Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales edited by Poppy Nwosu
Hometown Haunts is all-Australian and all-amazing, bringing together some of our best established and emerging YA authors for a collection that will chill, thrill and leave you sleeping with the lights on.
Edited by Poppy Nwosu, the anthology is the first #LoveOzYA publication to focus exclusively on the horror genre. The impressive line-up includes Wai Chim, Sarah Epstein, Alison Evans, Lisa Fuller, Michelle O’Connell, Emma Preston, Holden Sheppard, Jared Thomas, Vikki Wakefield and Nwosu herself. Alongside these are stories by four writers – Margot McGovern, Emma Osborne, Marianna Shek and Felix Wilkins – which were selected through a competitive open call-out process.
This anthology digs up the horror genre and breathes new life into some classic tropes, while also shining a shaky torchlight on timely fears such as the climate crisis and the pandemic. There are stories about monsters, K-pop zombies and vengeful spirits – think twice before disturbing the resting sites of ancestors and watch out for those Hungry Ghosts! Not even our own minds can be trusted in these authors’ hands.
There are tension-breaking laughs when you need them and lots of breathtakingly beautiful writing, as well as two graphic stories by Michelle O’Connell and Emma Preston. It’s particularly exciting seeing Australian graphic stories included in a YA collection, as the medium is dominated by overseas creators.
The quality of storytelling and diverse perspectives and styles make Hometown Haunts one of the most exciting horror reads I’ve enjoyed in years. Alas, to read this collection is to be cursed to walk the earth raving about just how good it is! For ages 13+.