Five Nights of Fright - 5 Program Workshop

by  Author Marty Chan

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In this program of five workshops, Marty breaks down what makes scary stories tick. Using simple-to-understand examples, he shows students how to develop setting and characters, as well as how to use sensory details to fashion a creepy mood. He’ll reveal how to raise the stakes so that the students’ stories build to thrilling climaxes rather than fizzle out with “the end.”


With his writing games and video demonstrations, Marty turns abstract concepts into practical and easy-to-grasp techniques that the students will be able to apply instantly to their stories. During the workshops, he’ll also invite the participants to share their work so that he can give them positive and constructive feedback. 


This virtual program was adapted from Marty’s popular in-person writing residency.


“Thanks for everything, Marty!  Everyone had nothing but huge praise for the residency and your ability to engage the students.  Even reluctant writers are flourishing with this project.” M. Wenzel-Curtis, Rosemont School (Calgary)

Program Rating

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About This Program


By Request: $1000.00

The cost for this program covers five 45-minute workshops, which breaks down to $200 per workshop. For example, if you only wanted to do three of the five workshops, the total cost would be $600. The only workshop that would be required is the first one.


45 minutes per session

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Language Arts/English, Literacy

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)
Google Hang Out
Microsoft Teams

Booking Information

Book it!

Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Bookings can be rescheduled for not fee, but a cancellation within 24 hours of the scheduled booking will incur a $50 fee.

About This Provider

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Author Marty Chan

Edmonton, Alberta

Marty is an author and playwright. He’s written over 20 books for kids and nearly 100 plays for adults. He specializes in writing hi-lo fiction to encourage striving readers to pick up books. The Junior Library Guild awarded the gold medal standard to two of his novels: Haunted Hospital and Willpower. One of his early books, The Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul, won the 2007 Diamond Willow Young Readers’ Choice Award. 


Looking for a dynamic workshop on how to write scary stories? An engaging storytelling session to introduce young students to folktales and story structure? An inspiring book talk to get your reluctant readers excited to visit the library? Marty has a variety of sessions that cover Kindergarten to high school. He also provides professional development sessions for teachers who need extra help getting their students excited about creative writing.


From his virtual studio in Alberta, Canada, Marty delivers interactive writing workshops and author visits with a cutting-edge blend of special effects, humor, audience participation, writing games, and storytelling. Kids won’t be able to look away when Marty turns his pen into a lightsaber to illustrate how specifics matter. Younger students will be amazed at the behind-the-scenes look at how Marty’s picture book about his cats came together. Kids will scream their guesses at the screen as they play his version of ‘I Spy’ and learn the value of sensory details. He offers programs to schools, homeschool students, and the general public. 


Since 2020, Marty has performed over 1,000 virtual sessions across North America. He can connect with classes and students via Zoom, Google Meet, MS Teams or YouTube Live. 

Marty Chan
(780) 975-9292

Program Details


Session 1: Program begins with an introduction to what makes a suspense story and how it is different from a horror story. In the session, we will discuss the legend of a scary setting and how to setup the reader.

Session 2: Program focusses on the three main types of characters in scary stories: ghost, hero, sidekick.

Session 3: Program reveals how to create a suspenseful mood using setting. Participants will learn how sensory details work.

Session 4: Program focusses on how reactions can enhance the fear factor in a story.

Session 5: Program underscores the importance of raising the stakes to create a strong climax.


Participants will:

- compare suspense and horror stories and know the difference.
- create a suspense story.
- understand the five elements that comprise a suspense narrative.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

Please contact Marty for details on core standards.