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Writing Tips


Learning to write well is a long and difficult road. The HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION, in an effort to help improve the general quality of fiction across the board, offers the following book, articles, and writing-related links for writers.

On Writing Horror: A Handbook by the Horror Writers Association

Copyright 2006 by HWA
ISBN: 1-5829-7420-9 (Writers Digest Books)
Price: $16.99

Recently updated and revised, available in trade paperback from Writers Digest Books through any major online retailer. A volume of 41 essays on the craft of horror writing, edited by Mort Castle, with contributions from dozens of well-known HWA members. An invaluable addition to any writer’s library. For the complete table of contents, click here.

HWA Policy on Publishers and Others Seeking Fees from Writers

The Horror Writers Association stands against any publication offering that requires or asks for a monetary payment to be made by writers to publishers, agents, editors or any individual or organization representing them.

This specifically includes but is not limited to:

  • a. Fee for entry writing competitions
  • b. Vanity Presses – including both hard copy and e-books
  • c. Reading Fees
  • d. Fees for early submissions; preferential submissions; early access to submission guidelines; and the like
  • e. Fees to edit works that either promise acceptance or for works that have already been accepted
  • f. Fees to promote works that have been accepted for publication

For all the above this is regardless of whether such fees or charges are directly charged for such services or privileges or indirectly charged by providing such services or privileges without charge as a perquisite or benefit for “financial supporters” or “donors”.

We strongly recommend our members do not offer or participate in these offerings; and we will not allow them to be promoted on any HWA platform, including social media.

The HWA accepts that crowd-sourced funding is an entirely ethical process to fund publication of works and TV/movie/digital media productions, as long as they don’t require or actively seek such funding in a manner that contravenes the policy above.

HWA will continue to work with publishers to effect compliance with this policy.

Articles on Writing, Courtesy of HWA Members

Listed alphabetically by author’s last name.

  • MORT CASTLE: “Reality and the Waking Nightmare: Setting and Character in Horror Fiction”
  • NANCY ETCHEMENDY: “Writers and Depression”
  • JG FAHERTY: “The Rise of Horror: YA Readers and Dark Fiction”
  • RICHARD LAYMON: “Laymon’s Rules of Writing”
  • MICHAEL MARANO: “The Long, Hard Odds: Hints on Getting that First Horror Novel Published”
  • LISA MORTON: “Pirates! Or, How to Protect Your Intellectual Property on the High Seas of the Internet”
  • LISA MORTON: “Submit!: Some Long Truths About Short Fiction”
  • SCOTT NICHOLSON: “Respect Yourself, Respect Your Stories”
  • SCOTT NICHOLSON: “The Virgin In the Church”
    (A column series covering the year leading up to the publication of Scott’s first novel, The Red Church, following the book from keyboard to slush pile to galleys to bookstore.)
  • TOM PICCIRILLI: “Fighting the Good Fight: or Surviving Rejection, Discouragement, and the Fact that your Mother/Spouse/Children Keep Screaming at you to Go Back to College
    and Get a Real Job”
  • JARED SANDMANN: “Mailbox Blues”
  • ROBERT J. SAWYER: “Landing an Agent”
  • EDO VAN BELKOM: “So, Who Wants to be a Horror Writer?”
  • TIM WAGGONER: “The Horror of it All”
  • LAWRENCE WATT-EVANS: “Frequently Asked Questions about Agents”
  • DAN WEATHERER: “Place the Play”

Links to Writing-Related Sites

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