Horror Writers Association Blog

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Publisher Tips from Kate at Omnium Gatherum by Kate Jonez

Happy Octoberween—the holiday for people who celebrate all month long! For many years now, I’ve been working with new authors as chief editor at the Bram Stoker Award ® winning small press Omnium Gatherum. I also critique, edit and ghostwrite fiction and non-fiction for clients with a wide variety of experience levels. I suspect this is the reason that I get asked fairly often if I have any advice for new authors. In honor of the season, I’ll be doling out this advice like tasty, tasty Halloween candy.

In the journey to becoming an author there are many possible …

Interview Spotlight: Sean Patrick Traver

Happy Friday everyone! Today, Halloween Haunts catches up with horror writer Sean Patrick Traver, author of The Temple Tree & Towerseries and the recent novella, Wraith Ladies Who Lunch. Both are in print and available at Amazon.

Halloween Haunts:  As a life-long resident of Los Angeles, Sean you often set your stories, such as your recent Wraith Ladies Who Lunchand Red Witch: The Tales of Ingrid Redstone(The Temple Tree & Towerseries), in LA. Can you discuss why it is important to write what you know?

Sean Patrick Traver: Well, I figure it gives me …

Halloween – Haunted Places of New Zealand by Dan Rabarts & Lee Murray

In our Underworld Gothic blogpost last year, we pointed out that Halloween isn’t really a thing down under in New Zealand. It’s true: hardly anyone goes trick-or-treating, you don’t see plastic skeletons propped up in our front yards, and, in fact, most households don’t even buy candyin preparation for the holiday. In that post, we summarised our thoughts on why Halloween is such a non-event here, including the observation that ghosts and the supernatural are an everyday thing in Aotearoa. In fact, when it comes to ghosts, New Zealanders are spoiled for choice. So, instead of making excuses about …

Wings of the Seraph by Jeffrey LeBlanc

The most magical time of year—Halloween! Bring on the costumes, candy, and the monsters.

Let’s focus on the creeping villain, the slimily misunderstood, the tortured, and the turned. Monsters of all types hover, slither and ooze from above and below. Is it the mausoleum darkness of the year or the pervading chill of dread and death they bring?

Maybe it’s a little of both.

I kick off Halloween on the Horror Writer’s blog with a poem to set the mood for this ghastly occasion. I hope you and our fellow ghouls enjoy.

Check out the excerpt from the full horror …

How to throw a Halloween Soiree by Heddy Johannesen

First create spooky invitations for all of your friends, whether furry, human or undead. Or jazz a Facebook party event page and invite them there. Plan it ahead of time. Then enter your kitchen, summon your inner kitchen witch and throw open your cupboards. After a good scrub clean, evaluate what ingredients you have. Then brew some good munchies for your party ahead of time.

Then dig up your best Halloween decorations from last year. Or if you are like me and other weird people, you left your decorations up all year from the last creepy shindig. A black spidery …

Halloween Haunts 2018 – Welcome!


It was three years ago that I was editing my second academic anthology, which was on space horror films. As an academic-focused writer/editor, not a fiction writer, the Horror Writers Association was not on my list of organizations that I was considering to join. However, as an independent scholar without a higher institution to call home, I was seeking a community of like-minded individuals. Since I qualified for HWA’s academic member status, I paid my dues and made my home with the Los Angeles Chapter.

In the first months, I felt like a duck among the swans of fiction writers, …

Evil Teachers and Beyond: 5 School Scare Sources

Evil Teachers and Beyond: 5 School Scare Sources

Scary school bus

The days are getting shorter and cooler, and ravaged store displays are picked-over, having only straggling survivors among the pencils, notebooks, and backpacks. Children and teens have mysteriously vanished from public places on weekdays… It’s Back to School season! In honor of returning yellow school buses, here are five school aspects to be mined for your horror stories.

1) Mind Control

Kids in classroom

From preschool to high school, kids spend a large portion of their day having someone else tell them what to do. Wear this. Eat now. Do this work now. You need the bathroom? The break’s in 15 minutes, so

2018 Scholarship Winners Announced!

HWA SCHOLARSHIP:

Mary Rajotte has a penchant for penning nightmarish tales. She has been published in Shroud Magazine, and in works from Library of Horror Press, Shroud Publishing, and the Great Lakes Horror Company. A forthcoming story will be published in Black Buttons Vol. 3 from Magnificent Cowlick Media. When Mary isn’t writing, you can find her standing on her tiptoes at loud concerts, whipping up tasty baked goods in the kitchen or conjuring ideas by the light of the moon. She is an Affiliate Member of the Ontario Chapter of HWA and part of the horror author collective The …

SALE! Special Ad Rate for the October Issue of the HWA Newsletter

SALE! Special Ad Rate for the October Issue of the HWA Newsletter

The HWA Newsletter is offering special rates on ads for the October Issue! The October issue is always jam-packed with lots of goodies (columns, special articles, puzzles, photos, artwork, poems), so you don’t want to miss out on advertising in it!

The ad deadline for the October issue is September 20, 2018.

  • Display Ad 300x400px – only $10!
  • Full Page Ad 430px wide by any height – only $25!

Order yours today!

Writing Prompt: A Family Fear

Writing Prompt: A Family Fear

Young Horror brings you writing prompts to energize your week with spooky idea inspiration. Are you writing picture books, chapter books, middle grade, or YA? Your next great idea could be sparked right here. Check back every first Monday of the month for inspiration. Share your ideas and discuss in the comments below. Look out for our September feature article: Found Footage Horror, on the third Thursday.


Parents can pass on their own fears to their children. Do you jump every time you see a spider in the house? Little Jimmy is picking up those cues, and he’ll …

Writing Prompt: Wicked Watermelon

Writing Prompt: Wicked Watermelon

Young Horror brings you writing prompts to energize your week with spooky idea inspiration. Are you writing picture books, chapter books, middle grade, or YA? Your next great idea could be sparked right here. Check back every Monday for new writing prompts. Share your ideas and discuss in the comments below.


In this final installment of summer treats, let’s twist a familiar tale for our wicked purposes: watermelon seeds growing plants in your belly.

It’s funny to picture at first, then absolutely horrifying. Reminds me of a rather hideous Garbage Pail Kid: Walter Melon.

Parents often tell this

The CreEpy Catalog: Frozen Charlotte

The CreEpy Catalog: Frozen Charlotte

In order to write great children’s horror, you must READ great children’s horror. To help you out with this, we’ve invited our very own middle school librarian to take you into the deepest, darkest corners of the stacks to see what frightening fiction kids are reading. Welcome to the CreEpy Catalog!


Everyone who knows me knows that I have a soft spot for dolls. Even the ones that look “creepy” find a home with me because I can’t bear to have a representation of someone’s childhood go abandoned and unloved. I love reading horror stories that feature creepy dolls, and

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