How Do Beginner Horror Writers Make Money?

How Do Beginner Horror Writers Make Money?

Many people write fiction because it is their passion. They find it amazing to weave a story together and create a masterpiece that has never existed before. This skill needs to be monetized, especially when you specialize in the horror genre. It takes something special to create a story that is intriguing and highly terrifying to the readers. However, making money as a horror writer often feels like an impossible goal to achieve. 


In reality, though, there are several ways that beginner horror writers can make the most of their skill by making money off it. You just may not have found them yet, but this article would show you a few ways.


Submit your horror stories to websites

Submitting your horror stories is one of the surest ways to make money as a writer. Several websites and magazines compile stories from different genres, including horror. Many of these websites pay you for your work and give you exposure, while others only provide you with exposure. You know which one you prefer.

According to creative writers at essay writing service uk, below are some websites that accept submission for horror stories and pay the author. 

  • Solarcide: this website is slightly odd, but they release story collections periodically and also pay the author $50 for each story that they feature. Their submission guidelines are intentionally vague. However, they emphasize dark and weird writings. Submissions are only open periodically, so you may need to check back consistently. 
  • Unfading Daydream: this website is relatively small, but they publish stories and pay about $5 – $10 for each accepted submission. They emphasize mainly horror, supernatural, sci-fi, and fantasy. 
  • Apex Magazine: this magazine accepts stories up to 7500 words long and pays $0.06 per word. Horror is one of the accepted genres, as well as fantasy and science fiction. 
  • Clarkesworld: this magazine is well-known for sci-fi and fantasy and does not target horror specifically. However, their guidelines still make it possible to submit and have them accept a horror story. You have to avoid some overused themes. It offers good pay – $0.10 per word for the first 5000 words and $0.08 for any additional words. However, competition is very stiff. 


Obviously, you can also check out Horror Tree as the website is created specifically for horror writers. It provides detailed and accurate information about other websites that pay horror writers for their stories and competitions they can enter. This brings us to another means for horror writers to make money: competitions.


Enter into competitions

Entering into competitions is another means also to make money. Competitions do not pay you for the story you have written. However, if it is good enough to win the competition, then you will get the grand prize. 


Some competitions allow you to write as much as you want to within your genre, and some others give a word limit. There may also be prompts or style for you to follow for different competitions. 


One of the biggest challenges with this is finding the competition. These competitions are usually time-specific, and they do not get good publicity. Also, being a horror writer means that you are niche-specific, limiting your options compared to other literary fiction. 


Inkitt is a good platform for you to start from, though. While it is not a horror-specific website, it gives you updates about current writing competitions and all the necessary information, including requirements and prizes. You are likely going to find lots of options that are not relevant to a horror writer, but if you take your time, you might find one that suits your niche. 


Google search is another way for you to find writing competitions for the horror niche. Ensure to add the current year in your search so you can find recent and ongoing competitions instead of expired ones. Competitions are pretty tricky too. So, even if you find a viable competition, it is likely to have its guidelines and need a specific piece before joining the competition. Writing a story for each competition takes time and effort, especially since some contests have strict conditions that restrict you from submitting the same story somewhere else. 


So, you need to weigh up a competition’s pros and cons before you join in. The truth is, not all contests are worth joining, especially when the prize money is not good enough. You may send something you have written before, but if they want a new piece, then it may not be worth it. 



For many years, book publishing was an extreme sport for writers. They struggled to find companies to help publish their work, so they had to submit the manuscripts to tens and hundreds of publishing companies. The chances of success were low given the number of writers and that readers preferred an established name. 


You could go through the self-publishing route for physical books, and many printers still offer this service. However, this means that you also need to find a spot to market and sell your book effectively. 


However, self-publishing is much easier with the development of eBooks. For instance, Kindle Direct Publishing by Amazon allows you to self-publish your eBook, and you have to pay them a commission from your book sales. This will enable you to self-publish your book with ease and at a minimal cost.


Self-publishing has the highest potential for returns if the audience is interested and willing to read your book. You do not have to find buyers for each story, but you are paid per sale. You also do not have to worry about ongoing costs since it is a non-physical product you are promoting.



Being a beginner horror writer means that you may struggle to make money from your talent and establish your name. However, it is no longer as difficult as it used to be. You can enter for competitions, submit online, or self-publish.

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