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C.S. O'Cinneide


C.S. O'Cinneide (oh-ki-nay-da) is a writer and a blogger on her website, She Kills Lit, where she features women writers of thriller and noir. Her debut novel, Petra’s Ghost, a dark thriller set on the Camino de Santiago in Spain, was a semi-finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2020 for Horror. She is also the author of the witty hard-boiled crime fiction series featuring hitwoman, Candace Starr.

Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada


Petra's Ghost. Dundurn Press, 2019
The Starr Sting Scale: The Candace Starr Series #1. Dundurn Press, 2020
Starr Sign: The Candace Starr Series #2. Dundurn Press, 2021
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :


Presentation Description




Presentation Length:
1-1.5 hour
Literary thriller/crime fiction
Grade 9 and up
Audience size:
Workshop Description:


A workshop for all writers, whether you want to be the new Stephen King or just add some thrills and chills to your chosen genre.


  • ·         About me: C.S. O’Cinneide, author of Petra’s Ghost (Goodreads Choice Award 2019 semi-finalist for Horror) & The Starr Sting Scale, first in the Candace Starr crime series
  • ·         History and Future of Horror – From Mary Shelley to Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • ·         Effect of Horror on other genres

Step 1 – The Terror/Horror continuum – Find your sweet spot

Step 2 – Writing Exercise A – What are you afraid of?

Step 3 – Writing Exercise B– Story ideas

Step 4 – The Inner Threat

Step 5 – Setting and Tense

Step 6 – Basic Outline - The Ending, The Middle, and balancing Dark vs. Light

Step 7 – Start Writing! How to find your hook

Step 8 – Show don’t Tell – Writing Exercise C -The Horror of Everyday Things

Step 9 – Keep the Monster off Stage until the End

Step 10 – Does everyone get out alive?

Step 11 – Getting Published

Q& A

Appendix available on request: Bibliography, Helpful Links, Agents/Paying Markets for Horror

Northern OAC WITS:
One session:
GST not applicable