This year is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, perhaps one of the most iconic gothic horror novels ever written. Almost as famous is the story of how Frankenstein came to be. Two years before its publication, in 1816, Mary Shelley and her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley vacationed with Lord Byron, Claire Clairmont, and John Polidori at the Villa Diodati in Cologny, near Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The weather was rainy and dreary, so the group, inspired by the horror magazine Fantasmagoriana, came up with a wager: who could write the best scary story? The contest generated Polidori’s “The Vampyre,” the first published modern vampire story, as well as the first draft of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus.
The Winnipeg International Writers Festival and Dalnavert Museum are marking this anniversary in style! We’re seeking up to four adventurous writers willing to spend the night of September 21 in the attic of the historic (and reputedly haunted) Dalnavert Museum in downtown Winnipeg, composing original scary stories of their own. Just over a month later, on Halloween night, our writers will gather again at Dalnavert Museum to share their new stories with the city’s brave listeners. We will release a chapbook of the stories at that event.
Are you one of our writers?
We’re looking for quality writing and an ability to produce a polished, professional-level story. If you are one of our chosen writers, you will agree to:
- be available to read 10-15 minutes of original work at THIN AIR 2018, on Friday, September 21, at 4:30pm, in the Dalnavert Museum parlour;
- retire to the attic of Dalnavert Museum and remain there until Saturday morning at 8:00am;
- refine your original story draft and submit it by October 15 for inclusion in the chapbook;
- read your story at Dalnavert Museum on October 31 at our Halloween event.
In return, we will:
- provide a light supper after the Friday reading, and breakfast on Saturday morning;
- pay you a reading fee (Canada Council rate) for the kick-off event on Friday, September 21;
- create a chapbook of original stories in time for our Halloween event (copyright will remain with authors);
- provide you, at our Halloween event, with 5 copies of the chapbook, in lieu of royalties and reading fees.
To apply, send an artistic resume (with publication and relevant work history) and a short sample of writing (MAX: 10 pages, double-spaced) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write “The New Fantasmagoriana” in your subject line.
We can’t wait to hear from you!
DEADLINE: July 2, 2018