Committee Chair

Balazs, Thomas

Committee Member

Baker, Sybil; Einstein, Sarah


Dept. of English


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Women of the Mere is a literary-horror short story collection imagining contemporary, Southern women who have a draw toward the unpredictability and danger of the macabre. Based on personal experiences but fictionalized through the poetic lens of negative capability, each story takes place in modern Tennessee and follows female protagonists with uncanny, “familiar”-like connections to animals that are stereotypically portrayed as horrifying or dangerous. These women feed giant snakes, chase hallucinations, menstruate gray blood, and sneak rats into hotel rooms. My craft essay examines how negative capability can be used to create horror on both a sentence-level and thematic scale, based upon David Jauss’s On Fiction Writing and using examples from my own work as well as others that have influenced my horror writing.


I want to thank both the English and Psychology faculty at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for nurturing my growth as a writer and scholar. I am grateful to Dr. Thomas Balázs, my thesis director, for his in-depth line edits and sincere feedback, and my committee members, Dr. Sarah Einstein, for her overflowing wisdom and kindness, and Professor Sybil Baker, for teaching me the spirit of literary citizenship. A special thanks to Dr. Nicky Ozbek, for encouraging me to pursue my writing career, Dr. Christopher Stuart, for inspiring me to apply for a Master’s in English, and Dr. Andrew Najberg, for addicting me to the workshop process in my first Creative Writing course as an undergraduate student. Finally, thanks to Gavin Hasty and Jora Burnett, for listening to me read parts of the thesis aloud and reassuring me to trust my prose.


M. A.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts.




Short stories, American


Horror; Fiction; Creative; Writing; Short; Story

Document Type

Masters theses


vii, 75 leaves




Under copyright.


Date Available


Available for download on Wednesday, July 01, 2020