Horror Scholarships Update: Carina Bisset, J.G. Faherty, and Marge Simon
Although we’ve seen a tremendous number of submissions this year for both the HWA and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarships, the vast majority of applications have been disqualified due to incomplete submissions. Of those that do qualify, the biggest issue the committee has seen lies with education plans requesting a lump sum to pay general college bills. (An itemized listing of HWA approved expenses covered by the scholarship is listed in-depth under the general rules.) Other problematic issues include missing or incomplete statements of financial need, cover letters showing the applicant’s dedication to pursuing a writing career (especially one that could potentially add to the development of the horror genre), and the inclusion of professional and polished writing samples. In order to clarify the general rules, we’ve collected the highlights for writers looking to prepare a potentially successful application.
The Education Plan is KEY to a successful application. In addition to fees for conferences and writing festivals (limit of one in each category), applicants can include other online and in-person workshops or classes as part of their education plan. Examples include courses at such institutions as LitReactor (prices tend to range from $200-400 each), genre-specific resident workshops such as the Speculative Fiction Writing Workshop at the KU Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction (ranging between $750-1175, depending on lodging options), and online workshops offered by accredited institutions or HWA members such as Contemporary Dark Fiction at The University of Richard ($1200 with discounts for payment in full and returning students). The HWA Scholarship and the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship can be designated for use to pay for courses at colleges and/or universities, but only if those courses are dedicated to the advancement of the craft and are in some way connected to speculative fiction connection. Other approved allocations include genre-specific resources such as writing software ($250 or less) and membership fees, excluding HWA (up to $100 a year), as well as relevant books, manuals, and periodicals. The more specific applicants are in the anticipated use of funds, the better chance they will have at winning the award.
Other things for writers to include in their submission is a financial need statement (if applicable), an artist’s statement focusing on the applicant’s commitment to and interest in the horror community as well as the writer’s goals and plans to contribute to the development of the genre. To complete the application, writers should also include an example of their work (limited to 3000 words or less). A selection of short stories or excerpts can be used to demonstrate the applicant’s range of work.
The HWA and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarships are each worth $2500. (Note: The Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship is for female-identifying applicants only.) Applicants are NOT required to be a member of the HWA to be eligible. Once funded, applicants will have two years in which to allocate the funds. All receipts must be submitted to the HWA Treasurer for reimbursement; no advances or prepayments permitted. Applications close at midnight US PST on August 1, 2018. Winners will be announced in September 2018.
HWA Poetry Scholarships Update: David E. Cowen, Karen Bovenmyer, and Marge Simon
We are sorry to report that we haven’t received enough worthy applications. A number were just asking for money to fund college tuition or relief from loans. Poetry examples were often whatever the applicant thought would do for a horror poem, just to get the scholarship. Actual breakdowns of how the money would be spent to improve their aptitude were insufficient.