WiHM 2023: The Top 10 Women in Horror: A List of Pioneers and Innovators in the Genre

The Top 10 Women in Horror: A List of Pioneers and Innovators in the Genre

By Megan Taylor


Before we begin, a disclaimer – clearly, lists like this are subjective, and as you’ll see, my definition of Horror includes literary takes on ghosts and Gothic fiction in addition to celebrating more traditional monsters. I’m excited by writing that blurs genre boundaries and that expands Horror’s bloody beating heart to make readers think as well as shudder (though the shuddering’s also vital).


Narrowing this list down to just 10 women has been tough – there’s so much incredible talent out there – and I’d like to apologise too. I’ll undoubtedly be privately wrangling for days over the amazing authors I’ve missed out, particularly when it comes to the contemporary writers who kick off my list. With more space, I’d have added Catriona Ward, who has been entertaining and innovating since her novel, Rawblood, was first published in 2015, and Alison Moore for her elegant and devastating uncanny short stories. In fact, there are so many great women playing with different types of Horror right now (Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Chelsea G. Summers, Daisy Johnson, Tananarive Due, Tracy Fahey, Kirsty Logan, Lucie McKnight Hardy, Ally Wilkes and.. and…and…) that I probably can’t say sorry enough – except this list isn’t about my guilt but your dark reading pleasure. So, without any further apologies or excuses…