13 Creepy Books For Halloween Written by Women


Sure, there are a few impressive male horror writers out there (I hear this Stephen King guy is a real up and comer), but most of the stories that truly give me waking nightmares are penned by women. Perhaps it’s because women already know the horror of living under the patriarchy, or because many women (though certainly not all) have bodies that do things like bleed and give birth to small screaming demons, but women-centric horror seems to be particularly brutal. Here are a few deliriously creepy books written by women (but you might want to keep the lights on).

Women have been writing horror for a long time, too. Cool goth teen Mary Shelley kick-started the modern horror genre with Frankenstein, which just so happened to also start our modern genre of science fiction (because everything you love was invented by teen girls). Shelley also learned how to write her name by tracing the letters on her mother’s grave, because she is more goth than you. Since that first story of reanimated corpses and irresponsible scientists, horror has evolved from Gothic novels of adventure and woe to creepy modern stories that will crawl under your skin and keep you up at night. Here are just some of the must-read horror stories by and about women:

1. ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ by Shirley Jackson

Merricat Blackwood lives in a big house with her beloved sister and her confused uncle. Everyone else in their family is dead. As we get to know Merricat, our narrator, and her strange world of make-believe, we start to get the sneaking suspicion that something is a bit… off with the Blackwood family. Or perhaps very off. We Have Always Lived in the Castle is quite simply a masterpiece of creepy tension, culminating in a plot twist that will make you want to hide under the covers.

2. ‘White is for Witching’ by Helen Oyeyemi

The haunted house is a pretty standard horror trope. But in Helen Oyeyemi’s hands, the haunted house becomes a beautiful, emotional punch to the gut. White is for Witching is the story of the Silver family, who are trying to recover from a tragic loss. The daughter, Miranda, seems to be manifesting her grief by hearing women in the walls and developing a newfound appetite for chalk, until the dark night that she vanishes completely.

3. ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca is about as classically creepy as you can get. At first glance, our heroine seems to be living in a romance novel: she’s a lowly orphan maid who’s been swept off her feet by dashing widower Maxim de Winter. Great, right? But once she arrives at Mr. de Winter’s enormous country estate, she begins to realise that the previous Mrs. de Winter might be threatening to destroy her marriage from beyond the grave.

4. ‘Thus Were Their Faces: Selected Short Stories’ by Silvina Ocampo

Possession in a house of sugar. A marble statue of a winged horse that speaks to a little girl. Arsonist children who lock up their own mothers. A little dog who can record dreams. I don’t know where Silvina Ocampo gets her bizarre, surrealist ideas, but her short stories are brilliant and creepy as hell.

5. ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley

You can’t talk about lady horror authors without talking about Mary. Frankenstein was not technically the first Gothic novel, but a lot of our horror tropes started with this one weird book. If you only know the Hollywood version, check out the original novel: it still holds up as the creepy, gut-wrenching story of one mad scientist who was also a terrible father to his corpse baby.

6. ‘And Then There Were None’ by Agatha Christie

Ten strangers, each with their own dark and complicated past, find themselves invited to the same island for an eccentric millionaire’s party. But surprise: there’s no party, and the guests keep dying, one by one, in all sorts of inventive ways that also just so happens to be written in a poem on the wall. And Then There Were None combines everything you love about the game Cluedo with everything you love about Saw, and it’s a must-read for all horror fans.

7. ‘The Fever’ by Megan Abbott

Deenie and Eli Nash are typical high school kids: Deenie the diligent student and Eli the hockey star and popular jock. But when Deenie’s best friend has some sort of seizure in the middle of class, the Nash family find themselves in the middle of a growing hysteria. There is some spreading contagion in this idyllic suburban town, and no one knows where it came from, or how to stop it.

8. ‘Bødy’ by Asa Nonami

The word “body” is already pretty horrifying. Asa Nonami’s Bødy takes it a step further, though, with thematically linked stories of straight up body horror. Each of the five stories focuses on someone’s perception of a body part, covering the buttocks, blood, face, hair and chin, and each story is more chilling than the next.

9. ‘Ghost Summer: Stories’ by Tananarive Due

Gracetown is a sleepy little town in rural Florida, so you know something creepy is about to go down. In Ghost SummerTananarive Due weaves together one novella and several short stories to tell us of both literal and figurative ghosts. Her stories look at the people affected by the strange and paranormal and, in at least one tale, even take on the monster’s perspective.

10. ‘How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend’ by Linda Addison

Don’t think poetry can be horrifying? Try reading Linda Addison. How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend includes both fiction and poetry, and both will give you the sneaking suspicion that someone is watching you from the crack in the closet door. Here you’ll find young witches, UFOs, land sharks, and a haunting look at Halloween paranoia.

11. ‘Strangers on a Train’ by Patricia Highsmith

Guy Haines and Charles Anthony Bruno are passengers on the same train. They both have people in their life who are giving them grief. They both kind of wish those people would go away. So they figure… why not help each other out with a little outsourced murder? Strangers on a Train is more in the thriller/mystery vein than typical horror, but Highsmith’s ability to get inside a murderer’s mind is about as creepy as it gets.

12. ‘The Shining Girls’ by Lauren Beukes

Time traveling serial killers. Time traveling serial killers. Harper Curtis is a man from another time, and Kirby Mazrachi is a girl who isn’t supposed to have a future. Harper is meant to kill all of the “Shining Girls” throughout history, but Kirby is determined to bring him to justice. Half horror thriller, half sci-fi mystery, The Shining Girls will keep you guessing as Kirby draws closer to the impossible truth.

13. ‘Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?’ by Joyce Carol Oates

For a short horror read that will utterly ruin your entire life, try Joyce Carol Oates’ Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? It’s loosely based on a real life serial killer (so that’s fun), but it’s also kind of about the devil. The entirety of Oates’ creepiest story revolves around a strange man called Arnold Friend trying to coax a young woman into his car. That’s it, that’s the whole plot. But it’s so stomach-churning, so chilling, so next-level creepy that Arnold Friend will stay with you for a long, long time.

Happy reading!


Via: https://www0.bustle.com/13-creepy-books-for-halloween

The 2017 Baileys Prize Winner Is Revealed…


We’re delighted to announce that this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction has been awarded to British author Naomi Alderman with her fourth novel The Power.

At an awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London – hosted by novelist and Prize Co-Founder, Kate Mosse – the 2017 Chair of Judges, Tessa Ross presented the author with the £30,000 prize and the ‘Bessie’, a limited edition bronze figurine. Both are anonymously endowed.

Tessa Ross, 2017 Chair of Judges, said: “The judges and I were thrilled to make this decision. We debated this wonderful shortlist for many hours but kept returning to Naomi Alderman’s brilliantly imagined dystopia – her big ideas and her fantastic imagination.”

Alderman’s win comes just over a decade after her debut novel Disobedience, won the 2006 Orange Award for New Writers. Set up in 2005,to mark the 10th anniversary of the Orange Prize*, the emphasis of the Award was on emerging talent and the evidence of future potential.

“Congratulations to Naomi Alderman – her winning novel The Power is a wonderful example of the exceptional writing the Prize champions, ” commented SylSaller, ChiefMarketingOfficer, Diageo“Baileys is enormously proud to partner with the Prize who have created an open platform for the sharpest, smartest, most compelling women’s writing in the English language.”

For a chance to win a copy of The Power, Naomi’s incredible Baileys Prize-winning novel, keep an eye on the @BaileysPrize Twitter and Instagram!

Plus read an extract of The Power here >

Via: http://www.womensprizeforfiction.co.uk/

A Room of One’s Own | Helen Scheuerer


When Virginia Woolf wrote A Room of One’s Own she referred to not only the physical space a woman needs to write, but also the need for room in education and the literary world for female writers to overcome the patriarchal nature of society.

Though I dare to say we are in no shape to dismiss these matters just yet, I’m not about to embark upon dissecting the latter topic in this article. What I do wish to talk about, is the need any writer has (woman or man) for a physical work space to call their own.

Like many writers, I’ve lived and worked in some pretty cramped places; from an office that squeezed twenty writers around one trestle table (elbow-to-elbow) to a studio apartment shared with an equally hardworking partner.

I’ve certainly longed for the luxury of my own desk (let alone my own room). It’s because of these experiences over the past few years that I’ve come to realise the importance of having your own work space, whether it’s a coffee table in the corner of a tiny room or an actual office.

Writing is, for the most part, a solitary venture. We lock ourselves away in the world we are creating and don’t want to be disturbed.

Personally, I can’t stand the noise of the television blaring, or people clanging about downstairs unnecessarily, though over the years I’ve become better at tuning it out.

These intrusions usually serve as distractions from our craft, and there really is nothing worse, considering how many of us struggle to find time for it in the first place.

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.

Try and find yourself a little nook in the house where you can set yourself up a desk (it doesn’t have to be imposing). This desk should be yours and yours alone.

You should be free to leave your books open, your papers loose and your pen lidless, without the fear of having someone come along and moving things around.

Having this space is so important to your creative well being. It allows you to create routine, to stay focused and to have discipline. When you are sitting at your desk, there is only one thing you should be doing: writing.

Woolf said we needed money and a room of our own. I’d say that we need to get the room first (or at least the desk), and the money will come later. Hopefully.

Via: http://writersedit.com/room-ones-own/

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist Books | Waterstones


Presenting the Shortlist from the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is the UK’s most prestigious annual book award for fiction written by a woman. Founded in 1996, the Prize has consistently delivered winners which have become a vital part of who Waterstones is as a bookseller, from titles of the power of Zadie Smith’s On Beauty in 2006 to last year’s victory of Lisa McInerney for The Glorious Heresies.

It’s a pleasure to present the shortlist for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017. Once again, the Baileys judging panel have selected an exquisite list of treasures.

You can find out more about each of these books, read their full synopsis and even purchase it if you like, by following this link: https://www.waterstones.com/book-awards/the-baileys-womens-prize-for-fiction

Revealing the Baileys Prize 2017 Shortlist



We’re absolutely thrilled to reveal the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist. This year’s six shortlisted books include one previous winner of the Prize and one debut novelist.

“It has been a great privilege to Chair the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction in a year which has proved exceptional for writing of both quality and originality,” said Tessa Ross, 2017 Chair of Judges. “It was therefore quite a challenge to whittle this fantastic longlist of 16 books down to only six… These were the six novels that stayed with all of us well beyond the final page.”

The shortlisted books are as follows:

Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀̀
The Power  Naomi Alderman
The Dark Circle by Linda Grant
The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan
First Love by Gwendoline Riley
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

This year’s judges now have the unenviable task of choosing the winner from these six brilliant books, which will be revealed at an awards ceremony hosted in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall on 7 June 2017.

Keep tabs on all things Baileys by visiting the original article here:  http://www.womensprizeforfiction.co.uk/reading-room/news/revealing-2017-shortlist

Book Review: The Lonely Hearts Hotel | Heather O’Neill


A detailed review by Naomi Frisby of The Lonely Hearts Hotel written by Heather O’Neill, which has been long-listed for the Baileys Prize – warning this review does contain spoilers, and by the sounds of the reactions of the Baileys Prize shadow panel, it’s a Marmite book – you will either love it or hate it.

Read more here and decide what you think: https://thewritesofwoman.wordpress.com/the-lonely-hearts-hotel-heather-oneill