I haven’t posted for a while.I’m lazy, I’ve got kids, and I’ve been trying to get some stories out on submission and drum up another editing gig. These are all good reasons to not be blog posting. A good reason to be log posting is Women in Horror Month! WiHM is actually February, but the added benefit of me being lazy, is that March can now be WiHM too! YAY!
So many amazing women are doing cool things in horror. I like to think that they’re not overlooked or treated differently from male writers although I know this isn’t true. Aside from general issues relating to sexism that women face within the publishing industry (It exists, I’ve seen it first hand), they have to put up with a bizarre niche of misogynistic writers who feel that women can’t or shouldn’t write horror. I wasn’t really surprised when we had a number of idiots come out during WiHM and say bizarre and offensive things. Not only did we have an emerging author bullied and insulted, we had women in horror in general referred to as “hags” (amongst other offensive comments), and one well-known and respected author was derided as “over-rated”, “awful” and only successful because women like her and she has a large female readership (as though that is a bad thing).
These events were quite frustrating but I was heartened by the supportive response of the guys in the horror fiction community who spoke out against the few douchecanoes. I was also heartened by the response of many publishers who spoke out against this disgusting behaviour. Good on them. This raised the issue of publisher and editor blacklists, whether they exist, and how professional they are. Different people have different views on the matter but I think it is healthy that people are having a conversation about how to deal with issues of sexism, misogyny and general asshattery.
Many of the writers I know and respect most are female horror writers. Whether it is established authors such as talented and lovely Kaaron Warren, the amazing Angela Slatter, or emerging writers friends of mine such as Sarah Read or Karen Runge, there are some fantastically talented women writing in the horror genre who deserve the recognition they’re attracting and the awards that they’re receiving. I’ve learned a lot from them, both in the professional aspects of writing and in the art of storytelling. I aspire to be as capable and as successful as these women. I look forward to learning more from the women in our fiction writing community and collaborating with them. I look forward to reading their fantastic stories… many of which I find more confronting or terrifying than the work written by a lot of men, perhaps because the ladies are writing from a different place.
Below are a list of 10 writers, including publications where there work may be fonud. Most of the listed publications are horror although some of the authors write in multiple genres. Among their ranks are British Fantasy Award winners, Aurealis Award winners, World Fantasy Award winners and nominees, Shirley Jackson Award winners,— and others who, I’m sure, will be receiving similar accolades in the near future! I know some of these ladies personally and have had the pleasure of working with some of them. (The list is slightly biased towards Australian writers because I’m Australian and have gone out of my way to read some fiction by Australian authors.)
Kaaron Warren – Slights, Mistification, Walking the Tree, The Gate Theory (Collection), Through Splintered Walls (collection), Nightmare Magazine.
Margo Lanagan – Tender Morsels, Sea Hearts, Blood and Other Cravings, Exotic Gothic 4, Black Juice (Collection) , Cracklescape (Collection).
Karen Runge – Shock Totem magazine, Pseudopod (podcast), Suspended in Dusk (anthology), Death’s Realm (anthology)
Sarah Read – Black Static Magazine, Suspended in Dusk (anthology), Pantheon Magazine (editor), Vine Leaves Literary Journal.
Angela Slatter – Sourdough and other stories (collection), The Bitterwood Bible and other recountings (collection), A Book of Horrors (anthology), Nightmare Magazine, The Spectral Book of Horror Stories (anthology), Weirder Shadows over Innsmouth (anthology).
Icy Sedgwick – The Guns of Retribution, The Necromancer’s Apprentice, Bloody Parchment (anthology), Suspended in Dusk (anthology).
Wendy Hammer – Pantheon Magazine, Suspended in Dusk (anthology), Cross Cutting novella trilogy (forthcoming 2015)
Nerine Dorman — Inkarna, Raven Kin [The BlackFeather Chronicles], Bloody Parchment (editor), Dark Harvest (editor), War Stories (anthology), Midian Unmade (anthology).
Felicity Dowker – Scary Kisses (anthology) Aurealis Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Bread and Circuses (collection), Midnight Echo Magazine.
S.G Larner – Equilibrium Overturned (anthology), Suspended in Dusk (anthology), SQ magazine, Phantazein (anthology), Bloody Parchment (anthology).