr’s workshops offered an inclusive space where I was free to explore these intersectionalities (alongside my quirky and eclectic interests) through writing, which has informed my queer non-binary feminist sensibility." — Deni, PhD student in Theatre and Performance Studies

"Syr is an incredible writing teacher, mentor and editor. There is absolutely no way I would have been able to complete a first draft of my memoir without their ongoing support, enthusiasm for my project, and creative generosity. Syr helps me stay accountable to myself and to my creative process by creating structure and realistic deadlines, yet is always flexible and positive and affirming when life happens. Our sessions are so dynamic and inspiring and I often leave having generated more work. Having Syr in my life is an invaluable lifeline as a creative, I am so fucking grateful to be able to have an on-going professional relationship with them.
— M. S.

I have spent many weeknights in Syr’s workshops, feeling inspired to think less and write more. These welcoming, supportive classes have shown me how to unwind the creative process and see what pours out by engaging in creative experimentation. Their classes not only motivated me to take my work further by pursuing my MFA in creative writing, but also served as an artistic refuge when I need a break from writing in academic settings. I'm so grateful this space exists and continues to grow as I know that as long as I write in San Francisco, I'll be at their workshops finding new possibilities for my art."
— Kimberly Gomes

Syr’s mode of reading is deeply generous and helps surface themes in my writing that I didn't even realize. Having that trust in my fellow readers helps me lean into drafting as early, messy, but still with kernels in it of something bigger, because I know it will be taken for what it is and will be, not what it isn't. … Syr care and attentiveness with my work makes me feel like a writer whose work matters.” — V. U.

"Throughout my time working with Syr, they supported me and my writing with extraordinary care, thoughfulness, and enthusiasm. They are a brilliant and joyful human. I could not recommend Syr more highly." - C.H.


This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!


Tuition is $299. You can pay for the course in full  or use Shop Pay or Affirm to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. Both options are available at checkout.
  • Instructor: Syr Beker
  • Class Starts Monday, October 14th, 2024
  • Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Mondays, 5:00 - 6:30 PDT; 7:00-8:30 CDT, 8:00 - 9:30 EDT
  • Tuition is $299

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.