Author Archives: nicolecushing

Outlining for Writers Who Hate Outlining

Another free sample of my Nightmare Institute classes: Outlining for Writers Who Hate Outlining.

In this five-minute video, I discuss an alternative method of outlining, for writers who find that traditional plot outlining doesn’t work for them. To get access to the full, 25 minute class (and all previous 25 minute classes), back my Patreon at the $15 level. More information at: .


Cushing’s Bookshelf, Episode 18: Fetal AMADEUS

This week on Cushing’s Bookshelf, I take a look at Alexander Pushkin’s “Mozart and Salieri”, the one-act play which inspired Peter Shaffer ‘s Amadeus.


New Poem, “The Art” to Appear in the HWA POETRY SHOWCASE VI

Congratulations to all the other folks whose poems were accepted, and a special congratulations to Saba Syed Razvi, Michael Bailey , and Michael Arnzen (all given special recognition as “spotlight” poets).

For the full table of contents, click the link:

Cushing’s Bookshelf, Episode 17: Two Minutes in the “To Be Read” Pile

Betcha my “to be read” pile is bigger than yours! (And yes, it’s literally a pile.) This week on Cushing’s Bookshelf: a two minute video in which I consider which book I’ll read next after finishing Dante’s Purgatorio.


Interviewed by Gwendolyn Kiste

sgl_cover_sm-662x1024Curious about A Sick Gray Laugh and The Half-Freaks? I chatted with Gwendolyn Kiste about the inspirations for both! Also…some writing advice and a discussion of my daily routine!


“Noelle Cashman—I mean Nicole Cushing—has delivered a shocking and satirical survey of the failed American experiment and its many horrifying discontents. A Sick Gray Laugh‘s warts-and-all metanarrative is reminiscent of such recent genre touchstones as Caitlin R. Kiernan’s The Red Tree and Gemma Files’s Experimental Film, but told in a brutal and uncompromising style that is all Cushing’s own.” — Robert Levy, author of The Glittering World

Cushing’s Bookshelf, Episode 16: Purgatorio.m.g.

Why Dante’s Purgatory is an even worse place than his Inferno. (Explained in three minutes.)

Cushing’s Bookshelf, Episode 15: Tips for Reading Dante’s DIVINE COMEDY

Overwhelmed by the thought of tackling Dante’s Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso? Nicole offers advice on which translations and commentaries are helpful to the 21st century reader.

Cushing’s Bookshelf, Episode 14, Frankenstein 3, Final Assessment

Having just finished The New Annotated Frankenstein, I discuss my thoughts on the novel and the various nonfiction appendices in this edition.

The Power of Setting in Short Fiction

Your free writing tip of the month: a four minute video in which I use Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” to discuss the power of setting in short fiction. The full twenty-five minute class is available to Nightmare Institute Super-Patrons over at