Horror Writers Association Blog

Tag archive: children's literature Archives - Horror Writers Association Blog [ 9 ]

Scary Out There with Sarah Rees Brennan

Scary Out There with Sarah Rees Brennan

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees BrennanIt’s Scary Out There had a witchingly good time talking character, lore, and more with Sarah Rees Brennan, author of Season of the Witch, the tie-in novel for Netflix’s hit show, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

With books like How to Hang a Witch, The Price Guide to the Occult, and Conversion, witchcraft in YA seems to be more popular than ever. Why do you think that is?

Witches are figures of female independence and social disobedience! I think whenever society is having a big conversation about how just our system actually is, how power …

Surviving Records: Found Footage in Print

Surviving Records: Found Footage in Print

found footage illustration through a shaky cam view screenShaky camcorders, baby monitors picking up paranormal activity, mysteriously unearthed videos—it’s no wonder found footage flourishes so well in cinematic horror. It’s visually compelling metafiction that doesn’t undermine audience immersion.

It can be a little harder to pull off in print (especially because the author name on the physical book is rarely also the name of a character inside of it, a limitation The Blair Witch Project marketing team didn’t face when they released fake missing posters of their leads and even convinced some that the actors were dead). But, it can still be a lot of fun and provides …

Q&A for Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies

Q&A for Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies

Jorge and Megan Lacera with a copy of Zombies Don't Eat Veggies

We all know that zombies eat brains. But zombies that eat veggies? Now that’s scary! I recently had the chance to sit down and chat with husband and wife team Megan and Jorge Lacera about their debut picture book, Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies! (Lee & Low, 2019). We also talked about what it’s like writing horror for little kids and why diversity in horror is important.

You don’t see a lot of horror picture books out there for little kids. What made you want to tackle zombies?

Jorge: From the beginning, we knew we wanted to do something that was

Five Great Children’s Poetry Collections for National Poetry Month

Five Great Children’s Poetry Collections for National Poetry Month

I love poetry. Good poetry, like good prose, makes you think and makes you feel. With April being National Poetry Month, I thought I’d take the opportunity to look at some excellent horror poetry collections for young readers.

Writing horror for children is a unique balancing act of being scary but not too scary. Add in meter, rhythm, and often rhyme and it can be difficult to pull off. Each of the books below have definite creep factor while still being fun and accessible to the younger reader.

So if you are thinking of writing your own young horror poetry,

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 …

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

Writing Prompt: Dog Days of Summer

Writing Prompt: Dog Days of Summer

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.

Dog Days of Summer

For today’s writing prompt, turn on the sprinkler, because we’re in the dog days of summer. These “dog days” point to the rise of Sirius, the Dog Star. Sirius ushers in the hottest 40 days in the Northern Hemisphere. Time to avoid heat

A Flash of Fear: Why Write Short-form Horror

For many (if not most), the first introduction to horror doesn’t come from a book or movie, but from a brief scary story told to them, perhaps around a smoky campfire in lonely–or are you alone after all?–woods. Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories collections include many of the selfsame creepy jewels of storytelling’s oral tradition, and have inducted many a child into the ranks of the horror lovers.

Sometimes, what readers really need is unfiltered, filler-free horror delivered directly to the brain.

Short horror is also popular in amateur circles, via various user-driven websites and podcasts. So, even though word counts …

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