Gothic Fiction Workshop Sumission

The autumn air was particularly cold that evening. She felt it through the thick wool of her red sweater, how it chilled the marrow of her bones. It prompted the young woman to quicken her pace through the park but the biting cold continued nipping at the heels of her feet insistently. A feeling of restlessness gnawed at the back of her mind, urging the woman to keep moving.

The wind carried with it a forlorn howl that rustled the leaves above her head. They trembled frantically much like her chattering teeth, and so she stopped in her tracks to listen. All was still in the darkness beyond the dim, yellow light of the street lamp where she stood. It was as if though the forest itself had been silenced by an unexpected presence; one that the woman in the red sweater could not see in the thick gloom that had taken over the park.

She could no longer stand the eeriness of it all, and so she made a point to leave this place as quickly as possible. After all, home was just a short distance from the western entrance. It wouldn’t be too long now.

Alas, her haste lured the prowling beast from the shadow of the tall trees. Its eyes glowed white, roused by the thrill of the hunt. Her beating heart beckoned the creature out into the pale moonlight: the sweetest of songs for nightly terrors such as it.

A single bound was all it took to close the distance between them. Monstrous jaws found its chosen prey and quickly tore through the tender flesh linking her right shoulder to her slender neck. Its savagery created a hellish symphony of crushing bones, rupturing skin, and helpless gurgles for the blood and bile stuck in her throat prevented the woman from screaming. The beast feasted on her blood, and her blood fueled the Moon’s curse.

Tonight was a night of curses. It belonged to bloodlust and ravenous hunger.

Once sated, the creature returned to the dark depths of the forest, leaving behind the mangled body of its victim to be found soon thereafter by a pair of joggers on their routine run.

Hospital staff claim she had been viciously attacked within an inch of her life, but the wounds appeared to have been inflicted by a large animal of unknown origin. Canine, perhaps.

When the full moon shall crown the night sky, so it is that another will join the hunt…

 

By CR

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Creative Writing (and Reading!)

Hello all!

Just a quick blog post about writing, and the submission of work here- that is what we’re all about!

Firstly, after workshops, please submit what you did during the session! Whether you type it up or scan it in, no matter how bad it is, please submit it! At some point we’ll be gathering things by topic and by week (we’ll have a page with all the fantasy week submissions, a page with the gossip submissions and so on) but that’s a work in progress.

We’ll post things that you’ve written in the workshop itself, or things that the workshop is inspired by.

If you want your submission to be anonymous, that’s fine too!

People will give feedback, and if you want more detailed feedback, the three of us on the committee (Maura, Heather and Tom) are more than happy to read through your work and give feedback on that.

We’re also trying to set some time aside in our sessions to allow people to read out their work, if that would be something that you would be interested in! I always think that it’s very useful to read your work out loud, it can really give you a sense of how the sentences and things fit together.

Again, if you wish your work to be read out but you don’t want to read it out, one of the committee members can read it out for you!

We’re all pretty nice at creative writing, and we’ll give good constructive feedback- don’t be worried!

If you have anything you want to submit, please submit it on this website, at this link https://gucreativewriting.wordpress.com/workshop-submissions/, or email it directly to us at gucreativewritingsociety@gmail.com. And if want to read something out, drop us an email to let us know!

Hope to read your work soon, and best of luck with your writing!

Hello everyone!

This is our slightly delayed first blog post of the year- just an update on who we are, what we do, how to find us and so on.

We’re the Glasgow University Creative Writing Society (as I’m sure you’re aware- you’ve found this blog!) and we’re a casual, fun, welcoming society. We hold weekly writing workshops, ranging in topics from sci-fi to plotting to poetry to script-writing.

IT’S FREE! We DON’T have a membership fee or form or list or anything like that- we’re open to absolutely everyone, regardless of age or university or subject (or skill level!)

As I said, we’re very casual and informal. Our workshops do aim to promote creative writing, otherwise we’d be a poorly named society, but you’re welcome to write as much or as little as you want- we hope to inspire people, not force anyone to write!

Likewise, you’re free to attend only the workshops that interest you- we post weekly updates about the topic in the coming workshop, and we’ve also posted a schedule for the year on this blog (although that may change).

We meet on Wednesdays, 6-8pm, usually in the Drawing Room of the GUU. Occasionally we’re in another venue, so I’d recommend checking the Facebook (https://m.facebook.com/gucreativewritingsociety/) or the twitter (https://twitter.com/GUCWsociety) which will both have more accurate and up-to-date information about our workshops.

This year we’re trying to encourage people to bring their work to workshops, where they can read it out and get feedback and so on, but I will make another blog post about that soon. Don’t worry if you don’t want to- we won’t force you!

Subscribe to this blog for updates and the like, and I hope to see you at the workshops!

Maura (Vice President)

2017/2018 Workshop Schedule

SEMESTER 1

20TH September – Introduction – Dram

27TH September – Settings & Objects – Dram

4TH October – Gothic Fiction – GUU Drawing Room

11TH October – Murder Mystery – GUU Drawing Room

18TH October – Fantasy – GUU Drawing Room

25TH October – Horror – GUU Drawing Room

1ST November – Poetry/Start of Povember – Unknown

8TH November – Shakespeare – GUU Drawing Room

15TH November – World Building & Maps – GUU Drawing Room

22ND November – Sci-Fi – GUU Drawing Room

29TH November – Script Writing – GUU Drawing Room

6TH December – Show & Tell – Dram

13TH December – Show & Tell – Dram

 

 

SEMESTER 2

10TH January – Cut-up Poetry/Refresher – GUU Drawing Room

17TH January – Plotting & Characters – GUU Drawing Room

24TH January – Fairy/Folk Tales – GUU Drawing Room

31ST January – Flash-Fiction – Unknown

7TH February – LGBT+  – Unknown

14TH February – Erotica – Unknown

21ST February – Villains – GUU Drawing Room

28TH February – Dead Genres – GUU Drawing Room

7TH March – Historical – GUU Drawing Room

14TH March – Graphic Novels – GUU Drawing Room

21ST March – Fanfiction – GUU Drawing Room

28TH March – Show &Tell/AGM – Dram

Flash Fiction Event

Hi everyone,

We’ve just received an invite to a Flash Fiction event this Thursday at Waterstones on Byres Road. It’s at 7:30 and there will be an author – Gary Duncan – who is launching his own Flash Fiction collection, You’re Not Supposed To Cry.

We’ve also been asked if anyone would like to read any of their own Flash Fictions out at the event. If so, drop us an email/fb message with the piece/s you’d like to read.

Hope to see you there 😃

Always Have Pride

“Bisexuality isn’t real! It’s just a word for people who are confused. You’re either gay or straight, and you’ll grow out of this and pick one.”

It’s a sunny day and I’m in a crowd of people, marching along. I can see boys holding hands, girls kissing, a tiny kid beaming from ear to ear with a t-shirt proudly proclaiming ‘I love my two mummies!’ and waving a mini rainbow flag in one pudgy hand. I’m wearing my bisexual flag t-shirt and my eyeshadow is the colours of the flag and around me it’s a riot of bright colours and happy faces and joyous noise. I smile.

“You can’t use ‘they’ to refer to one singular person, it’s not grammatically correct! There’s no such thing as ‘non-binary’, everyone’s either male or female.”

I turn to my friend and they grin at me. There’s a trans flag badge pinned to their t-shirt, which has ‘they/them’ painted on it in neon orange, and they’re eating an ice cream cone. The ice cream drips onto their wrist and they laugh as they try and fail to lick it before it melts. They’re relaxed and at ease and it’s lovely to see.

“What’s the point in gay marriage? I mean, you can just have a civil partnership, that’s the same, stop complaining!”

There’s two old men walking along, a stream of people going faster around them, the two of them content to go their own pace. They’re holding hands, wedding rings glinting on their fingers. Their hair is grey and their faces are wrinkled and they’re wearing matching t-shirts that say ‘together for thirty years, married for one!’, and they’re gazing around them with faces full of emotion, as if they’re astonished at how far we’ve come. They look so happy, and I can’t stop my tears.

“Don’t be ridiculous, this is just a phase. You’ll get over it and find a nice boy and settle down.”

It’s later that day, and I’m sitting on the beach, watching the sunset with my girlfriend. Today’s makeup is smudged across her face, glitter everywhere, a giant rainbow flag tied around her shoulders. She’s beautiful in the fading light, and I love her so much that my heart is full of it, and I’m so incredibly lucky that she loves me too. And as she kisses me and the sky changes colour, all I can think is how much things change. Things change and people change and you should never stop hoping, and wishing, and loving. And you should always have pride.

-Maura Kenny

[22/02/17: Non-Binary, Pride, picture of two girls of a beach]

Study of Witches

Extract from “The Study of Witches” by Stephen Cabrano:

Magic tends to skip a generation. Often, witches learn from their grandmothers, and so they always have a slightly old-fashioned approach to things. Heavy spellbooks filled with crammed handwritten spells and recipes, old cauldrons and knives… Not to mention that specialised tools such as broomsticks and wands are remarkably expensive- hard to make, so there are few who do.  It’s rare that your average village witch will have a new one. More likely she’ll have a broom that’s been handed down from at least four witches before her, that’s been mended and patched so often that there’s very little of the original broom left.

But the witches themselves tend to be modern, and it makes for an entertaining and remarkable system. Young witches are filled with thoughts about progress and new ideas and a fresh outlook on everything. They work closely with the people and they learn what they want. Witches are almost always empathetic, caring, concerned about the people in their village, the people under their care. They talk with the people and they hear their ideas and then they try and implement them.

Because of this, witches’ homes are always so anachronistic. Old books stacked beside laptops, cauldrons beside electric kettles, and once I even saw a brand-new modern motorbike in a garage beside an old broom with half of its twigs bent all over the place. It truly is an interesting juxtaposition.

Note scrawled at the bottom of the page in pencil:

What absolute fucking bollocks. What a wanker. If I’d known he was going to write this drivel I’d never have let him in my bloody house. What did he do, go to three witches’ houses and decide he was an expert? Just another man with unwanted opinions. Well he can take his bloody ‘study of witches’ and shove it up his own arse. And I’ll remember this if he ever needs help from an ‘anachronistic witch’. Pompous prick.

-Maura Kenny

[18/03/17: Anachronistic]

A Mermaid on the Pier

There was a mermaid at the pier. She’d pulled herself partially out of the water, her head resting on her crossed arms on the stone of the low pier, her tail waving lazily back and forth, half out of the water.

I blinked at her. I’d been sitting on the edge of the pier, reading my book, cooling my feet in the water, swinging my legs back and forth, when there’d been a splash of water and then she’d appeared.

“Hello,” I said stupidly, staring at her, my mouth gaping. She was very beautiful.  Her hair was long and dark and wet, falling around her face and down her back. Her tail was a pale pink, iridescent and shiny, contrasting with the dark brown of her skin. Her smile was huge and happy and her eyes were green and I was still staring.

“Hello,” said the mermaid, looking up at me. “How are you?”

“I’m… I’m fine?” I said. A mermaid was talking to me. A beautiful mermaid was talking to me. “How are you?”

“I’m great,” she beamed, and then her face turned sad. “Actually, I was wondering if you could help me with something?”

“Yes, of course,” I said, way too quickly. I could feel my face flushing. Damnit.

“There’s just one thing I need, to get my tail to turn into legs.”

“What is it? I’ll help!” I said, eagerly.

“I need a kiss from a pretty girl.”

“Oh, okay,” I said, looking around, “I’ll just-”

I was interrupted by her laugh, and I glanced back down at her. She was smiling at me, and I realised.

“Oh. You mean me?” I asked, blushing, and she nodded. I smiled faintly, and then bent down to kiss her. Her lips were soft and salty and I was kissing a mermaid and it was lovely.

I pulled away, and looked down at her tail. It was still there. “Oh,” I said, disappointed. “It didn’t work.”

She laughed again. “I’m sorry,” she said, looking a little guilty. “I lied. I don’t need a kiss to make my legs appear, I just need to get fully out of the water.”

“Oh,” I said, and grabbed the hand she reached out, pulling her awkwardly up onto the pier, wishing I was stronger. Finally she was out the water, sitting beside me, as her tail dried in the sun and her legs appeared.

“Wow,” I said, unable to stop myself, and she grinned at me.

“Thank you,” she said gratefully, and I ducked my head, embarrassed.

“Umm,” I said, peeking up at her. She was looking at me. “You don’t need to lie to get me to kiss you,” I said, and she laughed, bringing her lips to mine again.

-Maura Kenny

[24/02/17: Iridescent]

Mario Kart

“It is absolutely fucking freezing,” Em muttered, gazing up at the stars and the full moon in the dark night sky, and scowled as she heard a laugh through her earpiece.  “Don’t laugh!”

“Come on, I’m allowed to laugh,” Lucy said, and Em could hear how amused she was.

“It’s alright for you, I’m sure you’re nice and warm in your cosy car with the heater on,” Em said, rubbing her hands together. They felt like little blocks of ice.

“Yeah, I am,” Lucy said smugly, “I bet you’re upset that the random final race was Rainbow Road now, huh?”

“It’s not fair that you’re so much better at that one!” Em snapped, and Lucy laughed again. “I’m gonna win next time, and then you’ll have to stand out in the cold to watch the building.”

“Yeah, right,” Lucy said, “is that a promise?”

“Yes,” Em said vehemently, and then straightened as she saw movement. “Ooh, heads up, there he is.”

“I’m on my way,” Lucy said, and Em heard the door open. “The one who arrests him choses dinner tonight?”

“You’re on,” Em said, and started to run.

-Maura Kenny

[21/02/17: picture of the full moon]

Dancing on the Train

We were on the underground, exhausted and drained and grumpy and not holding hands. The carriage was full, and we were standing, and she was standing slightly away from me. We weren’t touching, and although neither of us had said, I knew why.

Because this morning we’d been holding hands walking down the street, minding our own business, and an old woman had shouted at us.

You’re the reason the world is a mess! she’d yelled, and worse things too, and we’d dropped hands like the other was on fire, too afraid to shout back at her.

And here we were, on an underground, and there was a distance between us that hadn’t been there before.

The train shuddered to a halt and I swayed with the motion, shifting out of the way for the people coming on. I was tired and upset and I wanted to be home, wanted to be safe in our flat where I could hug her and we could sleep in each other’s arms.

But then, music started, and I jumped, glancing around. Further down the carriage, a group of men were standing, dancing, one with an accordion and one with a drum and one with a trumpet, and they were playing, but more than that they were having fun. Dancing and scatting and grinning, playing the most joyous song that filled the carriage with noise and music.

I looked over at her. Her foot was tapping and her lips were curving into a tentative smile, and she met my eyes, hers so bright and blue and beautiful, and the emotions I saw there mirrored my own. And I reached out my hand and she took it, and then we were dancing, dancing terribly and ungracefully and uncoordinated in this cramped underground train. She spun me and I laughed, and someone cheered, and she grinned, wide and uncontrolled, and the music continued and we smiled.

-Maura Kenny

[28/02/17: Mirrored]