In 1818, Mary Wallstonecraft Shelly wrote Frankenstein, one of the first horror-themed novels, and opened a new door for women writers. Since then, many writers, both male and female, have ventured and experimented in the genre and have given the world chills and nightmares for days and sometimes weeks. Today, we list five of our favourite contemporary women authors writing horror fiction.


Anne Rice Picture By: Instinct Magazine
Anne Rice
Picture By: Instinct Magazine


Vampire stories have been the craze for almost a decade now and Anne Rice is the woman who started it. She transformed the two-dimensional Vampires to complicated and even seductive protagonists. Till date, she has written over 30 books and has sold over 100 million copies. Some of her best works include, ‘Interview with the Vampire’ (1976), Vampire Chronicles series, ‘The Mummy,’ ‘The Witching Hour’ (1990), and her latest, ‘The Wolf Gift’ (2012).


Sarah Langan Picture By: Joseph Mallozzi
Sarah Langan
Picture By: Joseph Mallozzi


Langan started her career writing short stories and soon moved on to writing books. Only three novels old: ‘The Keeper’ (2006), ‘The Missing’ (2007), and ‘Audrey’s Door’ (2009); Langan is a three time Bram Stoker winning author. Influenced by Russell Banks, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King and Kelly Link, among others; Langan is one of the most promising writers in the genre today.


Sarah Pinborough Picture By: World Horror Convention
Sarah Pinborough
Picture By: World Horror Convention


Often compared to accomplished personalities like Dean R. Koontz and Bently Little; Sarah Pinborough’s most popular work is post-apocalyptic themed. Having written novels like, ‘The Hidden’ (2004), ‘The Reckoning’ (2005), ‘Breeding Ground’ (2006), ‘The Taken’ (2007), ‘Tower Hill’ (2008) and ‘Feeding Ground’ (2009), she has won numerous awards including the 2010 British Fantasy Award for Best Novella and has been shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson Award and the World Fantasy Award.


Toni Morrison in New York


Even though horror isn’t her chief field of writing, Morrison’s novel ‘Beloved’ went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988 Pulitzer Prize, the American Book Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award, along with several others. One of the most successful authors of our times, Morrison is the first African-American woman to have on a Nobel Prize and very recently, also received the honourable Presidential Medal of Freedom.


Seanan McGuire, author


Mira Grant or Seanan McGuire is a horror- genre author and filker. Living in a sleazy old farmhouse in Northern California, Grant in personal life is drawn to anything and everything venomous. One of the recently published gems in the genre, Grant is recipient of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer by the World Science Fiction Convention and two of her books ‘Feed’ and ‘Deadline’ have been nominated for Hugo Awards.


[Featured Picture Courtesy:]