HWA Achievements: 2011 to Present
As part of the HWA’s commitment to keeping members and the public ‘in the know’
about what the organization is doing to improve itself, increase its value to
membership, support the genre, and attract new members, there will now be a
single page where members can go to see what the Board and the various
committees have accomplished and initiated. This dates back to 2011, and will
be updated on a regular basis.
We thank the 170 plus members that are serving the HWA at
any given time for their efforts in achieving the results reported herein.
HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION in 2019
This last year saw the HWA continue on with successful programs introduced in over the last few years.
Our 2019 StokerCon, held at the historic Amway Grand in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was a fantastic event. This year’s convention continued to offer Horror University and the Final Frame Short Horror Film Competition, as well as great turnouts for Librarians’ Day and the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference. We’re pleased with how our 2020 convention in the UK is shaping up. In 2021, StokerCon will be returning to the United States with our Denver convention.
Our scholarship program has continued its success in 2019. Our scholarships have grown to include:
- The Horror Writers Association Scholarship – Open to all horror writers
- The Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship – Open to female writers in the horror genre
- The Dark Poetry Scholarship – Open to all poets in the horror genre
- The Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship for Non-fiction – Open to all writers working on non-fiction about the genre
- The Scholarship From Hell (for StokerCon) – Open to any who wish to attend StokerCon all-expenses-paid
- Young Adults Write Now endowment program – Five selected libraries will receive an endowment each year to establish new, or support ongoing, writing programs.
We’ve worked closely with the American Library Association to continue educating on and promoting the genre, as well as continuing our endowments to libraries with after-school writing programs, including the successful SUMMER SCARES program.
We produced a sixth volume in our acclaimed POETRY SHOWCASE series and launched the HAUNTED LIBRARY series of horror classics with our first title, Gaston LeRoux’s Phantom of the Opera. Upcoming titles include The Beetle by Richard Marsh; Vathek by William Beckford; House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson; The Parasite and Other Tales of Terror by Arthur Conan Doyle; and The King in Yellow by Robert Chambers.
The HWA was also very proud to publish Horror Literature from Gothic to Post-Modern: Critical Essays, compiled from papers presented at our Ann Radcliffe Conference held in conjunction with StokerCon each year. To further our commitment to scholarly work on the genre, we also introduced a new category for the Bram Stoker Awards® with the Superior Achievement in Short Non-Fiction award.
For more of our publications, click here: https://horror.org/category/publications/
HWA’s Grievance Committee oversaw several disputes throughout the year and is a resource any member who has an unresolved issue with a publisher should utilize.
Our SEERS’ TABLE column at horror.org has grown popular with our Diverse Works Inclusion Community helping to shine a light on horror from writers in underrepresented communities.
MEMBERSHIP DUES & RENEWALS
We’ve updated our membership dues and renewal system. Part of this was to implement Extended Memberships, allowing members to renew for 5 years or 10 years at a discount while protecting them from dues increases. We also implemented a Seniors Discount for our members over the age of 70. If you’d like to take advantage of either of these, please write firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW STOKER AWARDS FORUM
We launched a private, members-only forum for HWA members to offer work for consideration for the Bram Stoker Awards®. This should make that process easier while also reducing the volume of email our members receive. If you haven’t yet, visit the forum and see what works are currently being offered for consideration.
2019 saw the introduction of QUICK BITES, a public-facing newsletter to provide non-members a look at news in the genre.
New chapters continued to appear throughout the year. Our chapters also participated in numerous book fairs and conventions, including the New York ComicCon and the LA Times Festival of Books. Our largest international chapters – HWA U.K. and HWA Italy – continued to expand and participated in numerous events, with our UK Chapter hosting 2020’s StokerCon and Bram Stoker Awards® ceremony.
Through our partnership with the Author’s Coalition of America, we’ve been involved in advocacy efforts to improve rights ownership and payment rates for writers. We’ve been heavily involved with the ACA in bringing a major benefit to our members. This process has taken close to two years, but we’re finally close to implementing it. We hope to announce this by the end of January. It’s an announcement you won’t want to miss.
And all of that is only scratching the surface. 2019 was an amazing year for HWA, due in no small part to each of you. Without such a strong and involved membership base, we wouldn’t be able to achieve any of these projects. Thank you for being a part of it. We’re looking forward to 2020 being an even better year.
HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION in 2016
Established a Pinterest account, with initial boards for Halloween, the Bram Stoker Awards® and Horror Selfies, with more to come. Established an Instagram account, and outlined a program for posting there. Also initiated and organized Twitter campaign to increase followers on Twitter (currently at over 11,000 followers).
Members and local chapters have run HWA’s booths or tables at the following events:
- Comic Con New York City
- Tucson Book Festival
- Salt Lake Comic Con
- League of Utah Writers Fall Conference
- Life the Universe & Everything
- Salty Horror Con
- Salt City Steamfest
- Salt Lake Fan Experience
- Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
- Book Expo America
- Monster Mania
- New York Horror Show
- South Dakota Con/Anime/Geek
- Toronto International Book Fair
- Son of Monsterpalooza
- Toronto Comicon
- DFW Writers Conference
- Niagara Comic Con
- West Hollywood Book Festival
- Bloody Words
- Festival of Fear
- Dragon Con
- Scare LA
- Long Beach Comic Con
- Horror Rama
- Bay Area Book Festival
- NYC Horror Film Festival
- On Point Executive Center Book Fair
- Rue Morgue Dark Carnival
- Brooklyn Book Fair
- American Library Association
- Bay Area Book Festival
- HP Lovecraft Film Festival
- Toronto Word on the Street
- ComicPalooza Houston
- Bay of Blood
- HallowRead Convention
- World Horror Convention
In 2015, for the first time HWA appeared on the main floor of BookExpo, with a high-traffic display located close to the major publishers. Our display hosted book giveaways and author signings, and drew the attention of thousands of booksellers, librarians, editors, publishers, and readers.
HWA’s Events Coordinator reviews and approves the various conventions and events the organization will be at each year in order to maximize organization visibility vs. investment and member/volunteer availability. An Event Organizer ensures that each event receives branded promotional materials.
The Halloween Haunts public blog has expanded each year since launch in 2011. We publish around 50 contributions each year. It is now also promoted to libraries in addition to being on the public-facing website landing page.
Established the HWA YouTube Channel. Updated it with the recorded webcast of our Bram Stoker Awards® each year since 2011; and with video clips and author interviews.
Launched the wildly successful website www.horrorselfies.com to promote the genre across a range of social media, engaging literally millions of horror fans and offering promotional opportunities to member and non-members alike.
In 2016, created the Mass Media Committee to investigate ways to involve more screenwriters, role-playing game writers, video game writers, and graphic novelists.
Libraries and Literacy
Launched the HWA’s Library and Literacy programs, which now
run both separate and inter-related projects to promote reading and expand the
HWA’s brand. There is now a separate HWA web section for Librarians.
Interviews, reading lists, blogs, links, and articles are added regularly to
keep the pages fresh.
Initiated relationships/partnerships with VOYA (Voice
of Youth Advocates) Magazine, and the Library of Congress to promote literacy
and young adult literacy. Placed articles in VOYA Magazine and the BWI (a major
book supplier for libraries) website about the HWA’s commitment to literacy.
Initiated a partnership with the American Library Association
that resulted in the HWA’s first-ever booth at an ALA event, plus promotional
materials at 5-7 library-related conferences each year. We also had a ‘Day of
Horror’ at that first event, where several HWA members presented panels.
In 2016, expanded our ALA partnership to allow us to include all of our members in the Authors for Libraries database.
Established the HWA’s Library Database, which
contains the contact info of librarians/libraries who’ve expressed an interest
in horror, including stocking medium and small press books and having authors
in to do presentations. Since its inception, it has built to 300-plus entries,
with more added every month.
Established an ongoing relationship with cartoonist Ray Billingsley that
has led to multiple mentions of the HWA and horror in his comic strip, seen in
more than 300 newspapers nationwide, plus a customized literacy poster for use
at events and readings.
Interviewed actress/author Amber Benson, author/screenwriter
David Gerrold, and musician/comedian Richard Christy about, among other things,
their thoughts on literacy. Those interviews are on the public-facing HWA home
page and in the newsletter archives.
In January 2016, made a $5,000 donation to and became a sponsor of Literacy Inc., which works with underprivileged high school kids in the south to provide them with e-readers and motivational speakers.
In 2016, created the Young Adults Write Now Endowment, which offers libraries $500 to assist with creation or continuation of writing programs for young authors.
Young Adult Horror
Launched the Young Adult reader programs, as well as a public
website section celebrating Young Adult horror. Interviews, reading lists,
blogs, links, and articles are added regularly to keep the pages fresh,
including Jonathan Maberry’s "Scary Out There" blog for young adult
Published our first poetry ebook, HWA Poetry Showcase in July 2014, with all contributors being paid at professional rates. The third volume, published in 2016, is the first to be available in both multiple ebook formats and print edition.
Established a Poetry Committee that has created a new
section on the website to promote this overlooked but important form. This
section is updated monthly and adds to our continuing
In 2015, established the Dark Poetry Scholarship.
Created two $2500 writing scholarships for members, to be awarded
annually: the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship and the Horror Writers
Association Scholarship. The first two scholarships were awarded in 2014.
In 2015, added two additional scholarships: the Dark Poetry Scholarship, and the Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship for Non-fiction Writers.
In 2016, added The Scholarship From Hell, which pays for one winner to attend our yearly StokerCon and Horror University.
In 2016, created the Horror Scholarships website and standardized all scholarship submission processes and scholarship committees.
The Chapter Handbook was revised and reissued.
Web sites have been developed for each Chapter.
The LA Chapter initiated a successful program with
the Pasadena Public Library and expanded the number of schools and libraries
where members are welcome to conduct readings or presentations.
In addition, they launched a Visiting Author Support Program where we make sure
to visit and support visiting (and local) HWA Authors at their signings and
In 2015, we established our first Italy chapter. In 2016, the Italy chapter held its first official meeting.
In 2016, we re-established a UK chapter and scheduled multiple events for the chapter, including hosted parties, appearances at festivals, and pub meets.
HWA now has the following chapters, with more being formed throughout the year:
- Gulf Coast
- Los Angeles
- New York
- Ontario, Canada
- San Francisco Bay
- Southeast Tri-State Chapter (SC, NC, & GA)
- United Kingdom
After running stand-alone Bram Stoker Awards Weekends in 2009 and 2011, and hosting the 2013 and 2015 World Horror Conventions, HWA inaugurated its own yearly full convention in 2016 with StokerConâ„¢, held May 12th-15th at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. StokerCon Guests of Honor included R. L. Stine, Ellen Datlow, Jack Ketchum, Leslie S. Klinger, Daniel Knauf, Marge Simon, Anne Serling, Anthony Timpone, and Ryan Turek; the Toastmaster was Stephen Jones, and the Bram Stoker Awards presentation was emceed by Jeff Strand. The convention incorporated Horror University, a series of workshops and special presentations taught by bestselling authors and acknowledged experts. It also hosted the Lucky Th1rt3en Film Competition, which chose thirteen outstanding short horror films to present during the convention (to a packed house!); the winner, Quenottes, received a $1,000 cash prize, the Tredecim trophy, and a “first-look” deal from RothCo/Co-Conspiracy Entertainment. StokerCon 2016 received high praise from attendees and in the press.
In 2017, StokerCon will be held on the legendary Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Guests of Honor include George R. R. Martin, Elizabeth Hand, Chuck Wendig, Bill Bridges, Peter Crowther, Tananarive Due, Gretchen McNeil, Becky Spratford, and Stephen Graham Jones; the Toastmaster is Nancy Holder, and the Bram Stoker Awards presentation will once again be emceed by Jeff Strand. Horror University will return, as will the Lucky 13 Film Competition.
StokerCon 2017 will also host HWA’s first academic conference, with papers presented and published in a stand-alone book.
In 2016, created a strong anti-harassment policy for use in all our events.
Bram Stoker Awards
Increased participation and visibility of the Bram Stoker
Awards, and updated the management of the awards program. This includes a new
half-Juried system and a totally revitalized Award Committee; updating the
electronic voting process; appointing a Publisher Liaison; and initiating
contact with mainstream publishers, screenwriters, and graphic artists to
increase the volume and diversity of submissions.
Â In addition, the Award rules have been revised annually,
based on member feedback.
A relationship with Amazon was established whereby they
promote the Bram Stoker Award winners. Similar relationships with other review,
book, and genre websites have been instituted for the same purpose. Many of
these relationships promote all nominees or nominees in a particular category.
This is all to the benefit of the horror genre, and the authors, poets and
In 2016, established the Diverse Works Inclusion Committee, to increase awareness of works by authors of color, LGBT authors, and disabled authors.
Continued to build the mentoring program, with 30 mentors
currently mentoring members. About 30 mentees have graduated from this program
in the last two years. In 2015, the Mentor Program was revised to create a one-year program, which concludes with an official presentation of graduates and the presentation of a special pin to each graduate.
Increased the level of the Hardship Fund, thanks to
increased membership and more members donating, which has allowed us to make
loans to several members in need.
A new Member Handbook has been published and is regularly
Introduced a new Horror Curriculum Committee to work with
schools and universities on promoting horror-oriented curricula.
Established social media programs, with a successful
Facebook page with over 7,000 participants; a Twitter platform to disseminate
industry and genre information; an Instagram account; and a Pinterest account with multiple threads.
Also created a popular Facebook HWA horror news page.
Created the position of Communications Director, increased social media and press contacts, and made more use of PR Newswire to release important press announcements. In 2016, our press releases achieved reach numbers over ten million.
In 2016, created electronic press kits for use at events, which are delivered on branded USB drives.
Migrated the entire HWA website to a more secure host. The website’s graphics were updated and a new front page instituted, leading to a significant growth in click-throughs.
Improved the presentation of member new releases on the HWA website’s public-facing pages.
Hundreds of pages of new and updated content were uploaded, including new sections for Librarians, Horror Poetry, and Young Adult Horror.
Throughout 2016, we will be working to increase navigation ease and functionality of the entire site, and to make the entire site mobile-friendly on all devices.
We have overseen the publication of all three volumes of the
Blood Lite anthologies in the UK/European market as e-books. These books and On Writing Horror in physical book form continue to generate royalties for the HWA and members.
Released the previously out of print anthology F.Paul Wilson’s Freak Show as an ebook in both .MOBI (Kindle) and ePub formats.
Published three volumes of our annual Poetry Showcase.
In 2015, sold Scary Out There, a young adult horror anthology, to Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Edited by bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, the book includes 23 original short stories and poems from some of the genre’s top authors, including R. L. Stine, Ellen Hopkins, Neal Shusterman, Joyce Carol Oates, Christopher Golden, and Cherie Priest.
In 2015, signed with agent Alec Shane of Writers House to represent our projects.
In 2016, sold our Halloween-themed anthology Hallows’ Eve to Doubleday’s Blumhouse Books imprint. The anthology, due for release in 2017, is edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton.
The HWA Newsletter has gone from strength to strength
with the addition of new columns and a near doubling of content each month.
Expanded our membership to 27 countries – Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, Honduras, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Philippines, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad, United Kingdom and the United States.
Welcomed self-published authors to our Active (professional) and Affiliate (semi pro) ranks after a Referendum in July 2014.
Grew membership from 750 to 1100 in less than 2 years (and
from 240 in 2009). In the process, we have maintained a 90% renewal rate, which
is above average for a professional association. As of 2016, membership is nearing 1,400.
Membership qualifications were revised based on
industry changes and member feedback to include a mix of advances and
royalties. They are likely to be revised again shortly to deal with the growth
in self-publishing. Again, this is a result of member feedback.
Updates to the Members Only section of the website include
new and regularly updated Reviewer Listings, Agents Listings, and Discounts.
Successfully resolved a number of grievances to the
satisfaction of the members.
Created more member benefits, including additional discounts and the opportunity (in May 2016) to have exclusive submission privilege to Cemetery Dance Magazine and Cemetery Dance Online.
Employed a full time employee (Administrator) for the first time, in August 2014.
Implemented new member management software — Wild Apricot. This significantly reduces manual administration, improves customer service to members, and allows members to update their own information.
The ByLaws have been revised based on industry
changes and member feedback.
Dozens of operational manuals and standard
procedures have been created and collected in a central repository to
reduce risk and eliminate duplication of work effort.
Working with Authors Registry, which distributes unclaimed secondary rights monies coming from the UK and Holland, we were able to direct outstanding payments to three members.
Played a key role in the resolution of the Hydra publishing
situation to achieve policies that are more author friendly and professional.
Established a formal relationship with Writers Beware (in conjunction with
SWFA) to enable members to more effectively monitor predatory practices and
operators; and to give them an effective channel to report predatory practices
Issued an open letter to Amazon urging them to reform
reviews on their site to remove abuse of that process, thereby protecting all
authors, including our members.