Event Registration


September 15th, 2023 5:00 PM — September 15th, 2023 8:00 PM



September 15th, 2023 5:00 PM — September 15th, 2023 8:00 PM


Horror invites readers to venture into the dark and examine their deepest fears by posing a sinister ‘What if…?’ Whether you’re looking to bring a sense of foreboding to your fiction or craft blood-curdling horror narratives, this special after-dark workshop will help you delve into the art of fear.

Join author Margot McGovern for a special evening event in the moody and historic Circulating Library to explore the unique aspects of the horror genre and how to apply it to your writing. Horror is not just about scaring readers. It is about creating a sense of foreboding, building tension, and creating characters that readers care about. It's about exploring the darkest corners of the human mind and unleashing the things that make us truly afraid.

Through guided group discussions and writing exercises, you will explore what makes a story frightening by dissecting horror tropes and discovering how to use tension, foreshadowing, sensory descriptions, narrative voice and the art of the reveal to create spine-chilling stories. This workshop is for writers of all genres—whether you are a seasoned horror author or looking to add a atmosphere of darkness to your writing, this event is for you!

Participants will:

  • Discuss what makes a story ‘horror’ by exploring the genre’s history, tropes and key texts
  • Consider how to structure horror narratives, from opening hooks to haunting endings
  • Explore forms of terror, such as the uncanny, the abject and the monstrous Other, and consider how they are realised in fiction
  • Discover techniques for crafting tension, foreshadowing, an ominous atmosphere and a sense of foreboding
  • Explore methods for developing a frightening concept into a fully-realised narrative.


* Since this workshop will delve into the darkest places, please email [email protected] if you have triggers so we can check the content before you register.


About Margot McGovern

Margot McGovern is an Adelaide-based author who is drawn to the strange and sinister and holds a creative writing PhD from Flinders University. Her debut novel Neverland was shortlisted for the Text Prize and the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, and her short fiction appears in The Dark and the Aurealis Award shortlisted anthology Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales. Visit Margot’s website at margotmcgovern.com or find her on Instagram: @project_lectito.


Venue: Circulating Library, State Library, North Terrace, Adelaide SA

Members $88 / Non-members $140

—Not a Writers SA member? Members receive more than 30% off the full price of this workshop, you’ll also get a free 20 minute consult, expert advice about your career and your work, and join a community of like-minded creatives. Join now for as little as $60! 

—We strongly recommend all staff, speakers, and attendees of in-person events be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. You cannot attend if you are unwell or you or a close family member test positive to Covid-19 in the five days prior to this event. See our full policy here.

—Writers SA members must be logged in to receive the member discount. If you would like to use a workshop credit to book in, please contact [email protected] at least five working days before the workshop commencement date. Our staff don’t work full time and we don’t want you to miss out!

—If you are a member of another state based writers centre or a member of SCBWI SA, please contact [email protected] at least five working days before the program commencement date to get a code for the member price.

Registration Details

Registration for this event ended on September 15th, 2023 4:00 PM

Are you a member?

Not yet a Writers SA member? Join here for as little as $60!

Writers SA members receive

  • 30% discount on all workshops and services
  • a free 20-minute consultation with our Director upon sign up
  • advice, information and support in your writing activities
  • career pathway support and opportunities
  • access to a community of writers
  • opportunities to meet industry professionals
  • opportunities for publication and promotion

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