I’m presently wrapping up a full semester of teaching Horror Writing to undergrads at Seton Hill University, and we’ve been having a blast doing all sorts of multimedia work — especially work using SoundCloud for audio critiques. Along the way, I’ve been been playing with the site, too, uploading lecture excerpts and strange sound prompts and other weird things. I even recently gave a little presentation about the class experiments for a conference we held on campus called the iTeach gallery.
During the term, I discovered the above excerpt (from my article in the wonderful book for dark authors, WRITER’S WORKSHOP OF HORROR, edited by Michael Knost — who just edited a similar book on Science Fiction and Fantasy coming out next month). The exerpt had been a featured reprint in THE WRITER magazine and therefore available in our college library’s online databases in full text format. The database included an audio player for the visually impaired, so I played it and recorded the robotic voice reading my article so I’d have a copy…then I distorted the file on my computer to give it, well, some kind of aura of the strange. Here’s the result: a mini-lecture by the ghost in the machine, about writing in the horror genre, drawing from my favorite quote by Psycho-author Robert Bloch: “Horror is the removal of masks.”
Arnzen, Michael A. “An Open Book: Writer’s Workshop of Horror” in The Writer (Jan 2010). Excerpt from Knost, Michael, Ed. Writer’s Workshop of Horror. Woodland Press, 2009.
I love my day job, teaching terror. This class in “Horror and Suspense Writing” meets the requirements for our new undergraduate “Certificate in Genre Writing” at Seton Hill University. [Got a BA and looking to write a novel? Then check out our MFA in Writing Popular Fiction!]
Recognize the image? That’s “The Dark Librarian” from my flickr gallery.
The following is an excerpt from the front page of my Fiction Writing syllabus at SHU, which I posted to scribd and soundcloud as part of the course. I was surprised to find out tonight that it was highlighted as a “Featured Document” by scribd.com! Neat.
Here’s the audio version, recorded for the students in the class to respond to.
Teaching does take time away from my writing, but it’s just as rewarding to me, and it’s fun to share in the students’ creative spirits. Our class is going to be doing a lot of experiments with social networks, ipad apps, and more. Readers who have an interest in fiction writing might want to follow my academic twitter feed, where I’ll likely share the results.
I’m proud of the alumni, students, and faculty in Seton Hill U’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate program for putting this new book together, with profits going to assist Donna Munro, a great writer and fellow member of our community who shocked us all by being diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.
The kindle edition of the book was just released today on amazon for just $9.99. Totally worth it, given that it’s got over 700 pages of genre stories in it. I wrote one them (first appearance of my story “The Scraper”) as well as the introduction. There are a lot of folks you’ll recognize in the table of contents… in fact, a large number of them appeared in the textbook I co-edited last year, Many Genres, One Craft.
Please help us help Donna by picking up a copy for your Kindle reader. Here’s the official press release…
Giant multi-author anthology on sale Tuesday, August 7 to benefit cancer fighter.
Date August 2, 2012 Contact: Natalie Duvall firstname.lastname@example.org
Seventy-six writers connected to the Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction program have created a multi-genre charity anthology entitled Hazard Yet Forward. All proceeds from this project will benefit Donna Munro, a 2004 graduate of the program. Munro, a teacher living in St. Louis, Missouri, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. An active member of the SHU WPF alumni committee, Munro helps organize the school’s annual writing conference, the In Your Write Mind Workshop.
To aid Munro and her family, faculty members, alumni, students and friends of the Writing Popular Fiction program quickly responded to compile this massive anthology. The book features flash fiction, short stories and even a full-length novella. In total, there are 75 works from various genres, which makes this anthology one that features something for everyone.
Genres represented in the book range from horror to romance to mystery – and everything in between. Some of the notable writers in the anthology are World Fantasy Award winner Nalo Hopkinson, Bram Stoker winners Michael A. Arnzen and Michael Knost, Bram Stoker nominee Lawrence C. Connolly, ALA/YALSA Best Book for Young Adults winner Jessica Warman, Rita finalist Dana Marton, Spur winner Meg Mims, Asimov’s Readers’ Award winner Timons Esaias and WV Arts and Humanities literary fellowships winner Geoffrey Cameron Fuller.
About Hazard Yet Forward, co-compiler Matt Duvall says, “It’s an unprecedented collection of stories from every genre imaginable.” This large volume is an electronic book for the popular Kindle platform and is available for purchase through Amazon starting August 7. It’s also reasonably priced. The book will be on sale for $9.99.
More information about the anthology can be found at http://hazardyetforward.wordpress.com. To learn about the unique and exciting Writing Popular Fiction program, please visit http://www.setonhill.edu/academics/fiction/.
If you want to contribute more than just the $9.99, then visit this page from Michael Knost.
Postscript… The book is doing well. Right now, it’s #3 in the amazon bestseller list for short story anthos, right under the works of Poe and the Norton Anthology!
Our Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill University took over the gymnasium and McKenna Center last night to host a mass book signing, and it was great to see so many new book releases from students, alums and faculty alike. It was fantastic to have two of my publishers in the house — Raw Dog Screaming Press and Headline Books. Here’s a few snapshots from the event. (You can see some from last year here, too.)
Friday, MAY 25th. 7-9pm. Morgantown, WV
Raw Dog Screaming Press Book Release Party at Monongalia Arts Center
Morgantown Poets is hosting a RAW DOG SCREAMING PRESS book release party Friday May 25 from 7-9pm at Monongalia Arts Center (MAC), featuring the debut of Jason Jack Miller’s HELLBENDER and Michael Arnzen’s THE GORELETS OMNIBUS. Arnzen & Miller will read their work, followed by a signing. A limited number of Raw Dog Screaming Press books will be available for purchase.
Public parking is available near the MAC in the parking garage at the corner of Pleasant and Chestnut Streets and at the city lot behind 142 High Street (enter off Spruce). The MAC is accessible to individuals with special mobility requirements; schedule ahead at least two days prior to the event by calling 304-292-3325, or write to email@example.com. More details available at http://www.monartscenter.com/
Friday, JUNE 22nd. 7-10pm. Greensburg, PA
“In Your Write Mind” Book Expo at Seton Hill University
Arnzen, Miller and Raw Dog Screaming will be available again to sign books at this mass autograph session featuring alums, faculty and guests shared by the Writing Popular Fiction MFA Residency and the In Your Write Mind Workshops at Seton Hill University. More details on the alumni page at SHU and the IYWM website. A large number of the contributors to Many Genres, One Craft will also be available for autographs, including Michael Knost, Shelley Bates, Victoria Thompson, Heidi Ruby Miller, Lawrence C. Connolly, William Horner, Rachael Pruitt, Scott A. Johnson, Maria V. Snyder, and many more!
The signing is tentatively scheduled from 7-10pm in the McKenna Center Foyer at Seton Hill University.
As the writer’s guide I co-edited with Heidi Ruby Miller — Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction — comes to its first year anniversary, I was happy to learn this morning that it just won another book award. Here are the accolades I know about so far:
- Winner, “Business: Writing and Publishing” category, 2012 International Book Awards.
- Winner, “Education/Academic” category, 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
- Winner, General Non-Fiction Award. 2011 London Books Festival Award.
- Listed 5th in “This Year’s Ten Most Terrific Writing Books” by The Writer magazine (Dec 2011).
- Finalist, “Business: Writing and Publishing” category. USA Best Books 2011 Award.
- Finalist. 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Awards.
Finalist, SILVER MEDAL WINNER, “Writing” category. ForeWord Review’s 2011 Book of the Year Awards.
I can only thank the contributors, really, for doing such a phenomenal job. Kudos to publisher Cathy Teets and the team at Headline Books for being such a great indie and regional press to work with. They really treated this book well, giving it the over-sized hardcover textbook treatment and high production quality on the interiors. And they’ve rewarded us all with lots of promotion and support, like submitting our title for these industry awards.
But most rewarding are the reviews in the trade and those by fans. If you’ve read the book, please do post a review on amazon, goodreads, facebook or your blog. Heidi and I put this book together to help other writers, and to pay back what we’ve learned from others in the field. Your review is like royalties on that payment. Thank you.
If you are a writer of any genre and haven’t yet experienced Many Genres, One Craft, you should check this book out. Visit the weblog devoted to the book’s many contributors, or buy a copy on Amazon.com or elsewhere. If you want to get a SIGNED copy, we will have copies available at the RDSP Book Party in May, and at the In Your Write Mind workshop at Seton Hill in June, among other places.
Just a few random shots taken during tonight’s opening orientation for the writer’s residency at Seton Hill. I was so caught up in conversations and greetings that I regret I neglected to take more photos. I’ll try to get more and post as the week progresses. Workshops, classes, and thesis presentations will last till next Wednesday.
Tomorrow I teach a course in “Critiquing and Clarity” in addition to a module on pop culture theory, following an early morning discussion of the Mystery genre, using Jo Nesbo’s book THE SNOWMAN to focus our discussion.
“Dark Promptings” is a special series of guest-written creative writing prompts, aimed at sparking the imagination’s gasoline for writers from any genre…but with a dark or devious discoloration, just like the Instigation department at Gorelets.com.
The guest contributors are folks who wrote articles appearing in my fat new non-fiction book for fiction writers of all kinds, Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction, making a stop on my weblog at gorelets.com as part of their Virtual Book Tour across the web. (You can find my own VBT essays elsewhere).
Here are the contributions:
- 5/29/11: “Murder Ballads” by Jason Jack Miller
- 8/6/11: “Alone in the Dark” by Mary SanGiovanni
- 8/10/11: “Uncanny Surprises” by Sally Bosco
- 8/14/11: “Fear the Family” by Michael Bracken
- 8/24/11: “Don’t Mind the Knife” by Natalie Duvall
- 8/30/11: “For the Bible Tells Me So” by Lee Allen Howard
- 9/24/11: “Love Wrestling” by Matt Duvall
- 10/29/11: “Personal Horrors” by Tim Waggoner
[Tip: If you have an RSS reader, you can subscribe to receive a feed of all the Instigation department prompts whenever they are posted.]