Horror Writers Association Blog

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2019 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Announced

Graham Masterton – Lifetime Achievement Award

This year the Horror Writers Association announces Graham Masterton as Lifetime Achievement Award winner. He will receive the award at StokerCon™ 2019, held at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Masterton has provided many years of dedicated commitment to the horror community and the writing and publishing industry.

“Members on the selection committee have fond memories of Masterton’s books,” reported HWA President, Lisa Morton. “Graham Masterton has influenced many horror writers. We are truly thrilled to bestow him with this award.” HWA offers the Lifetime Achievement Award once a year and …

YA Writing Prompt: Cabin Fever

YA Writing Prompt: Cabin Fever

Young Horror brings you writing prompts to energize your week with spooky writing idea inspiration. Are you writing picture books, chapter books, middle grade, or YA? Your next great idea could be sparked right here.

The Horrors of Winter Break

Ah…take a breath, because December brings with it Winter Break. There’s a short vacation for kids, teens, and parents from the usual routine of packing lunches, school buses, and homework. Picture togetherness, smell the holiday spices, taste the hot cocoa, feel the soft flannel of matching family pajamas.

Sometimes, there can be TOO much togetherness.

If the weather’s terrible …

Murder Most Fowl and Other Holiday Horrors

Murder Most Fowl and Other Holiday Horrors

demonic turkeys with overlaid flamesSomewhere in the United States this moment, a large turkey—with glorious plumage, I would like to imagine—doesn’t know that he’s already been selected for presidential pardon for the American Thanksgiving holiday next week. In classrooms across the country, kids are consuming read-aloud picture books about other turkeys running from feast centerpiece fates. Many classroom games and educational activities are built to the theme of staving off the imminent death of the turkey—hide the turkey, disguise the turkey.

Can you, young schoolchild, alter this bird’s fate and save his life?

It’s all fun and games, and then we expect the child …

A Portrait of the Halloween Expert as a Young Woman By Lisa Morton

When my father passed away in 2015, I received an unexpected and lovely inheritance: thousands of color slides, many of which featured me as a baby, a toddler, and a child. One of the reasons this was remarkable was because I really thought there weren’t many photos around of me as a kid. My mom only had a handful, and for some reason – even though I remained close to my dad after my parents split up – I hadn’t realized he had so many photos.

I bought a little device that would allow me to digitize the slides and …

Horror Writers Association Announces Summer Scares Reading Program

The Horror Writers Association (HWA), in partnership with United for Libraries, Book Riot, and Library Journal/School Library Journal, has launched a reading program that provides libraries and schools with an annual list of recommended horror titles for adult, young adult (teen), and middle grade readers. The goal is to introduce new authors and help librarians start conversations with readers that will extend beyond the books from each list and promote reading for years to come.

Each year, a special guest author and a committee of four librarians will select 3 recommended fiction titles in each of 3 reading levels (Middle …

Under the Autumn Stars by Tim Waggoner

Halloween night is one of my first –and best – memories.

I was just shy of eight months old. I was my parents’ first child, and my mom was excited when Halloween came around. She dressed me in a pink bunny costume, and I had no idea why she put me into this strange outfit. Mom put on a light jacket, picked me up, and we headed out.

It was cool, but not cold. The weather was near perfect. I hadn’t been outside at night before, at least not for very long, and I was fascinated with how different the …

Hyaku-monogatari kaidankai or, This Halloween, Why Not Tell a Hundred Scary Stories in the (Growing) Dark? By Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.

Japan is a latecomer to the Halloween party.  Since the millennium the holiday has grown in popularity, mostly in Tokyo, utterly influenced by the representations of Halloween at Tokyo Disney and Universal Studios Osaka, and entirely among young adults. Trick or Treating is out of the question (violates far too many cultural taboos), so kids don’t get much opportunity to do anything, and many adults find it foreign and annoying (and messy). But for the young adults of Tokyo, it is an excellent occasion to party and engage in two of Japan’s favorite things: cosplay and street gatherings.  Roppongi used …

Horror and Halloween in Singapore by Christina Sng

When you grow up in a haunted house, you expect to see something supernatural at some point, especially when an aunt claims to have heard chains dragging along the hallway and another family member allegedly saw ghosts.

But my skepticism grew up with me when I saw nothing. Not even a moving shadow. It was terribly disappointing. Then we moved, and I left my childhood home behind, along with the ghosts.

When I was 7, it became clear to me that what was on TV was not reality. Reality felt crisp and real while fantasy was a fantastic ride to …

How to Make a Monster By Janet Joyce Holden

I’ve always thought book-signing events should be cool and awesome, and with that in mind I always bring a few treats to give away. Buttons, flash fiction postcards, gift bags, and the occasional monster. Everyone, it turns out, loves monsters. They make people happy, so here’s how to make one (or a dozen) and if you haven’t done this before, it’s time to assemble a bunch of sharp, stabby objects and scare yourself silly (after all, what would October be without a few scares, eh?).

Gather the following  –

Half a yard of wool felt (body).

A square of craft …

Interview Spotlight: Robert Payne Cabeen

Happy Friday All! Today marks the last interview spotlight as Halloween Haunts welcomes writer, artist and poet Robert Payne Cabeen. At Stokercon this past spring, Robert was the recipient of the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel for Cold Cuts (2017, Omnium Gatherum Media).

Halloween Haunts:  Welcome Robert! You have worn a number of career hats over the years, having become an accomplished artist, poet and writer. Of the three, which came first for you?  

Robert Payne Cabeen:  Thanks for including me in Halloween Haunts, Michele. I’d have to say that art came first. I recall …

Interview Spotlight: Aric Cushing

Welcome to another interview spotlight! Halloween Haunts chats with writer/actor Aric Cushing, who is also a screenwriter. He is the author of the award-winning YA book, Vampire Boy, and with director Logan Thomas, co-wrote (and starred in) the forthcoming film, There’s No Such Thing as Vampires.

Halloween Haunts:  Hello Aric and welcome to Halloween Haunts! You studied at the American Conservatory Theater and the London Court Theater in England and established an acting career on stage, film and television. What led you to get into writing screenplays?

Aric Cushing:  I actually started writing plays and screenplays in college. …

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