200 years has passed since Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was first published, in which Victor Frankenstein bestows life on a terrible creature he will later fear and scorn. This year, on the bicentenary of this enduring tale, the Festival explores the Gothic genre with a programme designed to seek out mysterious happenings and the dark corners of the human mind.

“Imagining and Writing the Gothic” is organised in collaboration with 11 local secondary schools, with 70 young writers gathering to produce their very own creative work inspired by the genre. Held over five weeks, the programme invites students to take part in talks, film screenings and writing workshops led by experienced and committed practitioners.

Leading the writing workshops is award-winning and best-selling British children’s writer Frances Hardinge and Hong Kong’s finest YA authors Alex Dunn and Jordan Rivet. Dedicated academics from the School of English at the University of Hong Kong will introduce the Gothic genre in a series of interactive lectures.

The students’ writing will be printed in an anthology, which will be available to pick up for free from bookstores and cafés across Hong Kong. If you come across a copy, know that it is not for the faint of heart…

Participating schools include:

  • Cheung Chau Government Secondary School
  • Chung Sing Benevolent Society Mrs. Aw Boon Haw Secondary School
  • Clementi Secondary School
  • HKUGA College
  • Leung Shek Chee College
  • Queen Elizabeth School
  • Sing Yin Secondary School
  • St. Francis' Canossian College
  • Toi Shan Association College
  • Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
  • Ying Wa College

"Imagining and Writing the Gothic" is a programme of English Alliance 2017/18 supported by the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research and funded by the Language Fund. We would also like to thank the University of Hong Kong for providing venues and support for session content.

Photo credit for Frances Hardinge: David Levenson