Writing Middle Grade Horror

As I plug away at the third draft of my middle grade adventure/friendship novel, I find myself daydreaming about my next project. I really want to write a middle grade horror novel. No concrete ideas yet, but I want to write something scary for the 8 to 12-year-old audience.

The problem is I’ve never even dabbled in the horror genre as a writer. Not a-once. And even worse, I’m having a hard time finding resources and analysis that I can really sink my teeth into. The internet is full of articles and thoughts on other MG genres. But horror? Not so much. At least according to my googling.

I’m reading a few MG horror novels now to get perspective. Mentor texts are amazing. But I’d love some direction from MG horror authors. So I turn to all of you.

Have you read articles or books on the genre? Taken classes or attended webinars? Anything you’d like to share? Brilliant mentor texts?

Please and thank you!


6 thoughts on “Writing Middle Grade Horror

  1. I’ve been working on a MG ghost story for what feels like forever, so have read a ton of great MG creeptastic spooky books, always surprised how dark they sometimes are and how funny they can be at the same time. Love Eva Ibbotson’s entire backlist, more recently DOLL BONES, SPIRIT HUNTERS, A BABYSITTER’S GUIDE TO MONSTER HUNTING…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the recommendations, Hannah! I loved Doll Bones. I’m working through The Jumbies right now. I haven’t read these books, but they’re on my list of to-reads: The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street, Open If You Dare, Skeleton Man, The Inn Between, Serafina and the Black Cloak, and The Ghosts is Tupelo Landing.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t forget the master of midddle-grade terror: John Bellairs! Some other creepy kids’ authors to check out are Dan Poblocki and Mary Downing Hahn. But the two scariest writers for that age group are Jonathan Stroud (Lockwood & Co. Series) and Joseph Delaney (The Spook’s Apprentice)!


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