Horror Writers Association Blog

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Ambiguously Ever After: Ending the Children’s Horror Story

Ambiguously Ever After: Ending the Children’s Horror Story

IMG_20160821_211336There’s much handwringing in publishing for children about what is “right” or “appropriate.” There are many controversial subjects and editorial choices, but today we’re talking about endings. Do endings in books for children need to be happy? Or should writers of children’s books portray a realistic version of the world where things don’t always end well?

Critics and authors have come down on both sides of the issue. When the 2014 Carnegie Award was given to The Bunker Diary, it set off a flurry of controversy in the UK and prompted an opinion piece for The Guardian in which

The August 2016 installment of The Seers’ Table

The Seers Table!

Welcome to the August 2016 installment of The Seers’ Table—the HWA’s hub for highlighting stimulating and diverse voices in horror and dark fantasy. This month we’d like to suggest an exciting group of authors whose work will enrich your summer reading.

Ace Antonio Hall recommends:

Alaya Dawn Johnson is a two-time Nebula winner, and multi-award-winning author of six novels. The Summer Prince (2013), Alaya’s debut YA novel, is a heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil. Her Web site

HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES 2016 SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients of its five scholarships. Carina Bissett and Karen Bovenmyer have been awarded (respectively) the HWA Scholarship and the Mary Shelley Scholarship, each worth $2,500. John Reinhart has been chosen for the Dark Poetry Scholarship ($1,250), and James Anderson and Kevin Wetmore have been chosen as recipients of the Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship Fund for Non-fiction Writing. Earlier this year, Sumiko Saulson was awarded The Scholarship From Hell, which included travel, accommodation, and a slate of educational workshops at HWA’s inaugural StokerCon (TM) held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“We …

And the Clock Strikes Three AM: Time and Timing in Terror, the Sequel

And the Clock Strikes Three AM: Time and Timing in Terror, the Sequel

cpt_1470618694673Last month’s terror-time about time-and-terror was firmly grounded in reality—creating timetables that work inside the book (natural character reactions to stimuli and logical story flow) and inside the reader’s mind (pacing appropriate for the specific audience’s needs, and avoiding shattering suspension of disbelief through overuse of techniques that, when used sparingly, should enhance tension). Immersion was the name of the game, with an end goal of a truer feeling story and the horror that relating to it as true-ish brings.

But before you go off and wed your story to reality at the altar of believability, there’s another variable. Unless

HWA August Membership Drive

HWA August Membership Drive

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Have you been thinking about joining the Horror Writers Association for a while, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet? Or maybe you were a member in the past and have been wondering if you should rejoin. The answer is YES, and now’s the time! HWA is currently offering Active/Affiliate/Associate/Academic membership (with proof of sales) for $37 (for the remainder of 2016), and Supporting membership for $27 (for 2016). What do you get for that? Well, if you’ve never seen our excellent monthly newsletter (edited by Kathy Ptacek), we’ve made a sample issue available for you to

And Now for Something Completely Different: Adding Humor to Your Horror

And Now for Something Completely Different: Adding Humor to Your Horror

20160716_231210With the popularity of dark comedies, it should be no surprise that horror and humor can be a compelling mix. However, when it comes to young adult books, few succeed at the balance that keeps a funny horror book from losing its edge or appearing to try too hard. Here are a few humorous elements used in YA horror to enhance the story, characters, or setting without sacrificing their horror-ness.


WORD PLAYS AND PUNS
Puns and other forms of wordplay can range from clever to groan-inducing, and they are a little of both in Croak by Gina Damico. In the

And the Clock Strikes Midnight: Time and Timing in Terror, Part I

And the Clock Strikes Midnight: Time and Timing in Terror, Part I

Time and Timing in TerrorWhether it’s the beeping of an alarm clock marking a night over too soon, a school buzzer announcing the start of a test period, or the chime of a grandfather clock in an old house declaring the start of the witching hour, there are lots of ways that time can provoke dread. So, when writers look no further than flashbacks and verb tenses, they miss out on timely tension opportunities.

With a little attention towards the timing of the horrors in your story—pacing as well as narratively—you can save yourself time in revisions, time better spent dreaming up new nightmares …

Scary Out There with Kaitlin Ward

Scary Out There with Kaitlin Ward

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NOTE: Listeners, this was our first attempt at an audio interview. We know there is a slight echo and the background noise isn’t ideal, but bear with us as we creep into the world of audio interviews. Thanks for your understanding and patience!

Hello Horror Fanatics! Today Scary Out There is sitting down with Kaitlin Ward, the author of Bleeding Earth (Adaptive Books, February 2016). Listen as Kaitlin discusses how she came up with the idea for Bleeding Earth, why it’s important for children and teens to read horror, and more.

Kaitlin Ward grew up on a dairy farm in …

Markets for Horror Writers & Poets

We receive a lot of e-mail messages from writers asking if we recommend certain markets for horror fiction. As a rule, we as an organization do not endorse specific markets, but we do advise everyone — not just our members — to submit work to markets that pay a professional rate of 5 cents per word or more. That being said, we also understand that such markets are few, and the competition there is fierce. No one said this was easy, after all

For some sound advice on submitting your fiction in today’s marketplace, please click here.

A few …

Librarians!

Welcome to the Librarian’s page on the Horror Writers Association (HWA) website! We hope you will find everything you need in terms of tools, recommended reading lists, and information about our authors. At any time, please feel free to contact us at HWA@horror.org.

One of the HWA’s missions is to encourage public interest in and foster an appreciation of reading in general, and horror and dark fantasy literature for adults, teens, and children in particular. To that end, our members take part in public readings and lectures whenever possible, we publish a newsletter for booksellers and librarians, and we are …

Young Adults “Write Now” Endowment Program

Young Adults “Write Now” Endowment Program

Horror Writers Association (HWA) announces Young Adults Write Now endowment program to fund teen-oriented writing programs at libraries.

The Horror Writers Association (HWA), the premier organization of writers and publishers of horror and dark fantasy and home of the iconic Bram Stoker Awards®, will be offering endowments to libraries to fund teen writing programs as part of its ongoing dedication to furthering young adult literacy.

The Young Adults Write Now fund will provide up to five endowments of $500 each per year for selected libraries to establish new, or support ongoing, writing programs. The program is currently open to United …

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