Design-A-Ghost: Writing Unforgettable Spectres

Humans have been telling ghost stories for thousands of years, but phantoms never go out of fashion; they are constantly revived and reinvented by new generations of storytellers.

In this workshop we’ll look at some of the many different ways that spirits and spectres have been represented by authors past and present, and the various functions they can serve in a story – from delivering dread to deepening emotional impact.

We’ll use writing exercises to come up with some fresh ideas for ghostly encounters, and briefly explore how these conversations with the dead can inform your story’s setting, plot, and structure in exciting and surprising ways.

You’ll leave with practical knowledge of ghost literature that you can draw on; an understanding of why, when, and how you might want to tell a ghost story; tools to make your ghosts unique and unforgettable; and three haunting story seeds, plus a list of resources.

  • During the workshop there will be opportunities to share your writing and contribute to discussion but this is completely optional.
  • Please be aware that we’ll be referring to works which discuss death, dying, grief, trauma, and mental illness and we may read some extracts together. If you have booked a place and you would like to receive the extracts in advance, please contact me at sarah.i.jackson@gmail.com
  • We’d like everyone to keep their cameras on during the workshop, but if you need to step away for a moment that’s completely fine.

What Participants Will Take Away

  • Knowledge of the way ghosts have been represented by different authors.
  • Understanding ways ghosts can function in a story.
  • Tools to help you write your own original ghosts.
  • Three pieces of writing that will serve as story seeds.

This workshop is suitable for all levels.

There will be an optional opportunity to share.

Choose from these dates:

2 Saturdays in April: April 1 and April 8, 2023: 10 AM PDT / 1 PM EDT / 6 PM BST

or 2 Saturdays in May: May 20 and May 27: 3 AM PDT / 6 AM EDT / 11 AM BST / 7 PM JST / 8 PM AEST

About Instructor

Sarah Jackson (she/they) writes gently unsettling stories. Her short fiction has been published by Wyldblood Magazine, Ghost Orchid Press, and Tales From Between. She is a member of SFWA and Codex, and co-editor of The Fantastic Other magazine. She lives in east London UK and has a green tricycle called Ivy. Her website is https://sarah-i-jackson.ghost.io.

Click here for the Crow Collective Workshop FAQ.


Click here for the text version of the time April 1 and April 8 zone map.

Click here for the text version of the May 20 and May 27 time zone map.

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