Nov. 6 | Diodati Project: Write Your Own Horror Novel

Diodati Project is an intensive horror writing workshop in Spanish led by award winning Mexican writer Celso Santajuliana. The workshop will run from November 6th to 17th (Monday to Friday) at Neushop Downtown Miami. It will consist of 30 hours of theoretical class, 10 hours of writing revision and 50 hours of free writing. The result of the workshop will be first drafts of a horror novel of at least 80 pages, of which the best will be published by Narratio under stipulations specified below.

To register, please click here. The registration fee is $800, and prerequisites for the workshop are specified under Participation Requirements below.

About Diodati

Two-hundred years ago, in the legendary Villa Diodati, property of the eccentric Lord Byron, a sui generis encounter took place. In what became known as the “year without summer”, the guests of the Villa Diodati decided to pass the days of bad weather writing a horror story. Two books came out of this singular experience: The Vampyre, by William Polidori, and Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. With time, these would become the pillars of the horror novel as a subgenre.

It is curious that such an experiment never repeated itself; perhaps the results didn’t warrant that such an experience became public knowledge. Nonetheless, now, in this workshop organized by laboratoriodenovela we bring back this experience and reproduce it during two weeks in Downtown Miami.

We hope to, if not revolutionize the horror novel genre, to at least produce some novels worthy of the event we now commemorate.

About Celso Santajuliana

Celso Santajuliana is Mexican writer, published in Mexico, Spain, Ecuador and United States. Santajuliana has written novels, short-story compilations, literary theory and children’s books. He has been recognized by prestigious awards such as the Premio Juan Rulfo and Premio Rubén Romero. A finalist for the Hammet award, he has been involved with White Ravens and the Semana negra de Gijón.

Santajuliana has taught at the Universidad Iberoamericana, Universidad de las Américas and Claustro de Sor Juana in Mexico City. He has also lectured in unviersitites in both the United States and Europe.

For 12 years, Santajuliana has led and taught at laboratoriodenovela, and currently also directs the cultural organization Narratio Aspectabilis.


Note: This workshop is instructed in Spanish.

The workshop meets on two schedules daily from November 6 to November 17 (Monday to Friday): Mornings (10:30 AM – 1:30 PM) and Afternoon (5:00 PM – 8:00 PM). You will be able to specify the schedule of your preference when registering for the vent.

The intensive course will be a theoretical and practical exploration of the creative process of writing in the horror subgenre. It will be based on a variety of writing exercises that together will lead to a first draft of a short novel of at least 80 pages.

Before the start of the course, participants will read and analyze five novels representative of the subgenre, analyze four horror films and develop a detailed surveys of their personal fears.

The method of the workshop parts from the understanding the creative capacity a something inherent to human beings. Given this, it will be divided into two parts: an orientation phase, and a creative development phase that will be achieved through exercises and readings. It will result in the acquisition or enhancement of the tools indispensable to the creative process.

The structure of the course shall be as follows:

  • Creative Theory: 30 Hours (3 hours a day)
  • Writing Revisions: 10 Hours
  • Free Writing: 50 Hours

Publication of Best Novel

In order to acknowledge and stimulate the efforts of the participants of this exceptional creative experience, laboratoriodenovela has reserved space in their catalog to publish the best novel generated during the workshop through the publishing house Narratio.

The winning participant shall deliver a polished version of the first draft produced during the workshop no later than December 12th, 2017. The winner will then have until February 20th 2018 to deliver a definitive versions. The novel shall be published in an edition of 1000 copies. The author shall receive as compensation 10% of the copies. It shall be published on the 20th of April, 2018.

Bibliography and Filmography


  • The Vampyre, John William Polidori
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  • The Turn of the Screws, Henry James
  • ‘Salem’s Lot, Stephen King
  • Coraline, Neil Gaiman


  • The Exorcist, William Friedkin
  • The Omen, Richard Donner
  • The Ring, Gore Verbinshi
  • It, Tommy Lee Wallace

Participation Requirement

All participants shall:

  • Be over the age of 18.
  • Have registered here at least a day before the beginning of the workshop.
  • Send a 4 line synopsis of a horror story to be developed into a novel.
  • Read and watch all material in the bibliography and filmography.