Read This: Women Writing Horror


March 24, 2015 by Laird

Thank you to Mike Davis and the Lovecraft Ezine panelists for having me on the show the other night. Joe Pulver asked about women writers of horror. It’s an important topic because despite their important contributions to literature, representation of women in horror and the weird (especially horror) leaves much to be desired.

I’d like to follow-up my comments from the show with a (very) short list of women who are doing great work. ETA Please, feel free to list others in the comments.

Ellen Datlow

Paula Guran*

Ann VanderMeer*

*In a field managed by topnotch editors, these may be the three best.

S.P. Miskowski

Gemma Files

A.C. Wise

Chesya Burke

Anna Taborska

Sofia Samatar

Kelly Link

Kola Boof

Kaaron Warren


Aimee Bender

Damien Angelica Walters

Livia llewellyn

Yoko Ogawa

Karen Tidbeck

18 thoughts on “Read This: Women Writing Horror

  1. samsa says:

    Very engaging show the oher night. I just wanted to add Lynda E. Rucker to the list. Her collection The Moon Will Look Strange is one of the best debut collections i have read in the past few years.

  2. Thanks so much for this post, Laird. As a female horror author myself, this is a topic that I wish was discussed more. Jessica Amanda Salmonson in her feminist gothic collection WHAT DID MISS DARRINGTON SEE? addresses this question in her introduction and points out that the majority of gothic/horror stories used to be written by women.The real problem, as she saw it, was that these women were unable to STAY in print. Interesting to contemplate in today’s field where men dominate the charts. What a welcome sight to see respected male horror authors such as yourself bringing the topic to the table.

    A final note: Sarah Langan is an absolute must add to your list. Stellar horror author and three time Bram Stoker award winner.

  3. Joyce Carol Oates…her horror writing is some of the best I’ve ever seen and takes the genre out of its usual boundaries.

  4. samco13 says:

    I took a quick inventory of my To Read shelf and was chagrined by its homogeneity. Rectifying that now.

  5. EL Greiff says:

    Reblogged this on Greiffblog and commented:
    Für die Horrorfreundinnen* unter uns: Barron hat eine Liste von Schriftstellerinnen gemacht, die Horror oder Weird Fiction mit Horroreinschlag schreiben – ich kenne nur wenige Autorinnen auf dieser Liste (aber immerhin ein paar!) und habe da einiges anzuarbeiten – Freude! Schön ist auch, dass er alles direkt verlinkt hat und die Autorinnen (wie im Genre üblich) gern die kurze Form bedienen. So kann man umso mehr unterschiedliche Stimmen hören.

    *Horrorfreunde dürfen sich selbstverständlich auch angesprochen fühlen.

  6. lilthundercloud says:

    That was a terrific episode on Sunday night!
    There are so many wonderful female authors, the list is virtually endless. Thank you for addressing this topic, you continue to make people quite thoughtful.

  7. I’d like throw in Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Flash Frame is an awesome reinvention of the King in Yellow.

  8. Paige Ellen says:

    i have to admit to being shocked by the absence of Caitlin R. Kieran. I am disappointed not to see the name of Mercedes M. Yardley missing. Her novella, Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: An Atomic Love Story, puts her on the list. Her other works have only managed to cement her place as a star among horror writers, women or not.

    • Paige Ellen says:

      I apologize for misspelling Caitlin R. Kiernan’s surname. I guess my fingers typed it that way because my son is named Kieran. Just want to straighten that out.

    • Laird says:

      Kiernan is quite vocal about not being a horror author. I keep that in mind when discussing horror fiction and the people who write it.

      I’m sorry for your shock and disappointment–it seems clear that I did not present this as a conclusive list. I welcome additions in the comments.

    • lilthundercloud says:

      It’s odd that such umbrage is being taken here. As Laird pointed out, the list he compiled was indeed short and incomplete. Part of the fun is in adding your best-loved authors to the list. No one should be shocked or disappointed when they don’t see their favorite author. Just add a name or two and smile because you just might turn someone on to a new author!

  9. Completely agree, lilthundercloud. I think it’s important to be having the conversation in general and to continue building with it and know that no list can ever be conclusive. Just great that everyone is sharing and discussing and that Laird is providing a platform.

  10. […] A List of Women Writing Horror (Laird Barron) […]

  11. I just bought three titles from the writers you listed Laird. Reading the Ogawa now. Thank you.

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