Spring Haunts is coming to York


24 April 2024
We're excited, and maybe a little scared. Spring Haunts is just a few weeks away. Hosted in the historic (and haunted) city of York, this two-day writing workshop gives you the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the art of horror writing. Find out more with our quick guide.

Join us to refine your skills, explore the genre's intricacies, and learn techniques to send chills down your readers' spines!

  • Where? The Guildhall, York
  • When? 11 and 12 May (10am - 4pm)
  • Who? Four expert authors, facilitator Alex Davies, you… and perhaps a few uninvited guests?
  • Why? You'll be inspired in a remarkable setting in a historic city


Don't miss this chance to delve into the world of horror, gothic and ghost story writing in one of Europe's most haunted cities.

Writing workshop in York

"York, a city where the past is never truly silent, its ghosts walking hand in hand with its history."

Once described as the most haunted city in Europe, York is steeped in centuries of history, its ancient streets and timeworn buildings echoing with spectral tales.

From haunted pubs to nightly ghost walks, the city's eerie ambience has captivated visitors with its paranormal allure for many year.

What better place to spend a weekend and perfect your writing?

Guildhall, York

Content continues after advertisements

Learn in the historic Guildhall

"A building or place is not merely a backdrop but a silent collaborator in the creative process, shaping narratives and sparking ideas."

York is the perfect city for our writing weekend, and the beautiful Guildhall provides our remarkable setting.

Built in the 15th century and overlooking the River Ouse, the venue is made up of Grade I, II and II listed buildings, and we'll be learning in the Council Chambers… a unique room that has seen its fair share of incredible people and stories over the years.

Completed in its current form in 1891, the chamber features wooden panelling adorned with beautiful hand-painted patterns. If ever there was a place to inspire your writing it is within these four walls …don't worry though, we'll keep the lights on.


Work with expert authors

Facilitated by lecturer, workshopper and Writing Magazine regular contributor Alex Davis, Spring Haunts gives you the chance to learn from the experts…

Mark Morris - Making a Living as a Writer

Mark Morris has written and edited around fifty novels, novellas, short story collections and anthologies, and his script work includes audio dramas for Doctor Who, Jago & Litefoot and the Hammer Chillers series. Mark has won two British Fantasy Awards, and has also been nominated for several Stokers and Shirley Jackson Awards.

Robert Edgar - Timeslip: Writing Memory and the Spectral

Robert is Professor of Writing and Popular Culture at York St John University. His publications include The Routledge Companion to Folk Horror (Routledge 2023) and Horrifying Children: Hauntology and the Legacy of Children’s Television (Bloomsbury 2024). He leads the Hauntology and Spectrality Research Group and is afraid of the dark.

Amanda Mason - Finding the Uncanny in the Everyday

From Whitby, Amanda studied Theatre at Dartington College of Arts, where she began writing by devising and directing plays. Her debut novel, The Wayward Girls, a dark and captivating story of sisterhood and family secrets, and The Hiding Place, a haunting novel about mothers and daughters, are both published by Bonnier Zaffre.

Tim Major - Drawing Upon Childhood Fears

Tim is a writer and freelance editor from York. His books include Snakeskins and Hope Island, three Sherlock Holmes novels, short story collection And the House Lights Dim and a monograph about the 1915 silent crime film, Les Vampires. His novel Jekyll & Hyde: Consulting Detectives will be published in September 2024.

Two days of writing workshops, feedback sessions, and guest authors

Saturday 11 May

  • 10:00 - Welcome & Into
  • 10: 15 - The Five Senses and Horror
  • 11:00 - Coffee break
  • 11:30 - Tim Major, Drawing Upon Childhood Fears
  • 12:30 - Lunch break
  • 13:30 - Building Atmosphere in Your Fiction
  • 14:30 - Coffee break
  • 15:00 - Amanda Mason, Finding the Uncanny in the Everyday

Sunday 12 May

  • 10:00 - Tense and POV in Horror Fiction
  • 11:00 - Coffee break
  • 11:30 - Robert Edgar, Timeslip: Writing Memory and the Spectral
  • 12:30 - Lunch break
  • 13:30 - Future Frights - Horror and Technology
  • 14:30 - Coffee break
  • 15:00 - Mark Morris, Making a Living as a Writer