Parenthood: for some people, the word sparks feelings of joy. For others, it triggers a wave of panic. And, in many horror stories, parenthood is the stuff of nightmares. The horror genre is full of texts that use parenthood and guardianship as fertile territory through which to explore anxieties, fears, and the macabre. For example, films such as Prevenge (2016), Antibirth (2016), The Girl With All the Gifts (2016), Orphan (2009), The Bad Seed (1956), The Wailing (2016), The Void (2016), A Quiet Place (2018), and Before I Wake (2016); novels such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin (2003), and Stephen King’s Cujo (1981); and television shows including The Walking Dead (2010-).

Our February 2021 issue will explore pregnancy, parenthood, and guardianship, taking a look at horror films, television programs, novels, comics, and video games featuring characters or plots that tie into these themes. We are looking for pitches touching on a wide range of topics, including maternity horror, parenthood and gender, parenthood and race, parenthood and disability, guardianship during the apocalypse, familial dysfunction, monstrous reproduction, ‘bad seeds’, and other related concepts.

We also accept pitches for interviews, particularly with women involved with the creation of horror cinema/television (directors, editors, composers, costume designers, actors, sound designers, etc) and other horror content (authors, publishers, artists, YouTubers, journalists, academics, etc).

Personal essays are also highly encouraged. 

Desired topics include but are not limited to:

  • Cursed lineages (some potential texts: Hereditary or the Paranormal Activity series)
  • Monstrous children (some potential texts: The Orphan, The Bad Seed, We Need to Talk About Kevin)
  • Post-apocalyptic parenthood/guardianship (some potential texts: The Girl With All the Gifts, 28 Days Later (2002), Bird Box (2018), The Walking Dead)
  • Corrupted parenthood (some potential texts: The Babadook (2014), Friday the 13th (1980), Mom and Dad (2017), Oculus (2013))
  • Parental self-sacrifice (potential text: A Quiet Place)
  • The intersection of race and parenthood in genre film (potential text: The Bad Batch (2016))
  • Monstrous reproduction (some potential texts: Interview With the Vampire (1976/1994), Frankenstein, Demon Seed (1977))
  • Pregnancy and body horror (some potential texts: Antibirth, Inside (2007), The Brood (1979))
  • Parenthood and the cinematic treatment of disability (some potential texts: Hereditary and A Quiet Place)
  • Parents just don’t understand (potential text: the Child’s Play series)
  • Personal essays on fears relating to maternity and/or parenthood
  • Listicle: Top 10 Worst Parents in Horror
  • Listicle: Top 10 Horror Books for Kids

The texts listed are only suggestions, feel free to choose different texts for your pitch. Once a topic from the above list has been claimed, it will be removed. Consider listed topics still available at the time that you read them!

If you have an analysis, interview, essay, or listicle you’d like to pitch, please reach us via the Contact Form and provide a brief overview (including texts being covered), an estimated word count, and a link to relevant writing samples. Pitches may be submitted until September 30th. The final draft deadline is November 1st

As always, we want to hear from writers who identify as female, LGBT2QI+, BIPOC, and/or people with disabilities.

Stay spooky, loves!