The Dread Writers Alliance

Workshops  |  Critique Groups  |  Mentoring


The Dread Writers Alliance (DWA) is The Dread Machine’s official support group for writers of horror, science fiction, dark fiction, and speculative fiction. Membership is entirely free. Any event proceeds are donated to literary charities.

Participating Members can expect to gain constructive feedback on their work and be held accountable for hitting deadlines. This group is organized, with detailed schedules, agendas, and participation expectations, but we’ll be taking a hybrid approach and switching up our style routinely. One month, we might focus on specific works. The next, we might be experimenting with a certain style or developing a particular skill. 

How It Works

Each month, up to eight Participating Members will workshop their stories together, with two participants presenting each week. Observers (passive participants) may not submit or present but are welcome to attend meetings, submit critiques, and chat about writing in the DWA Discord.


1.) Participating Members are required to submit stories and provide weekly critiques. Attending other events is entirely optional, but highly recommended.

2.) Criticism must be specific, constructive, and respectful. Cite specifics and be sure to be as generous with positive feedback as you are negative.

3.) If you receive criticism that you disagree with, keep it to yourself. Please remember that you’re here to become a better writer. You’ve joined because you want the assistance of other members.

4.) Do not disparage Kazoo Kid. We will not tolerate anyone who mocks our official mascot, Kazoo Kid. We like to sing, dance, pretend, and have fun fun fun fun FUN FUN FUN!


Join Today

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Upcoming Sessions

WIP Workshop

For our first month, participating members will share their current work-in-progress (up to 3,500 words). All members are welcome to provide constructive critiques and suggested resources.

Flash Fiction Workshop

During the month of February, we’ll be working from The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction, using the exercises to craft and perfect our own flash fiction stories.

Outline to Final Draft

In March, we’ll craft our original story outlines from scratch and flesh them into full drafts. Then, we’ll work together to polish them into publishable works of art.

Shared Universes

Create stories in a shared universe! Members will agree on a setting, time period, and rules, then each will write their own installments, centering around a shared world.

Emotion Workshop

In May, we’ll read and work through The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass. Participating members will create new stories or work to improve the emotional depth of existing drafts.