Tag Archives: Horror Fiction

8 Great Horror Movies for Writers, about Writers

I’m a woman deep in love with the horror genre—the films, the books, the art, the freaky mechanized sculptures crawling across the floor. For this Halloween, here are a few great horror movies (in no particular order) that star some unfortunate, powerful, tragic, bloodied-up writers.

  1. Hush (2016)

This movie is amazing. It takes a very classic, often problematic premise—lone woman in the woods, no cell service, a mysterious masked attacker—and makes it new again.

2. The Dark Half (1993)

A classic Stephen King story, classic movie, Timothy Hutton, yes, yes, yes. This one might not be “scary,” but it’s a horror film through-and-through, and a great watch for anyone looking to be thoroughly creeped out.

3. Secret Window (2004)

Another Stephen King story, this is one of my favorite film adaptations of his work. Writers haunted by their work … and more.

4. TWIXT (2011)

Francis Ford Coppola, Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Elle Fanning, Tom Waits, the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe for some reason … What more can I say? This is a (sort of?) comedy, (sort of?) horror movie, (sort of?) tragedy. Whatever it is, it’s awesome. An eerie surreal romp through some dark, dark woods.

5. Deathtrap (1982)

This movie may not be a “horror” movie per say, but it does have a good deal of murder, backstabbing, and writerly wickedness (not to mention some handsome young Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve).

6. A few other of Stephen King’s…Misery, Salem’s Lot, & The Shining (NOT the Kubrick version)

Because Stephen King is, first of all, amazing, and second of all, constantly writing about writers (I’m not complaining), I’ve decided to just throw in a good word for a bunch of his other adaptations. I’ll make a special note though about The Shining—forget Kubrick’s nonsense. Want an actually frightening film? Give the 1997 version a spin. It’s long—like, multiple disks long—but it’s absolutely worth it.

7. Sunset Blvd (1950)

There are few horror movies more classic or more unsettling than Billy Wilder’s Sunset Blvd, a movie about actors, a movie about screenwriters, a movie about artists (aka wild-eyed, lonely, self-absorbed, control freaks).

8. Capote (2005)

An eerily beautiful, deeply unsettling look at Truman Capote’s work in writing and researching his genre-bending creative nonfiction book In Cold Blood.

 

Happy Binge Watching!

Literary Magazines with Fast Response Times, Part II

Here’s Part II of a short list of literary magazines who have (or offer for a fee) super-fast response times to submissions:

Driftwood Press

Submission Period: Rolling

Genres Accepted: Fiction, Poetry, Visual Art, & Lit Crit/Interviews

Response Rate: They accept simultaneous submissions and, for $5, offer a premium submission option that promises a one-week turnaround.

Maudlin House

Submission Period: Currently Open

Genres Accepted: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Visual Art, Video, & Poetry

Response Rate: They accept simultaneous submissions and say they respond to all submissions within approximately two weeks. You can also pay $5 for an expedited submission with a 24-hour turnaround.

Carve Magazine

Submission Period: Rolling

Genres Accepted: Fiction

Response Rate: They accept simultaneous submissions, but not multiple submissions. If you become a subscriber, you can submit under a “premium” submission option, which promises a one-month turnaround.

Nat. Brut

Submission Period: Rolling

Genres Accepted: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Comics, CNF, & Poetry

Response Rate: They accept simultaneous submissions and, for a fee of $4, they promise a turnaround time of six weeks.

Gargoyle Magazine

Submission Period: Currently Closed

Genres Accepted: Fiction & Flash Fiction

Response Rate: They accept simultaneous submissions and usually get back to submitters within a week (personal experience has been fewer than three days!).

Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal

Submission Period: Rolling

Genres Accepted: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Visual Art, & Poetry

Response Rate: They accept simultaneous and multiple submissions, and have a turnaround time of ten days or fewer.

Blue Mesa Review

Submission Period: Open September 30 – March 31

Genres Accepted: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, & Art

Response Rate: They accept simultaneous submissions and, for a $3 fee, will expedite your submission with a promised turnaround time of thirty days or fewer.

Clarkesworld Magazine

Submission Period: Currently Open

Genres Accepted: SF&F

Response Rate: They do not accept simultaneous or mutliple submissions, but they usually get back to submitters within two to three days.

The Dark Magazine

Submission Period: Currently Open

Genres Accepted: Horror & Dark Fantasy

Response Rate: They do not accept simultaneous or multiple submissions, but they usually get back to submitters within two to three days.

 

Click here for Part I of this list*

Happy Submitting!

 

Sleep Paralysis: A Writing Prompt

“Imagine waking up to find you can’t move a muscle. It’s dark, but you’re sure you feel a presence in the room, hovering near your bed — or perhaps sitting on your chest, crushing the breath out of you. This weird phenomenon is known as sleep paralysis…”

–Stephanie Pappas, “What Makes Sleep Paralysis Scary

Sleep paralysis is a terrifying condition rife with dramatic possibilities. It’s already inspired countless horror films, stories, and paintings. Many artists have used devices like alien abductions, astral projection, and even possession in their attempts to translate the terror of sleep paralysis. How would you translate such an experience?

For more inspiration…

Can’t Move – The Sleep Paralysis Prompts,” Marie Lightman Prompt Response Blog

What Makes Sleep Paralysis Scary,” Stephanie Pappas, Live Science

31 Truly Terrifying Tales From People With Sleep Paralysis,” Dan Dalton, BuzzFeed

The Nightmare, A sleep paralysis documentary, Dir. Rodney Ascher

Feature image credit: Henry Fuseli (1781)

Books for this Halloween

First things first…the finalists for this year’s National Book Awards!

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Image from NPR, “Finalists Unveiled For This Year’s National Book Awards”

I can personally recommend from this list: Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap, Sy Montgomery’s Soul of an Octopus, and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me.


timthumbDeborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy is a terrific read. It’s got everything—witches, vampires, alchemists, murder plots, politics, dragons (well, wyverns, as Diana Bishop would correct me), the works. Harkness is a wonderful author, full of humor and action, but my favorite part of this series by far is its science history.


Anne Rice is always a classic when it comes to the creeps and crawlies, and her Mayfair series has everything you could want in a Halloween-time read.

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Things Withered smSusie Moloney’s Things Withered is spooky-meets-subtlety, capturing the eeriness of—as the title suggests—withering, of things not going according to plan, of things gradually, gruesomely dying.


For a fresh and truly haunting ghost story, definitely check out Jennifer McMahon’s The Winter People.

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Speculate on This! Lit Mags That Publish Speculative Writing | The Review Review

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Speculate on This! Lit Mags That Publish Speculative Writing | The Review Review

By Rachel Peterson

Why, one may ask, a separate genre for ‘speculation’?  Doesn’t all good writing, fiction or otherwise, speculate, arise from the imagination? ‘Speculative fiction’ as a genre implies Sci-fi, Fantasy & Horror all smooshed together. Because the genre itself pushes the traditional limits of genre, don’t be afraid to submit something strange. But strange just for the sake of strange is not likely to be published, as you’ll see...”

Speculate on This!
Speculate on This!