Scary Monsters & Super Creeps

Bring your darkest fears and deepest fascinations to life.

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Come channel your inner monster and have fun exploring the scary and creepy characters we love to write!

Whether hero or villain, we'll examine enough types and tropes to get you writing in any genre. This course contains lectures, examples, and lots of generative freewriting to help you get your monster out of your head and onto the page.

We're going to take a literal approach to monsters in fiction, though the course applies to monstrous people as well. In this course, we will:

  • define monsters,
  • examine why they're so much fun to read and write,
  • explore the various kinds of monsters,
  • where they come from,
  • how they relate to hunters and prey,
  • examine the narrative structure of monster tales,
  • discuss point of view considerations,
  • develop your own monster,
  • write some monster fiction,
  • and much more!

Take this short, fun course and bring your monsters to life!


This course is appropriate for all writers of any genre with an interest in developing a monster or monstrous human character, who wants to understand the monster archetype, plot structure, and point of view considerations specific to monster tales.

Finding someone who can teach you to craft a better story is incredibly difficult. I went through almost a dozen coaches before meeting Alida, and now that I’ve met her I’ll never go anywhere else.

Her process is easy to understand, incredibly practical, and has taught me so much about craft.

- Chris Fox, Author The Deathless Series, Write 5,000 Words an Hour, & more

Your Instructor

Alida Winternheimer
Alida Winternheimer
I look forward to guiding this creative inquiry into writing from memory, emotion, and body. I hope you’ll take this journey with me and our fellow writers. It is sure to be as enriching as it is challenging, from both a craft and personal perspective. What better way to embark on an adventure than together?


Alida Winternheimer is an award-winning author and experienced teacher, editor, and writing coach. She’s published numerous short stories, two of which were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Alida is the creator and host of two literary podcasts: Story Works Round Table, conversations about craft; and Story Works Reading Series, a literary journal for your ears. She is the author of the Story Works Guide to Writing Character and the Story Works Guide to Writing Point of View.

Her essay, "The Sun Still Shines on the Worst Day of Your Life" was recently published in Under the Sun and nominated for the Best American Essays anthology.

Every day, Alida helps writers write better through her craft books, the Story Works Fiction online school, free writing tips, and her podcasts. When she's not writing or teaching, you can spot her around Minneapolis on her bike, in her kayak, or being walked by her golden retriever.


What will you get out of this course?

By the time you've finished the course, answered the questions in the workbook, and done all the freewriting exercises, you will be well on your way to writing your next great monster story.

This course is a practical approach to help you both understand the monster's role in fiction and to get you creating a monster narrative of your own.

You're going to do your prewriting development, then create both your monster's origin tale and your first encounter story. These are essential to any monster fiction.

Best of all, you are encouraged every step of the way to turn off the internal editor and let your creativity flow in all its freaky glory!

Nothing is too weird. In fact, the stranger all the better to create your monster!

Alida gives solid examples to illustrate important points. She knows how to communicate in a way I understand, a way that helps me elevate my writing. She’s a wonderful teacher and writing coach, and wonderful to work with as well!

- Aldus Baker, Author, The Crown Saga Series


This course began with a graduate seminar on monsters in literature I taught at the University of Minnesota. From there, it was natural to take the topic to the streets as a writing workshop. I've taught Scary Monsters & Super Creeps in classrooms around Minneapolis and St. Paul - and even in prison (twice). It's a brief look at a specific type of character that we enjoy reading and writing across all genres. But don't let the monsters fool you, the course is both fun and practical. You'll come away better informed about storycraft and inspired to look at the creatures of your imagination differently.

Want to work with me personally? You can add manuscript feedback and a coaching call to the course.

Happy writing!




*Discount applies to the price of the course only, not to the price of the written feedback

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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.