Horror: The Finest Emotion
by Rocky Wood, HWA President
Well, here we are—nearly at Halloween. Thanks to those of you who’ve been following HWA’s “Halloween Haunts” since October 1 and those who joined later. If you only got on board today, lucky you—you have a mass of wonderful material from some of the world’s best horror writers here that you can go back and read! Congratulations to the winners of the various prizes offered and thanks go to those who offered them.
If you’re new to the Horror Writers Association this month we’ve enjoyed your company but don’t go away, as we have great new horror material going up on this blog constantly. And if you’re a horror writer with some publication credits or an aspiring writer in our genre let me encourage you to join us.
Our Membership Requirements are here: http://www.horror.org/memrule.htm. And here are some of the many, many benefits of being a member of the genre’s premiere writers’ group: http://www.horror.org/joinhwa.htm.
If you are only relatively new we have a membership category just for you—Supporting, a great way to involve yourself in the publishing milieu that is horror as you look to develop your career.
In his classic study of the horror genre Stephen King wrote: I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. I’m not proud. And in that quote, you will find one of the great truths of the horror genre—we are a broad tent that covers every type of dark fiction—we care less about definitions and critics than any other literary form. We don’t censor each other and we recognise that there are many sub-genres of our craft, each of which seeks its own readership. This is a boon to writers—a welcoming group of professionals and aspiring writers in which you can immerse yourself.
And this is a great time of the year to join—HWA has pro-rated Annual Dues. This means you can join now for the balance of 2011 for only $20 for most membership types, and $25 for Supporting Members. Renewals follow early in 2012, with annual dues only $65 for most membership types, and $45 for supporting members.
Perhaps you are “only” a reader, not a writer—then you are doubly welcome to this blog. There are rather obviously thousands of readers for every writer and we appreciate your support. Perhaps you’d be interested in having a local horror author speak at your local library, readers’ circle or community group. If so please feel free to reach out to us—we may well have members in your area who might be able to participate; and we have many members who do book and promotional tours that often include high schools as well (for young adult readers).
And don’t forget HWA is a worldwide organization—we have large memberships in Canada, the UK, Australia, Italy and many other countries. And we cover many aspects of the genre that might not be so obvious—including poetry, screenplays, graphic novels/comics and of course the vibrant realm of young adult fiction.
As a reader of this blog, it’s really up to you as to how you might further participate —from reading the blog, to reading our members’ works, to working on your dark fiction writing, to joining the Association. Whatever you choose, we welcome you and thank you for your continued participation in our literary world.
Finally, let me encourage you to consider attending one of the many horror genre conventions in 2012, including the 25th Anniversary Bram Stoker Awards Banquet and Celebrate HWA Day at World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City on 31 March 2012: http://www.stokers2012.org/.