Horror Writers Association Blog

Officer Candidate Statements 2016

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Officer Candidate Statements collected by the 2016 HWA Election Committee (Chair: Jason V. Brock). Ballots will be distributed on 9/26/16. Only Active and Lifetime members may vote. There are three open Trustee positions.


 


Linda Addison

I am running for the position as Trustee because I believe that an organization is made from individuals. We are each connected to each other, making the whole. I am committed to the organization supporting the members in the best, most inclusive way possible. Read about me as a writer: www.lindaaddisonpoet.com


 


James Chambers

A Horror Writers Association member since 2008, I first volunteered in 2011 to help Rocky Wood establish the Member Outreach program launched to inform nonmember authors about the benefits of HWA membership and encourage them to join. Later that year, with Rocky’s support, we launched Halloween Haunts, which I coordinate as an extension of the outreach plan. This annual HWA blog event, going on its sixth year now, invites members to post about Halloween and promote their newest publications and attracts readers and prospective members. It includes book giveaways and past years have included special promotions to libraries and a Nook e-reader prize.

In late 2011, I became chairperson of the Membership Committee. One of the best parts of that role is welcoming new and returning members into the HWA. Hundreds have joined in the past five years, with our membership number rising from about 450 in 2011 to around 1,300 presently. I wrote the guidelines currently in use for reviewing membership applications and corresponding with prospective members. The following year, I wrote the HWA Members Handbook, an essential resource for all members, which is now updated regularly with input from HWA officers and our designer Greg Chapman. During my time as membership chair, the committee has advised the Board on membership bylaws and navigated many changes for our member criteria, including the inclusion of self-published works and alternative qualifications such as Kickstarter earnings.

In 2013, President Rocky Wood awarded me the Richard Laymon Award for service to the HWA.
Work in the membership area has given me a deep understanding of why authors join the HWA, what they hope to gain, and what elements lead them to a positive or negative experience in the group.

In fall of 2013, I revived the New York HWA chapter (working with Charles Day), which has grown from an early membership of about half a dozen to a roster of nearly 50. More than half those members regularly participate in chapter meetings, readings held three times a year, and HWA booths at local events, such as the NY Comic Con and the Brooklyn Festival of Books. My work in the chapter includes informally mentoring members, beta-reading and supporting in-chapter writing groups, advising on basic contract and publishing practices, publishing a regular chapter newsletter, creating a chapter website (www.hwany.horror.org), and networking with other local writing groups, such as the Mystery Writers of America. Drawing on my experience organizing the HWA’s booth at NY Comic Con, I helped J.G. Faherty draft the Event Guidelines for members running HWA tables at conventions and other events. I also serve on the Conference Committee, which reviews requests for Event Funding.

Professionally, I have written short fiction, novellas, comic books and graphic novels, and non-fiction and have more than 25 years of experience as a professional editor of fiction, non-fiction, and comic books. I have experience with contracts and the business of publishing from both an editor’s and author’s perspective.

As a member of the Board of Trustees, I hope to highlight the ground-level strengths and successes of the HWA in supporting local chapters, funding local book fair and convention appearances, mentoring new authors, and offering scholarships. Although the Bram Stoker Awards often garner the lion’s share of publicity and attention, I believe it’s these activities that make the HWA a truly valuable resource. I intend to use my experiences in membership, coordinating events, and running a local chapter to expand and improve these efforts that provide tangible support for horror writers and promotion for the horror genre. I also hope to explore new programs and benefits of interest to established writers to broaden the HWA’s appeal and reinforce our membership.


 


Ellen Datlow

I’ve been a member of HWA for over twenty years and have served the membership in the capacity of trustee for the past ten years. I’ve also served as a judge for the Stoker Award several times, sat on the Scholarship committee for two years, and helped run the HWA booths at Book Expo and NY ComicCon. I am currently co-editing Hallows’ Eve, the new HWA anthology with Lisa Morton.

I’ve enjoyed being a trustee, and proud of what the board has accomplished during my trusteeship. I hope to continue to serve for the foreseeable future, if I’m given that privilege. I’ve been editing sf/f/h short fiction for over thirty years, currently acquiring and editing stories for Tor.com. I’ve also edited almost one hundred anthologies, including the annual The Best Horror of the Year.

I’ve won multiple World Fantasy Awards, Locus Awards, Hugo Awards, Stoker Awards, International Horror Guild Awards, Shirley Jackson Awards, and the 2012 Il Posto Nero Black Spot Award for Excellence as Best Foreign Editor. I’ve also been named recipient of the 2007 Karl Edward Wagner Award, given at the British Fantasy Convention for “outstanding contribution to the genre”; have been honored with the Life Achievement Award given by the Horror Writers Association, in acknowledgment of superior achievement over an entire career, and the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award for 2014, which is presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to the fantasy field.


 


Guy Anthony De Marco

My name is Guy Anthony De Marco, and I’m running for one of the open trustee positions for the HWA. I worked as a volunteer running the Keymaster position for a long stretch, while also dabbling as one of the stand-by website gurus for the HWA Webmistress and as a mentor. I worked closely with several committees, particularly the new membership group, as I introduced the incoming folks to the HWA’s private access area and forums. I also provided customer service for any access-related issues.

In 2011, the HWA was kind enough to present the Silver Hammer Award to me for my volunteer work. I also write the occasional newsletter article for the “Sailing on Digital Seas” column.
I am currently writing full-time, and have quite a bit of spare time to focus on a position as trustee. I’ve worked and interacted with many of our members, whether as a mentor or as the Keymaster, and I look forward to serving the organization and the genre. I would appreciate your vote.


 


Alessandro Manzetti

 

I’ve been a HWA Member since 2001, the first Italian Member, I’m a Bram Stoker Award Winning author, Italy Chapter leader, and I’ve served our Association in different volunteer roles, as Italian Representative and Italy Chapter founder, editor of the HWA Newsletter columns ‘The Italian Horror Machine’ and ‘HWA Italy Chronicles’ and as a part of the Membership Committee.  I attended the World Horror Convention in Atlanta, in 2014 (as the only Italian member) and the StokerCon 2016 in Las Vegas, and I’ve always worked on spreading our association in Italy, and supporting the exchange of experiences and projects between members from different countries.

As the editor of some Italian Publishers, and through my publishing company, I have contributed to the publication, in Italian language, of many works by HWA members, some published for the first time, including: Rocky Wood, Usman Malik, Alyssa Wong, Nicole Cushing, Jack Ketchum, Gene O ‘Neill, Corrine De Winter, Charlee Jacob, Alexander Zelenyj, Gary Braunbeck, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Mannetti, Lucy Snyder, Theresa Matsuura, Shane McKenzie, John Skipp, Robert McCammon, Lisa Morton and many others.

Through my experience over these years in the HWA I realized how important it is to broaden our horizons, engaging European authors and professionals as well in order to transform our Association into a real international network.

I believe that the potential growth of HWA, in these terms, could be very important and yet to be fully discovered.

For these reasons I decided to run to serve as a Trustee, in order to strengthen projects dedicated to involve various European horror movements in our activities.

I have several years of experience in writing and publishing, both as a writer and publisher, and as an editor, translator and foreign rights manager for several publishers and publishing companies, so I know the European market and how to involve other countries in our Association.

Therefore, my future plans involve the spread of HWA in Europe, through various dedicated activities and the organization of an European convention (I’m the founder and the leader of the Italy Chapter, including 40 Members, and we organized the first HWA Italy Convention in Rome, in June, 2016).

I hope to serve as a Trustee of the HWA, if you want me on board; it would be important to involve an European member like me, because many countries outside US are actually poorly represented in HWA.

Read about me as a writer: www.battiago.com/homeenglish.html

Read about me as a Publisher (Independent Legions): www.independentlegions.com/homeenglish.html

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Andrew Wolter

I am proud of the work the Horror Writers Association has accomplished thus far, and would like the opportunity to be considered for a Trustee on the HWA Board.

First and foremost, I have been an active member of the HWA for four years. In that time, I have volunteered for the HWA (moderating the HWA Facebook page and representing the HWA at several conventions [Context, AnthoCon, American Library Association]). I have taught those not familiar with the HWA, how they can take advantage of the tools we offer.

In this past year, I was honored with the Richard Laymon President’s Award for Service by the Horror Writers Association. That said, I am very familiar with the bylaws of the HWA. While I have volunteered throughout the years, I feel it necessary that I take the next step into being more involved with an organization for which I have become an ambassador.

As for my experience, I was on a committee with Lambda Literary in 2012 and part of the board of Arizona Artists Against SB1070 in 2010. In both instances, I offered my keen and educated advice regarding issues related to the cause(s) (though it might have not been considered as a whole with my peers). I pride myself in my organizational skills and friendly, impartial approach to all my peers.

As a Trustee for the HWA, I plan to offer fresh ideas to the Board so that we can usher a fair and realistic set of bylaws to a new generation of writers. In addition, I am open to hearing the voices of all HWA members, and apply those voices (in one way or another) to shape the Horror Writers Association into the best organization it can be.

Kindest thanks for your consideration.


 


Letter from the Uncontested President: Lisa Morton

It would be easy to make this statement into a quick joke, something along the lines of, “Well, since I’m the only one running, I am my own platform.”

But I want you to know why I’m running.

Many of you know that I took over the organization’s presidency at a very difficult time – it was December 1st, 2014, and Rocky Wood had been re-elected and had served exactly one month of his second term when he passed away. I was Vice President at the time, and so I inherited the reins…at the worst possible time for me. The next year was the most difficult of my life, involving tremendous upheaval for me personally. I was still scrambling as we entered 2016, when we were hit with a series of (sometimes contentious) debates and changes for HWA that, at the time, left me thinking there was no way I’d run for the office in the fall.

But then surprising things happened: HWA came through those trials stronger than before, with more commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. My own life stabilized, and I started to catch up on long-overdue writing projects. And, with some room to breathe again, I looked around and realized that it wasn’t the stressful moments with HWA that I looked back on, but the rewarding ones, of which there have been many.

We locked down five separate scholarships, presented via the new dedicated website www.horrorscholarships.org. We strengthened our ties to the America Library Association by enrolling our members in their “Authors for Libraries” database and exhibiting at their main conference. We set up many more chapters (including one in the U.K.), while our existing chapters displayed at dozens of conventions, book festivals, and trade shows. We created the Diverse Works Inclusion Committee to investigate ways to expose more authors to our members, and our new Mass Media Committee explored ways to reach out to screenwriters, game writers, and graphic novelists. We made a major donation to promote literacy, and we set up an endowment to help libraries with writing programs for young adults. We gave our members exclusive submission opportunities to our anthologies and to our partners at Cemetery Dance. The inaugural StokerCon was very successful, and introduced both Horror University (a series of educational workshops and presentations) and the Lucky Thirteen Short Film Competition.

We’re always working on more projects, including StokerCon 2017 (and 2018!), more anthologies, more educational programs, more opportunities for our members (regardless of what stage their career is at), and more ways to promote the genre we all value.

I’d like to keep working on those projects. I genuinely value the officers, volunteers, and members I’ve had the privilege of working with, and I’m very proud of all the good we’ve accomplished.

But I think we’re just getting warmed up.

Thank you for your continued support. I appreciate the opportunity to serve you as we move into the future.


 


Letter from the Uncontested Secretary: Joe McKinney

Once again, we find the publishing industry at a crossroads. Things are hard right now. But those same conditions make our organization’s founding goals to further the career opportunities for horror writers and promote the business of horror more relevant than ever. As a professional writer I have a vested interest in seeing the Horror Writers Association not only succeed, but flourish. That’s why I’ve thrown my hat in the ring for the position of Secretary.

My name is Joe McKinney, and I’ve been an Active Member of the organization since 2006. Since that time, I’ve represented the HWA in several ways. I’ve done the little things, like volunteering for the HWA table at Book Expo America and Texas Frightmare, stuffing goodie bags at our most recent Stoker Awards Convention, serving in the Texas Chapter of HWA, and promoting our organization and its resources to young writers looking to take their first steps into professional writing. But I’ve also held larger responsibilities, such as serving as Chairperson for the Single Author Collections Bram Stoker Awards Committee, working on several different Stoker juries over the last four years and participating in the mentor program. None of us gets anywhere in this business without the gracious support and hard-won good advice of our seniors, and I believe it is the obligation of every Active Member who has enjoyed some measure of success to pay it forward to our next generation of professionals. More than all the other services HWA provides this spirit of encouragement and mutual support is by far the most important.

As Secretary, I will promote an atmosphere of community within the horror profession. I intend to make restoring and creating regional HWA chapters a priority. I also intend to champion ways to expand our membership, both at the grassroots level among emerging writers and with current publishing professionals such as editors, agents and publishers. I intend to make this happen by promoting our presence at conventions and through HWA-sponsored publications.

Above all, I sincerely believe in the HWA, both its mission statement and its membership. When the organization succeeds, so too does the membership as a whole. I am eager to participate in the process, and if elected, will serve with the knowledge that the work I do is not only good for the HWA membership, but for the genre that I love as well. Here’s to our collective success!

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