Thursday 10: Ladies Writing Horror Fiction You Need to Read ASAP

I’ve been in the process of writing this for so long that it got way too big for me to fit into a single Thursday 10 post! I had to split it into two, so you’ll have the first installment with 10 amazing women writing horror fiction today, and then another 10 gloriously talented folks next week! I decided to hold off on sharing this list until now, ’cause we’re just about to enter one of my favorite reading months of the year – WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH!!!

I’m so grateful for finding women writing horror. As a girl growing up loving the genre, the overwhelming feeling that the only place I had in a horror setting was to die a horrible death with my chest bare was a little disheartening. I didn’t have enough women to look up to in the genre, and it wasn’t until joining #bookstagram and the bookish community online that I realized how much I was missing.

I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite ladies writing horror fiction & a couple of book recommendations for each, and urge you to check them all out ASAP! They’re super talented, and super twisted – and I love them for it! I’m also going to be sharing other lists, posts, and articles throughout the month that highlight a lot of these women, and their works!

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: As well meaning as I am with this, if I have incorrectly referred to anyone as the wrong gender, please let me know so that I can make changes moving forward! I never want to make anyone feel hurt, slighted, or anything negative at all when posting lists like these. I respect & use preferred names and pronouns whenever I’m able. If I’ve made a mistake, please help me to do better!

As with all my Thursday 10 lists, these are numbered, but not in any kind of order – Spot #1 is just as loved as Spots #3, 6, 9, etc!

1) Gwendolyn Kiste

Check out:

  • The Rust Maidens
  • Pretty Marys All in a Row

Gwendolyn’s writing is haunting and magical. Her short story collection, AND HER SMILE WILL UNTETHER THE UNIVERSE, was one of the very first books I bought after joining bookstagram a year ago ’cause I absolutely loved the cover, and loved that so many people were being vocal about an awesome lady writing horror. Her novella, PRETTY MARYS ALL IN A ROW, that was one of my favorite books read in 2018! And then she released her first full length book, THE RUST MAIDENS, last year! I’m planning to read it next month as a part of the Ladies of Horror Fiction readalong!

2) Christa Carmen

Check out:

  • Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked

Like Gwendolyn’s book, Christa’s SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLOOD-SOAKED was one I saw in people’s photos, and knew I needed immediately! This book cover is one of my favorite book covers of all time – just look at it, omg! These short stories are packed with all kinds of horror – from spooky stuff to real life addiction – and it’s not difficult to get sucked into these pages as soon as you open the book.

To Be Devoured Book Cover in front of Rainbow Bookshelves

3) Sara Tantlinger 

Check out:

  • To Be Devoured
  • Love for Slaughter

Sara’s LOVE FOR SLAUGHTER was my first introduction to horror poetry, and I quickly became obsessed. Her writing is descriptive and gorgeous, making the horrific things she’s writing about all the more terrifying. I own two of her poetry collections, and the novella pictured above, and haven’t given any of them less than a 5 star rating! TO BE DEVOURED was one of my top books of 2019 – it’s not for the squeamish, but I can’t recommend it highly enough!

4) Stephanie M. Wytovich

Check out:

  • The Apocalyptic Mannequin

Stephanie’s actually got a bunch of published works, but I’ve only had the chance to read one so far – which is totally okay, because that one has sold me completely on her as a writer, and I’m eager to bulk up my Wytovich collection once I’m able to! Her poetry is straightforward, vulnerable, and real – and I love it!

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon book cover

5) Jennifer McMahon

Check out:

  • The Winter People
  • The Invited

Jennifer is actually the author I’ve read the longest on this whole entire list! I started reading her more thriller type of novels when I was in my late teens / early 20s, and I gobbled them up as quickly as they were released. Since joining the bookish community, I’ve rediscovered my love of her writing with some of the newer, more horror-focused stuff she’s released – and I actually even got an ARC of her most recent novel, THE INVITED!! How bananas is that?! I’ve been reading her for a decade, and she sent me an early copy of her book! AHHHH!

Image result for erin sweet al mehairi breathe breathe

6) Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi

Check out:

  • Breathe. Breathe.

Where can I even start with Erin & her writing? She’s such an amazing part of the book & horror communities online, and it’s due to her support and vocal enthusiasm that I’d even heard of some of these books & authors! She works her butt off to promote and spread the word of book releases for her clients, and also writes her own incredible stuff, too! She’s an excellent resource for recommendations if you’re looking for new stuff to try reading, and just an all around amazing person and friend!

Book Cover and Review of Little Paranoias by Sonora Taylor

7) Sonora Taylor

Check out:

  • Little Paranoias: Stories

Sonora’s LITTLE PARANOIAS was of the last books I finished in 2019, and I adored the collection of short stories & poems so much that it made it onto my ‘best books of 2019′ wrap-up earlier this year! It’s such an incredible blend of stories, with enough variety to keep you completely absorbed throughout. I’m pretty sure I read this in a single sitting ’cause I just couldn’t pull myself away! She’s got a few more published works that I’m definitely going to be checking out this year for sure!

8) Christina Sng

Check out:

  • A Collection of Nightmares

Another entry to the dark/horror poetry genre, and this one is super gorgeous and a little different from some of the others in that it has a little bit more of a science fiction vibe to some of the collection! I really enjoyed that, since horror & sci-fi are my two favorite genres. Christina’s writing is beautiful, and although it’s not as outright gory or bloody as some of the other poetry collections I’ve read, there’s still a lot of darkness here, and I loved it!

9) Ania Ahlborn

Check out:

  • Brother
  • If You See Her

Ania’s a favorite in the horror writing community, and for good reason: her books are scary! She has a pretty decent sized collection of novels under her belt, and I think I own maybe 4 or 5 of them, including one that has two separate novellas inside. The first book I started with was BROTHER, and I never looked back – that one was completely twisted and engaging, and I’ve not been disappointed with anything else so far!

The Possession of Natalie Glasgow Book Cover

10) Hailey Piper

Check out:

  • The Possession of Natalie Glasgow

This was one of our Night Worms Book Party reads, and I’m so glad to have been a part of it, ’cause I absolutely loved this inventive little novella. Hailey put an extremely unique twist on your typical possession story, and I love what she did with it – and can’t see what else she comes out with! I just got her newest book, BENNY ROSE, THE CANNIBAL KING, and it’ll definitely be one of my #LOHF reads this upcoming month!


Are any of your favorites listed here? If not, don’t worry! Like I said, I have too many that I love, so I’ll have a Part 2 coming soon with 10 MORE Ladies Writing Horror Fiction You Need to Read ASAP next Thursday! Even then, there’s no way I’ll have everyone – I’m finding new authors that can be added to these lists every day! Who are some of your favorites??

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