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Writers Workshop of Horror

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  204 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Writers Workshop of Horror focuses solely on honing the craft of writing. It includes solid advice, from professionals of every publishing level, on how to improve one's writing skills. The volume edited by Michael Knost includes contributions by a dream-team of nationally known authors and storytellers, many Bram Stoker Award winners. Contributors to this work include#58; ...more
Paperback, 262 pages
Published July 5th 2009 by Woodland Press, LLC
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Jul 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Quick review for a quick read. To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed by this compilation of writing advice in the horror genre, because while it has many great contributors and aspects of writing to consider, it's still very limited and for a limited audience who can get the fruit of its overarching points. Probably designed more in mind for the beginning writer who is not only looking for genre definition, but also writing definitions.

I will say that the information from all the articles given
Jun 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-writing
This book is really a mixed bag. There is an assortment of helpful advice, completely subjective information, some things that read like filler and an essay that is cringingly bad that should never have been published.

I write this review as a writer who has a handle on 'the basics'. I'm far from incredible but I do have a grasp on most of the general building blocks. Writers Workshop of Horror reads more like a guide for very new writers who are only just embarking into the field of fiction.

A go
On the first day of intro psych, our professor admitted that a lot of the fundamentals of psychology come off as rather obvious. People hear them and say, "Yeah, I knew that." I think it can be much the same with writing advice. Be sure to have strong beginning, middle, and ending, and make your characters interesting! Yeah, thanks. Some of the essays here left me feeling that way and one struck me as a bit on the obnoxious side.

There were bright spots, however. I very much enjoyed Arnzen's essa
Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Required reading for anyone even entertaining the thought of writing dark fiction. It's not the first book of its kind to come along, but it's a darned good one. Writers and others in the field contribute what might be considered their special insights on specific topics, which range from dialogue, action scenes, time management, and theme. This book has a permanent place on my bookshelf next to Mort Castle's "On Writing Horror" and Stephen King's "On Writing." ...more
T. Frohock
Feb 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a super book for writers and for horror fans who want to see what makes your favorite author tick.
Nayad Monroe
Jan 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Essays by well-known horror writers cover a diverse selection of topics about writing fiction, especially in the horror genre. All of them are useful, and many are excellent. Their information and advice will help new writers of any kind of fiction, not just horror. The book includes fascinating interviews with some of the top writers in the horror field.
Jan 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I thought Writers Workshop of Horror was going to be another run of the mill book about how to write. Boy, was I wrong. It’s a goddamn bible. It’s that good.
Greg Chapman
Sep 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The must have and must use addition to any budding writers bookshelf!
Bob Lewis
Jun 18, 2020 rated it liked it
As with any anthology of advice for creative endeavors, this book is a bit of a mixed bag. A few of the essays stood out as particularly useful. A few stood out, unfortunately, as decidedly *not* useful. Most offered sound advice, but failed to deliver anything particularly original.

If you're a very new writer, I highly recommend this book. You'd be well-advised to also go and find yourself a mentor to help you sift through its tips to sort the good from the bad and to adapt them to your own par
Angela Isaac
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
An interesting selection of essays and interviews from a diverse range of horror writers. I enjoyed reading insights into the authors' creative processes and found the practical advice useful.
This is more of a book to dip in and out of, rather than a workbook of exercises. I found useful writing techniques to add emotion, create suspense, and make my horror writing more scary. The authors cover a wide range of genres within horror; from supernatural thrillers to comedy horror, non-fiction, scre
Louisa Heaton
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable. Just one or two essays that didn't pertain to me, but they all had something valuable to give. Recommended for anyone who wants to write horror or put scary elements into their stories. ...more
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some essays were brilliant, others were so-so, but overall a good reference for new writers ... and some great reminders for the not-so-new among us.
Jai Rahim
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lots of excellent advice here.
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
From a small/indie publisher comes a solid compendium of essays and how-to's from a wide range of horror authors and critics. I thought the contributions from Mort Castle, Joe R. Lansdale, Brian Keene, Ramsey Campbell, Robert N. Lee, and Jack Haringa (who's essay is alternately titled, Lies the Internet Told You) were the standouts.

I didn't agree with every essay/how-to. For me, that's part of the fun of this kind of book. Confronting ideas about fiction, how it works, or doesn't work. But there
Michele Lee
Reviewed for

Imagine taking a college writing class where each day a new, experienced writer shuffles in, lectures the class on a new aspect of storytelling and writing, before walking away without another word, leaving the budding writers to digest and utilize the information as they like. Or perhaps two walk in, one interviewing the other, leaving you privy to what seems like intimate, insider knowledge. This is Writers Workshop of Horror. A comprehensive collection of es
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This isn't a writing book just for the horror genre, but for writing in general. While the essays are written by horror authors, and are specifically addressed to the horror writer, most of the advice could and should be applied to any genre. Some of it is the stuff you've heard before. Read widely and deeply. Write a lot. Some of it is relatively specific beyond the usual read, write, repeat. One of the most fantastic things about the book, however, is its insight into some of your favorite wri ...more
Guido Henkel
Feb 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
This assortment of tips from countless horror writers is filled with lots of good advice and tips for budding writers and those who simply want to refresh their memory when it comes to good style and effectiveness in the genre.

I have read a lot of books on writing and as such "Writers Workshop of Horror" didn't have a whole lot of new to add to the subject. Most of what is presented here I have read or heard elsewhere before. That is not necessarily a bad thing but for well-read authors, its inf
Theresa Glover
Like any compendium of writing advice, this book includes a wide range of opinion, suggestion and the expected warning "all writing advice is subjective, so you do you..." What makes this volume special is the wide range of authors included, the engaging and intimate way each chapter is written, and (for the horror writer) the focus on the quirks specific to the genre. This book doesn't contain revelations previously unknown, but its method of presenting the material makes it feel like a private ...more
Matt Moore
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
For new authors settling into writing, this book is worth reading slowly and carefully because the advice is excellent. And since there are so many authors, different chapters will appeal to different people.

For those more established, it may seem tedious since the advice is obvious—keep the middle of your story tense, make sure we care about your characters. Still, something I learned from martial arts is no matter how advanced you are, sometime you have to return to the basics & fundamentals.

Feb 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfic-writing
I thought this was a really good collection, and very thorough. There are interviews with Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, and F. Paul Wilson, and numerous essays on writing by the likes of Joe Lansdale, Tom Piccirilli, Jonathan Maberry, Michael Arnzen, and many more. The focus is primarily on horror, as the title suggests, but much of the advice holds true in general for writing.

The editor, Michael Knost, managed to get good, honest advice from all sorts of writers in the horror field, from the
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, writing
Writers Workshop of Horror is a collection of 28 short essays about writing, but geared towards horror writers. The book was a quick read and with short chapters, you aren't overwhelmed with too much content. Topics ranged from elements in writing, reading, interviews with authors, and publishing tips.
Since it's pretty comprehensive in topics, some chapters will have more or less relevance to you depending on what you know/don't know, and what you want to work on in your writing.
But overall, t
Katia M. Davis
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
A rather good collection of essays on writing horror. Practical advice that gets to the nitty gritty of the genre. Above all, it helps new or prospective authors realise those who have made it in the field had to start somewhere and they also made mistakes, felt embarrassed by things they had written, and had learned the hard way. Writers are not born a success, they have to work at it, sometimes for many years without recognition. This book may help others examine their own writing and improve ...more
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoy books of short essays like this, and I'm happy to say this one was no exception. I don't read much horror fiction, so I liked getting the many viewpoints on what makes horror (and often stories in general) successful. If you aren't interested in the writing process, there isn't much here for you, though. ...more
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely excellent collection of advice; nicely balanced, varied and extremely helpful. A mix of essays and interviews on several different aspects of writing, all written with passion, honesty and humour. Totally readable and entertaining. Perhaps the only criticism I'd have is the strong bias towards male writers, but then, that is representative of the industry. ...more
Rhonda Browning
Feb 18, 2011 marked it as to-read
From what I have read to date, this book would be helpful to any genre writer or writer of short stories. The compilation of authors who have contributed essays to this reference book are some of the best and most well-know in mystery, PI, suspense and horror writing.

So far, so good!
Nicole Galloway-Miller
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mfa-jan-2012
So far, I have found the articles in this writing guide extremely helpful.
Angie Lisle
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lots of good advice here.
Kenya Wright
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book for all writers. Especially those who don't necessarily write horror, but do write dark scenes. ...more
Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Solid and diverse collection of how-to essays on writing good horror fiction. A must reference for every writer's collection. ...more
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Bram Stoker Award-winner Michael Knost is an author, editor, and columnist of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and supernatural thrillers. He has written many books in various genres, helmed anthologies such as the Bram Stoker Award-nominated Barbers & Beauties. His Writers Workshop of Horror won the 2009 Bram Stoker Award for superior achievement in nonfiction. His critically acclaimed Writers W ...more

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