2021 HWA Specialty Awards
The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is pleased to announce the recipients of its various Specialty Awards.
THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The HWA is proud to announce our Lifetime Achievement Award winners: Jo Fletcher, Nancy Holder, and Koji Suzuki. Their awards will be given at this year’s StokerCon, happening in Denver, Colorado in May.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented periodically to an individual whose work has substantially influenced the horror genre. While this award is often presented to a writer, it may also be given for influential accomplishments in other creative fields.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is the most prestigious of all awards presented by HWA. It does not merely honor the superior achievement embodied in a single work. Instead, it is an acknowledgment of superior achievement in an entire career.
Congratulations to this year’s recipients!
Jo Fletcher lives in northeast London, England. She is founder and publisher of Jo Fletcher Books, UK publisher Quercus’ specialist horror, fantasy, and science fiction imprint. She is also a writer, ghost-writer, and occasional poet, following earlier careers as a local, then Fleet Street journalist (once commended by a High Court judge for helping stop a bomber), and a film and book critic. She’s been published widely, both in and out of horror, fantasy & SF, winning awards for her writing and services to the genre, including the World Fantasy, the British Fantasy Society’s August Derleth and the International Society of Poets Awards.
Jo’s publishing career began in the late 1970s, when she began co-running the British Fantasy Society, and was a regular contributor to Science Fiction Chronicle, amongst other periodicals. She was one of the founder members of the Horror Writers’ Association, and has been a Trustee, sits on the Board of World Fantasy Convention, and is a member of the World Fantasy Awards Administration. Jo co-chaired several British FantasyCons, as well as the 1988 and 1997 World Fantasy Conventions in London.
Jo’s publishing career started in 1985 when she joined the brand-new indie publisher Headline, introducing horror greats like Charles L. Grant, Chet Williamson and Dan Simmons to the British reading public. A short stint at Mandarin (Hamlyn) – and a chance to republish the entire Dennis Wheatley oeuvre – was followed by several years at the newly revitalised genre list at Pan Macmillan, where her authors included Charles de Lint, Richard Christian Matheson and Graham Joyce, as well as Dark Voices: The Pan Book of Horror anthology series. After a short stint at Penguin, working on the brief-lived horror imprint Signet, she moved to Gollancz, then an independent publisher, to run the genre list there, and stayed as it became part of the Hachette UK empire under Orion. As well as founding the Fantasy Masterworks list to sit alongside the SF Masterworks, her authors ranged from old masters like H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard to bestselling and award-winning masters like Terry Pratchett, Ursula K. Le Guin, Andrzej Sapkowski and Charlaine Harris, to new discoveries like Joe Hill, Tom Lloyd and Ben Aaronovitch, as well as the award-winning Dark Terrors series.
In 2011 Quercus, then a young independent publisher, lured her away to start Jo Fletcher Books; JFB returned to the Hachette stable in 2014 when Hodder acquired Quercus. JFB continues Jo’s tradition of publishing some of the very best writers in the interconnected fields of horror, fantasy and SF. Current authors range widely across the field, from Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Alison Littlewood and Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone, to newcomers like Ry Herman and Breanna Teintze.
In her rare spare time, Jo sings, mostly classical choral music, gardens, watches birds, and cooks.
New York Times bestselling author Nancy Holder was born in Palo Alto, California. A Navy brat, she went to middle school in Japan. When she was sixteen, she dropped out of high school to become a ballet dancer in Cologne, Germany. An injury at eighteen ended that possible career.
Eventually she returned to California and graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a degree in Communications. Soon after, she began to write; her first sale was a young adult novel with the unfortunate title of Teach Me to Love. Thus she is the Kilgore Trout of the romance world.
Nancy’s work has appeared on many bestseller lists. A six-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award, she received a Scribe Award from the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers for Best Novel, and was subsequently named a Grand Master by that organization in 2019. She also received a Young Adult Literature Pioneer Award from RT Booksellers.
She and Debbie Viguié co-authored the New York Times bestselling Wicked series for Simon and Schuster; they produced many more books together, including the teen thriller The Rules. She wrote horror solo and with Melanie Tem for Dell Abyss, and is the author of the young adult horror series, Possessions, for Razorbill. She has sold many projects set in universes such as Teen Wolf, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Saving Grace, Hellboy, Smallville, Wishbone, Kolchak the Night Stalker, the Green Hornet, Domino Lady, and Zorro. She novelized the movies Ghostbusters, Wonder Woman, and Crimson Peak. She has also sold approximately two hundred short stories as well as essays on writing, popular culture and horror.
A Baker Street Irregular, she co-edited Sherlock Holmes of Baking Street (with Margie Deck), and has written pastiches, articles, and essays about Holmes for various journals and books. She and Deck are the Co-commissioners for an ongoing projected seven-year project annotation project of the original manuscript of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle short story, “The Terror of Blue John Gap,” for the Arthur Conan Doyle Society.
She is an editor and writer of pulp fiction for Moonstone, where she and her writing partner, Alan Philipson, are working on a series of prose stories and comic book/graphic novel series of their creator-owned character, Johnny Fade in Deadtown. A second creator-owned series is underway with another publisher.
She lives in a small town Washington state with her family, and they are ruled over by a ferocious Corgi named Tater. Find her at her outdated website nancyholder.com, @nancyholder, and facebook.com/holder.nancy.
Koji Suzuki is a Japanese writer, who was born in Hamamatsu and lives in Tokyo. Suzuki is the author of the Ring novels, which have been adapted into other formats, including films, manga, TV series and video games. He has written several books on the subject of fatherhood.
The HWA is pleased to present the Specialty Press Award to Valancourt Books.
The HWA Specialty Press Award is presented periodically to a specialty publisher whose work has substantially contributed to the horror genre, whose publications display general excellence, and whose dealings with writers have been fair and exemplary.
The award was instituted in 1997, largely due to the efforts of long-time HWA member and specialty press aficionado Peter Crowther.
Congratulations to Valancourt Books!
Valancourt Books was founded by James D. Jenkins and Ryan Cagle in 2005 to make neglected and out-of-print books available to new generations of readers at affordable prices. Over the past 17 years Valancourt has published over 500 titles, with an emphasis on 18th & 19th-century Gothic fiction and 20th-century supernatural and horror fiction. Recently Valancourt debuted three new series: Paperbacks from Hell, focusing on lost paperback horror of the 1970s and ’80s, Monster, She Wrote, focusing on classic horror by women writers, and Valancourt International, which translates horror from around the world.
The origins of Valancourt Books date back to 2004, when the press’s founders James D. Jenkins and Ryan Cagle had to drive 28 hours to access some rare Gothic horror texts that were only available at one library in the country. With modern publishing technology, they figured there had to be a better way of doing things, and so they started Valancourt Books with the aim of making rare and out-of-print books available to new audiences at reasonable prices.
For its first seven years, Valancourt focused on scholarly editions of 18 th and 19 th -century texts, from the seven legendary “horrid novels” mentioned in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey to rare Victorian “penny dreadfuls” and late 19 th -century popular fiction by authors like Bram Stoker, Marie Corelli, and Richard Marsh. These scholarly editions feature introductions, notes, and contextual materials edited by top scholars from around the world.
More recently Valancourt has moved into more modern horror fiction, rediscovering forgotten mid-century authors like John Blackburn, Gerald Kersh, and Charles Beaumont, as well as some of the lost horror greats of the 1970s and ’80s, like Michael McDowell, Elizabeth Engstrom, Bernard Taylor, and Michael Talbot.
In 2016 Valancourt launched two popular series: The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories and The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories, and more recently three exciting new series have debuted: Paperbacks from Hell, which reprints lost 1970s and ’80s horror novels with their original iconic covers, Monster, She Wrote, which spotlights women horror writers, and Valancourt International, which publishes horror fiction in translation, including The Valancourt Book of World Horror Stories, which was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and World Fantasy Award.
Many of Valancourt’s books have been adopted for university courses around the world, several have been filmed or are in production, and many of them have been translated and published throughout the world.
For more information on Valancourt Books and the titles it publishes, please visit our website at www.valancourtbooks.com or find us on Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.
THE RICHARD LAYMON PRESIDENT’S AWARD
The HWA is pleased to announce the winner of the Richard Laymon President’s Award for Service: Sumiko Saulson.
The Richard Laymon President’s Award for Service was instituted in 2001 and is named in honor of Richard Laymon, who died in 2001 while serving as HWA’s President. As its name implies, it is given by HWA’s sitting President.
The award is presented to a volunteer who has served HWA in an especially exemplary manner and has shown extraordinary dedication to the organization.
Congratulations to Sumiko!
Sumiko Saulson (they/them), Social Media Manager for the Horror Writers Association, is an award-winning author of Afrosurrealist and multicultural sci-fi and horror whose latest novel Happiness and Other Diseases (book one of the Metamorphoses of Flynn Keahi) is available on Mocha Memoirs Press. Other works include the non-fiction title 100+ Black Women in Horror Fiction, novels Solitude, Warmth, and Moon Cried Blood. Their short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies including Tales For The Campfire, Clockwork Wonderland, Tales From the Lake Vol 3, Beasts and Babes, Scierogenous 2, Colors In Darkness: Forever Vacancy, and Slay: Tales of the Vampire Noire. Their poetry has appeared in Infectious Hope, Siren’s Call Magazine, and HWA Poetry Showcase VII and VIII. They are the editor of the anthologies Black Magic Women (2018), Scry of Lust (2019), Wickedly Abled (2020) and Scry of Lust 2 (2021), and the collection Black Celebration. They are a comic zine maker and author/illustrator of the graphic novels/comic books Agrippa (2013), Dreamworlds (2016), and The Complete Mauskaveli (2020). They are the illustrator of Living a Lie (2015).
Winner of the Afrosurrealist Writers Award (2018), Grand Prize 2017 BCC Voice “Reframing the Other” contest, 2nd Place Carry The Light Sci-fi/Fantasy Award (2016), 2017 Mixy Award, 6th Place in the Next Great Horror Writers Contest (2017). They are the recipient of the 2002 STAND Grant for First Time Directors, 2016 HWA StokerCon “Scholarship from Hell”, 2018 Ara Joe Grant for Zinemakers, 2020 HWA Diversity Grant recipient, and 2021 Ladies in Horror Fiction grant.
Sumiko has an AA in English from Berkeley City College, writes a column called “Writing While Black” for a national Black Newspaper, the San Francisco BayView, writes for Search Magazine, is the host of the SOMA Leather and LGBT Cultural District’s “Erotic Storytelling Hour,” and teaches courses at the Speculative Fiction Academy.
THE SILVER HAMMER AWARD
The HWA is pleased to announce the winner of the Silver Hammer Award: Kevin J. Wetmore.
The HWA periodically gives the Silver Hammer Award to an HWA volunteer who has done a truly massive amount of work for the organization, often unsung and behind the scenes. It was instituted in 1996, and is decided by a vote of HWA’s Board of Trustees.
The award is so named because it represents the careful, steady, continuous work of building HWA’s “house” — the many institutional systems that keep the organization functioning on a day-to-day basis. The award itself is a chrome-plated hammer with an engraved plaque on the handle. The chrome hammer is also a satisfying allusion to The Beatles’ song, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”, a miniature horror story in itself.
Congratulations to Kevin!
Kevin J. Wetmore
Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. is the author, editor or co-editor of twenty-seven books, including Bram Stoker Award nominees Uncovering Stranger Things, The Streaming of Hill House, Devil’s Advocates: The Conjuring, and Eaters of the Dead: Myths and Realities of Cannibal Monsters. He is also the author of over a hundred articles and three dozen short stories found in magazines and anthologies such as Cemetery Dance, Mothership Zeta, Nonbinary Review, Midian Unmade and The Cackle of Cthulhu. He is the co-chair of HWA’s Los Angeles Chapter, has twice co- chaired StokerCon and served as StokerCon’s volunteer coordinator, in addition to serving as curator for the HWA blog Halloween Haunts and chair of the Lifetime Achievement Award committee. In his other life he is a professor of Theatre Arts at Loyola Marymount University where he teaches horror theatre, horror cinema, Japanese theatre, African theatre, Shakespeare and stage combat.
MENTOR OF THE YEAR
The HWA is pleased to announce the winner of the Mentor of the Year Award: Michael Knost.
The HWA’s Mentor Program is available to all members of the organization. This popular program pairs a newer writer with an established professional for an intensive four-month long partnership. For new writers, the Program offers mentees a personal, one-on-one experience with a professional writer, tailor-made to help them grow in their writing and teach them how to better market their work. For experienced writers, the Program allows mentors a chance to pay forward the experience and encouragement other writers gave them when they were starting out. In addition, there is the added benefit of growing as a writer oneself through the act of teaching others. In short, the Program benefits all who participate, regardless of their roles.
Inaugurated in 2014, the Mentor of the Year Award recognizes one mentor in the Mentor Program who has done an outstanding job of helping newer writers. The award is chosen by the current chair of the Mentor Program.
Congratulations to Michael!
“Michael Knost epitomizes what a mentor should be. He is always willing to help writers improve their craft, as both an HWA mentor and outside of the program, as both a teacher and an editor. Writers who have worked with him, or trained under him, universally praise Michael for his honesty, knowledge, and encouragement. This is probably recognition that is long overdue, but Michael’s contributions to the HWA, and the horror genre’s up-and-coming writers, has always been recognized and appreciated.” – JG Faherty, HWA Mentorship Program Manager.
Michael Knost is a Bram Stoker Award®-winning editor and author of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and supernatural thrillers. He has written in various genres and helmed multiple anthologies. He received the Horror Writers Association’s Silver Hammer Award in 2015 for his work as the organization’s mentorship chair. He also received the prestigious J.U.G. (Just Uncommonly Good) Award from West Virginia Writer’s Inc. His Return of the Mothman is currently being filmed as a movie adaption. He has taught writing classes and workshops at several colleges, conventions, online, and currently resides in Chapmanville, West Virginia with his wife, daughter, and a zombie goldfish.
Find out more about the HWA’s Specialty Awards here: https://www.thebramstokerawards.com/other-awards/