The Horror Writers Association recently released a new edition of its classic how-to manual on creating dark literature. On Writing Horror (Writer’s Digest Books, 2006), edited by the HWA and noted author and instructor Mort Castle, is available now at your favorite bookseller.

On Writing Horror, Second Edition, features essays on the genre and craft by giants like Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Ramsey Campbell, Harlan Ellison, Joyce Carol Oates and David Morrell. Several newer authors also contributed to the new edition, including Nicholas Kaufmann, Michael Marano, Bev Vincent and others.

The handbook covers every aspect of writing for the genre, including essays on what makes horror fiction horrifying, plot development, character creation, the difference between quiet and splatter horror, and erotica in horror, and offers tips on submitting your work to editors and promoting your book.

“We kept some essays from the original 1997 edition, but this is a major overhaul that reflects the many changes that have taken place in the horror genre and in the publishing industry in general,” said Castle.

New to this edition are tips on screenwriting and updated information on writing for the hot comic book market.

“Many HWA members have found great success writing for film and comics,” Castle said. “Those markets really weren’t covered at all in the first edition, so we’re happy to have these new essays included.”

Newly elected HWA President Deborah LeBlanc said the publication of this new edition comes at a perfect time for the organization.

“We are in the early stages of making some sweeping changes that will redefine what the HWA is and how it promotes horror and helps its members,” LeBlanc said. “Being able to offer a new edition of On Writing Horror right now really puts the HWA back in the forefront as the expert source on creating dark literature.”

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