Horror Writers Association Blog

2018 Poetry Showcase Accepting Submissions


poetry300Before the current form of the novel arose, dark narrative poetry spun the tales of heroes and demons. Carrying that tradition writers of Horror fiction have kept dark poetry close to their hearts. Poe, Carroll, Wilde, Lovecraft and even more recently Neil Gaiman dipped their quills into dark verse.

Recognizing the contribution of dark poetry to the field of Horror and to celebrate National Poetry Month, the Horror Writers Association is holding their third annual HWA Horror Poetry Showcase. Open only to HWA members, the Showcase will be accepting submissions in April with four poems chosen by HWA member judges to be honored on the HWA website.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Submissions are open only to HWA members.
  • Submissions are limited to one poem per member.

The HWA is proud to announce that it will call for submissions from its members for the Poetry Showcase Volume V beginning April 1. Stephanie M. Wytovich will be the editor for this volume. This year’s judges, along with Stephanie, will include Michael A. Arnzen and Mercedes M. Yardley.

Only HWA members (of any status) may submit. The reason for this can be found in the word “Showcase.” The HWA is very proud of the tradition of poetry in the horror genre and of the HWA’s support for poetry. This volume is designed to showcase the talents of HWA members which is why it is now limited to members. We will verify membership and if a non-member submits he or she must obtain some level of membership prior to the final cut for the volume to be considered.

The rules for this year’s volume will be similar to previous years:

1. No more than 35 lines. Each author or group of collaborators on a single poem may only submit one poem. Speculative and dark verse is welcome but it should have a “horror” slant.

2. No fancy formatting, dual columns, lining of poems in the center of the page, poems that require strange configurations to look like an image and similar formatting. This may certainly be pretty but are very difficult to translate to a single page for publishing. Poems should be submitted in .rtf, .txt or Word formats.

3. Any form – free verse, metered, rhyming, haiku, Tanka etc. – is acceptable. But, if you do use a more traditional form, please remember that poor writing, overly heavy reliance on cliché and imitation will significantly reduce any chances of acceptance. We need good poetry. For example. George (Lord Byron) Gordon already owns the phrase “She walks in beauty, like the light.” Evangeline Walton and many others have overused the phrase “She Walks in Darkness.” Stay away from these type of archetypal clichés. HWA members are good writers for a reason; they write well. Your poetry needs to be written well and you would want to be if published.

4. English only please.

5. No previously published works or simultaneous submissions.

6. Rights will revert on publication with the HWA retaining the right to use the poem in relation to promoting the volume.

7. The HWA will give you the choice of a $5.00 payment or a hard bound copy of Volume V.

8. HWA will also provide accepted authors with an e-copy of the Volume.

9. HWA will most likely also provide a discount code to authors to purchase additional copies.

Submissions will open April 1 to celebrate National Poetry Month. Submissions will close April 30 at midnight Pacific. Submissions will be made through the HWA’s Submittable pages. More information on that will follow. Our hope is to have a decision on the poems that are accepted and the top four poems of the Volume before the end of May with a publication date sometime late in the upcoming Summer.

The past three volumes of the Poetry Showcase have been top Kindle sellers. This is a chance of getting your work in a “bestseller” and to help the HWA celebrate and promote the contribution of poetry to the genre.

To Submit:

  1. Log into the Members-Only section of the website.
  2. Go to the “Welcome” page.
  3. Look for the second red link in the list.

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