Into the Dark
No longer the sole territory of Stephen King, authors are creating terrifying works that rattle the most fearless readers. In this class, we will learn to develop terrifying characters, create realistic conflict and tension, and find the dread within the most mundane aspects of the everyday. We will lean into specific authors (Fernanda Melchor, Victor LaValle, Stephen Graham Jones) and complete generative writing exercises to find ways to incorporate the atmospheric eeriness into our own work.
August 22: Scholarship Donation Day (Learn more.)
August 23: Member registration opens
August 30: General registration opens
Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of young adult and middle grade novels, most recently the YA novel Never Look Back (Bloomsbury YA, 2020), which BookPage called “a revelation” in a starred review, and the middle grade novel Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2020), which Kirkus praised as a “winner of a series opener.” She has two books forthcoming in Fall 2021; in September, Rivera’s first comic for DC Comics, Unearthed, and in October, We Light Up the Sky from Bloomsbury YA. Previous YA novels include Dealing in Dreams (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2019), which was featured in Teen Vogue, PBS Books, Los Angeles Times, and Bustle, among other outlets, and has received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Booklist; and The Education of Margot Sanchez (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017), nominated for a 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association and was featured on NPR, New York Times Book Review, New York magazine, MTV.com, and Teen Vogue, among others. Rivera’s work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Elle, Tin House, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, to name a few.
She is a 2016 Pushcart Prize winner and a 2015 Clarion alumni with a Leonard Pung Memorial Scholarship. Rivera has also been awarded fellowships from PEN Center USA, A Room Of Her Own Foundation, and received a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation and the Speculative Literature Foundation. Her short story "Death Defiant Bomba" received honorable mention in Bellevue Literary Review's 2014 Goldenberg Prize for Fiction, selected by author Nathan Englander. She recently received honorable mention in the 2018 James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award.
Rivera was interviewed by Lightspeed in 2019 and was asked about a comment she made in an NPR interview about The Education of Margot Sanchez in which she explained her belief in “firsts’ in YA novels: “In young adult fiction, I believe a lot of the characters must go through a discovery of “firsts.” The first kiss. The first sense of shame. I love those moments in young adult literature when the protagonist discovers how their parents or adults are completely flawed and full of unrealized desires or dreams.”
Born in the Bronx and currently living in Los Angeles, Rivera has been a featured speaker in countless schools and book festivals throughout the United States and teaches creative writing workshops.