Horror Writers Association

HWA is proud to announce our next members-only anthology: Scaring and Daring Adventures


HWA is proud to announce our next members-only anthology:

SCARING AND DARING ADVENTURES will be an anthology of original fiction stories that draw from the rich tradition of classic works of children’s literature and puts a “scaring” spin on the “daring adventures.” These stories will be intended for middle-grade readers and will reference characters, situations, or settings from famous works of literature that are in the public domain (generally pre-1923). The anthology will be edited by Eric J. Guignard and published by HarperCollins in 2025.

Examples of stories this anthology could contain include ideas such as:

  • The March Sisters of Little Women shelter in their home, fighting monsters that batter at their door.
  • Captain Long John Silver from Treasure Island becomes a vampire hunter.
  • Wendy must save Kensington Gardens when the shadow of Peter Pan tires of the boy’s frolicking mishaps and begins to plot something much darker…
  • Members from The Swiss Family Robinson encounter a terrifying new group of castaways on their island-made-home: creatures from another world.
  • White Fang leads a pack of Arctic wolves to rescue Weedon Scott from a coven of gold-seeking necromancers.
  • Alice in Wonderland‘s Cheshire Cat chases ghosts only he can see.
  • Beneath The Secret Garden there lies a certain secret no children should ever learn.
  • More backstory to The Tin Woodman of Oz, and the battles against witches he once fought with his magical axe.
  • Oliver Twist‘s Fagin leads a band of children into London’s sewers to fight Lovecraftian horrors.
  • Heidi travels the Swiss Alps, one step ahead of the Böögg…

Please note: The following literary properties are not available to be used for this open submission call:

  • The Jungle Book
  • Huckleberry Finn & Tom Sawyer
  • Pollyanna
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Cinderella
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • The Secret Garden
  • Arabian Nights
  • The Three Musketeers
  • The Ballad of Mulan
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  • Don Quixote
  • The Island of Doctor Moreau
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Any works written by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Please follow standard manuscript guidelines:

  • Short fiction only (and to be based on literary properties that are in Public Domain)
  • Tone should be: Imaginative and/or harrowing adventure; fun and exciting; action-driven, scary, thrilling (must include some supernatural element)
  • Word Count: 2,000–5,000 words (less than 4,000 as a preference)
  • Payment: Sixteen (16) cents per word
  • Max two (2) submissions permitted per HWA member
  • No reprints
  • Audience age appropriateness is “Middle Grade” (8 to 12 years old); no sex, profanity, nor extreme violence allowed

PLEASE NOTE: We will open to HWA members’ submissions on November 20 and close at 11:59 p.m. PST on December 10. The submission link will be emailed to members on November 19. Submissions will be blind, so please follow instructions carefully when submitting, and good luck!

There are a number of HWA members already attached to this book. This open call is to fill at least 3 remaining spaces.


5 comments on “HWA is proud to announce our next members-only anthology: Scaring and Daring Adventures

  1. Hiya! I was just wondering if any member (I’m currently a supporting individual member) can apply to this or only particular members? Thank you so much!

  2. Ooops! Sorry. “The Ransom of Red Chief” was an O. Henry story, not Damon Runyon.

    • Hello, and apologies for the delay—I didn’t realize there was a comment here to respond to!

      Your story idea technically could work (and I love O. Henry!), but we’re looking more for characters from larger (or well-known) works/worlds of literature that are familiar to young readers of the classics.

      You’re welcome to try it, of course, but consider most of the stories are going to be written in the worlds of SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, or TOM SAWYER, or CALL OF THE WILD, etc.

  3. Just to check, would a story based on “The Ransom of Red Chief” by Damon Runyon (published in 1907) meet the guidelines?

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