Lots of people talk about the “horror community.” There are even a few social media hashtags such as #horrorcommunity, #horrorfamily, and #horrorfam. But what does community really mean when it comes to us dark scribes?
Our experience at Denver Horror Collective has been that the idea of a wider horror community can sometimes be a bit of a misnomer. The vast majority of newbies who write a piece of short or long fiction and try to get people to read it, review it, or even like a social media post about it quickly find themselves alone in the dark.
Years ago, a few of us living in and around Denver were going through that very struggle. After years of frustration, disappointment, and alienation, we found one another and joined forces to birth a REAL community of mutual appreciation and support. Our vow wasn’t to isolate ourselves in yet another exclusive clique but instead create a kind of “open source” group where ANY dark fiction writer (from horror to sci-fi to fantasy to crime) would be welcome with open arms.
Obviously, most of DHC’s 50 plus members live in Colorado, as physical place is not just important for bonding people together but can create a common thread in the writing, as if from the mountain air itself.
That being said, we have members from across the country—even the world—who participate virtually in our events, critique groups, and anthology publications, and those folks are every bit as valuable as anyone living in downtown Denver.
Of course, DHC membership isn’t just something to mention in a cover letter or social media bio, as we offer over a dozen coveted benefits to boost the professional and social lives of every horror writer, and for only $20 a year!
Plus, we’re governed by a 9-member volunteer steering committee, where the only qualification for leadership is putting in a little time and effort giving back to others.
Needless to say, we at Denver Horror Collective take community very seriously, and while we’re always striving for improvement, we believe we’re a pretty good model of what an actual horror fiction community can be. So if you have any constructive and workable ideas for how to make things even more supportive and inclusive, we’d love to hear from you at submissions [at] denverhorror.com.