Horror Author WebQuest


Horror authors entertain and scare us with their vivid imagination and their writing skills. We all know about Stephen King, but do you know about the many other incredibly talented writers in the genre? Who are they?  What have they written?  What is the life of a horror writer really like?  Well, now is your chance to find out.


Remember, you are not choosing just any author, but an author that you would like to learn more about.  Your group will create a product and a presentation for the class that represents your author's life and work.


The purpose of this project is to allow you to become very familiar with a new author.  As a bonus, while you are learning about your author, you will also be sharpening both your research and writing skills. 



The purpose of this project is to allow you to become very familiar with a new author.  As a bonus, while you are learning about your author, you will also be sharpening your research, interviewing, and writing skills.


You will tell your readers' about the author's background and create a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) list of the most common questions asked about the author and his or her work. You may list the novels published by your author, or link to a site containing a list of the author's works. You will write at least one review of the author's novels. You will construct some sort of visual project to present to the class.



You have three tasks to complete to be successful in your WebQuest mission: 1. Create a Product, 2. Present the Product, and 3. Write about your experiences.  You will do two of the tasks with a group of students of your choosing.  One of the tasks will be completed by you as an individual. 



You will choose an author from those found through the Resources section. Visit the author's website and research the author's background and book information.


Follow these steps with your group to become an expert on your horror author:

1.) Get to Know the Author

2.) Read the Literature

3.) Write a Letter to Your Author

4.) Create Your Horror Author Project

5.) Exit Ticket Reflection (done individually)

6.) Personal Reflection (done individually)

7.) Presentation


Get to Know the Author

Using the resources listed in the Resources section below, research your author to find out the details of his/her life that would interest you and other fans. Some of the information that you are looking for should include:

Create a data sheet about your author and his/her books. Try to think of all the questions that a reader might want to ask of the author. Supply accurate answers to the questions.


Read the Literature

Read, analyze, and review at least 1 novel or collection of short stories, 8 short stories, or 15 poems by that author.

For help on writing a review:



Write a Letter to Your Author

Communicate with the author.  See if he/she would be willing to do an interview through email, mail, or phone.  For some question ideas, go here. Ask between 12 and 15 max.  You may ask less it is your choice.  Questions are in no particular order, so you can place questions in the order you would like.  Make sure to make up some that deal with the works you’ve read by that author.  The more probing the questions, the more in-depth the answers you are likely to receive.  Be polite and courteous.  You are asking someone to take time out of their busy schedule.  It is not something that they have to do.  Make sure to thank the author for their help when your project is done.  Most authors would also greatly appreciate hearing about how the final product and presentation went.


If you can’t get in contact with the author, you will need to find and read 2-3 interviews with that author.  (Google the author’s name + interview.  If it’s a common name, try adding the title of one of his/her more popular books.)


Create Your Horror Author Project

You will work with a group to create a product of your choice.  Some ideas: poster, PowerPoint presentation, video, website, deck of trivia cards, a poster advertising one of the author's books, or a scrapbook.  Your product should effectively communicate the information you discovered during your research about your author. 

Your project must include the following:

• A picture of the author

• Interesting facts

• A list of all of the books that the author has written (with a brief description of 6-10 of them).

• The sub-genre of the books (if known)

• A lengthy description of one book by your author

• What drew you to this particular author?


Write at least one review of the author's work with the aim of creating interest without giving away the ending of the story. Take a look at a sample book review at A Good Read to get an idea of how a book review should be written.


Exit Ticket Reflection

During the last ten minutes of each day’s research, each student will be given an “Exit Ticket” form.  You will write your answers to at least three of the questions on the form and turn it in for a daily reflection grade. Click here to go to page with the links for the “Exit Tickets.”  You may use some of your thoughts from your Exit Tickets to guide you as you are writing your personal reflection summary paper.  


Personal Reflection Summary Paper

You will write a one page paper describing your personal reflection to this project.  It should include the reasons why you do or do not feel personally connected to your author.  You should also reflect on the aspects (parts) of this project that you enjoyed as well as those you did not like. Think and write about the things you think you did well and those that you think needed to be improved upon. Click here for some questions to help you get started with your writing of this assignment.



Prior to the first student presentations the classroom teacher advises students of the three (3) components (parts) of their presentations. 

 1. Manner Presented To Audience:  The manner in which you present your product to the audience (your fellow classmates and teacher.)

Silly, laughing, giggling and getting distracted during the presentation? 

Prepared, organized, and truly did your best to showcase your product in a meaningful way?

2 and 3. Attentiveness and Respect: Amount of attentiveness and respectfulness shown to others during their presentations.












Horror of the 20th Century : An Illustrated History by Robert Weinberg

Horror: The 100 Best Books by Stephen Jones & Kim Newman

Horror: Another 100 Best Books by Stephen Jones & Kim Newman

Check out the Horror section of your local bookstore.

Search your library’s card catalog for the subject “Horror--fiction” or “Horror--stories”


Some links for classic horror authors

Arthur's Classic Novels - Gothic Tales from the Past (despite the title, is mostly short stories)
Works Referenced in Supernatural Horror in Literature
Literature of the Fantastic
Horror Masters Horror Library  
DagonBytes.com Library  
Project Gutenberg  




Students will be graded on the quality of their writing as well as the content of their final project. Have you revised your writing so that your finished product is reflective of your best effort? Is the final product and presentation informative, and does it invoke a curiosity to further explore the works of the author? Does your book review generate interest in the novel without giving away too many details of the plot which would destroy the story? Is the FAQ list interesting and accurate? Is your final project visually appealing?  A Student Self Evaluation Assessment is a good way to have students become responsible for their own learning.  While some students will work in groups of two or more on this webquest, the personal refection summary paper must be done individually.



 How was your project? Do you have a better understanding of how authors create their imaginative stories?


Now you've become a full fledged "Horror Author Expert."


You can now continue to expand your knowledge and find some other authors you'd like to become an expert on.


After completing this project, you will have learned a lot more about an author and his/her work than you knew at the beginning.  In addition, your project will create interest in the author's work and encourage others to read his/her works.


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