Sunday, March 20, 2022

Horror Writing Resources


From time to time, writers message me to ask if I have any good resources for horror writing. Eventually, I created a document that I could send to them (which saves me from typing the same email over and over). I'm always happy to help other writers, and it recently occurred to me that I should share this list here, so that anyone can access it. This resource list is current as of 3/20/2022.

Before I post it, though, I'd be remiss not to mention my two books on horror writing: Writing in the Dark and The Writing in the Dark Workbook (which should come out in late May of this year).

Writing and Networking Resources

·         Market listings: Here are a couple listings for horror markets:,

·         Agents: literary agent is the best way to approaching larger book publishers. You can find a list of agents here: Association of Authors Representatives:

·         Twitter: There’s a large horror community on Twitter, not just writers, but agents, publishers, and editors too – both small press and large press. This is a great place to connect with other horror professionals. Agents and editors periodically have weekends where they read pitches posted by writers. Here’s a link to an article about these pitch weekends:

·         Facebook and Facebook groups: While the horror community on Facebook might be smaller than Twitter, it’s still significant. Plus, Facebook has a number of groups that are dedicated to horror writing. The Horror Writers Association also has a Facebook page that anyone can follow. You don’t have to be a member. 

·         The Horror Writers Association, There are different levels of membership, and it’s well worth joining even at one of the lower levels. You get access to the HWA newsletter, private message board on the HWA site, and the Mentor Program. The website also has a lot of writing and publishing resources.

·         Stokercon, This is the annual convention put on by the Horror Writers Association. It changes location every year, and they’ve recently added virtual components for people who don’t want to or can’t travel. Attending the convention is probably the single best way to connect to the horror community as well as network with agents, publishers, and editors. Agents and editors regularly hold pitch meeting with writers at Stokercon.

·         Scares That Care, This charitable organization presents several different weekend conferences where horror fans can meet horror professionals. This is a great place to meet and interact with fellow writers.

·         World Fantasy Convention, The World Fantasy convention focuses primarily on professional publishing in fantasy, science fiction, and horror. This is not only a great convention for connecting with writers, but it’s an excellent place for professional networking with agents, publishers, and editors.


Diversity in Horror,

Horror Writers Association,

International Thriller Writers Association.

Jane Friedman,

Ladies of Horror Fiction,

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America,

The Seers’ Table,

Tim’s Blog,

Tim’s YouTube Channel:

Women in Horror Month,


Books on Writing and Writers


Aristotle’s Poetics for Screenwriters, Michael Tierno

Body Trauma: A Writer’s Guide to Wounds and Injuries, David W. Page

Capturing Ghosts on the Page: Writing Horror & Dark Fiction, Kaaron Warren

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing a Novel, Tom Monteleone

Creativity for Life: Practical Advice on the Artist's Personality, and Career from America's Foremost Creativity Coach, Eric Maisel

Danse Macabre, Stephen King

Dark Dreamers: Conversations with the Masters of Horror, Stanley Wiater

Dark Thoughts on Writing, Stanley Wiater

Dark Visions: Conversations with the Masters of Horror Film, Stanley Wiater and Tanya Wiater

The Dead Stage: The Journey from Page to Stage, Dan Weatherer

End of the Road, Brian Keene

For Exposure: The Life and Times of a Small-Press Publisher, Jason Sizemore

Forensics and Fiction: Clever, Intriguing, and Downright Odd Questions from Crime Writers, D.P. Lyle

Horror 101: The Way Forward, Joe Mynhardt (ed.)

Horror 201: The Silver Scream, Joe Mynhardt and Emma Audsley (eds.)

The Horror … The Horror: An Autobiography, Rick Hautala

The Horror Writer: A Study of Craft and Identity in the Horror Genre. Joe Mynhardt (ed.)

How to Write Horror Fiction, William F. Nolan

How to Write Tales of Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction, J.N. Williamson

Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side, Michael A. Arnzen

It’s Alive: Bringing Your Nightmares to Life. Joe Mynhardt and Eugene Johnson (eds.)

The Kick-Ass Writer, Chuck Wendig

Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction, Michael A. Arnzen and Heidi Ruby Miller (eds.)

Mark My Words: Read the Submission Guidelines and Other Self-editing Tips, Lee Murray and Angelia Yuriko Smith

The Martial Art of Writing and Other Essays, Alan Baxter

Murder and Mayhem: A Doctor Answers Medical and Forensic Questions for Mystery Writers, D.P. Lyle

Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror: Speculative Genre Exercises from Today’s Best Teachers, Laurie Lamsen (ed.)

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King

On Writing Horror: A Handbook by the Horror Writers Association, Mort Castle (ed.)

Out in the Dark: Interviews with Gay Horror Filmmakers, Actors, and Authors, Sean Abley

Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction. Patricia Highsmith.

The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror, Third Edition, Becky Siegel Spratford

The Scream Writers Handbook: How to Write a Terrifying Screenplay in 10 Bloody Steps, Thomas Fenton.

Shooting Yourself in the Head for Fun and Profit: A Writer’s Survival Guide, Lucy A. Snyder

Southern Fried and Horrified, Ron Kelly

Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life, Nick Mamatas

Supernatural Horror in Literature, H.P. Lovecraft

Techniques of the Selling Writer, Dwight V. Swain

Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction, Benjamin Percy

To Each Their Darkness, Gary A. Braunbeck

What To Do When You Don't Have A Book Coming Out & Even More Sage Advice, Angela Slatter

Where Nightmares Come From: The Art of Storytelling in the Horror Genre. Joe Mynhardt and Eugene Johnson (eds.)

Wide Open Fear: Collected Southern Dark Columns, Lisa L. Hannett

Wonderbook, Jeff Vandermeer

Write the Fight Right, Alan Baxter

A Writer’s Tale, Richard Laymon

Writers Workshop of Horror, Michael Knost (ed.)

Writers Workshop of Horror 2, Michael Knost (ed.)

Writing for Emotional Impact, Karl Iglesias

The Writing Life, Jeff Strand.

Writing Monsters, Philip Athans

Writing the Paranormal Novel, Steven Harper

Writing Horror Fiction, Guy N. Smith

Writing the Uncanny: Essays on Crafting Strange Fiction. Dan Coxon and Richard V. Hirst (eds.)

You Are Not Your Writing, Angela Slatter

Yours to Tell: Dialogues on the Art & Practice of Writing, Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem

If you have additional horror-writing resources you'd like to share, feel free to list them in the comments.


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