Ekphrastic Writing and How We Use It as a Creative Technique

Ekphrastic writing means writing inspired by art.  For our workshop, we’ll be writing ekphrastic flash horror fiction inspired by photographs.  By photographs, we mean actual photographs, altered photographs, and film (which is a collection of moving photographic images).  

To inspire your ekphrastic horror writing, I’ll share galleries of photographs as well as short horror films to terrify and inspire you.   

To make the most out of the class, try to have fun with it.  Explore the films and image galleries offered.  Note the photographs that inspire you.  Take time to study the images of your choice, then quickly free-write on each image you choose, writing down questions, thoughts, feelings, memories, descriptions ideas as quickly and freely as possible.  Do not edit yourself.  Explore the image.  Dig into the image.  Dive into it like deep water.  Go deeper.  Let the image guide you, then spin off from the image, moving outside the frame of the photograph, making the image your own by using “composite” (combining the source with your imagined ideas) or “collage” by combining two or more images to create something new.

At the end of each workshop day, I’ll offer a series of ekphrastic horror writing prompts related to image galleries and films presented in the workshop.  You will have a chance to share your original horror flash fiction and to read and comment on the original horror flash fiction of other writers in this workshop.

How do we reimagine, reinvent, and reinterpret ghosts, monsters, witches, castles, haunting terror, atmosphere, and foreshadowing? By transforming horror genre elements into new experimental tropes through a foundation of research, questioning, narrative technique, and play by seeking inspiration in photographs, new and old.