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Coming to a Shelf Near You: Poetry Showcase Volume X


Submit your poem here from April 15-May 15.

A decade ago, Peter Adam Salomon had an excellent idea. He wanted to recognize horror and dark poetry as a genre. He brought his idea to then president Rocky Woods and the first HWA Poetry Showcase was born. The response from our membership was excellent and the Showcase has been published every year since. Many of us can credit the Showcase with boosting our careers. I’m one of those—my first professional sale as a poet was to Peter for Volume II. Were it not for his encouragement, I wouldn’t be here now.

Since that first publication the pay has doubled, poets now receive a contributor copy and payment instead of choosing either/or and we have received some major attention. Last year the Poetry Showcase appeared on the Nasdaq Tower in Times Square, Midtown Manhattan. Nearly 30 poets read their Showcase poem for a special video series you can watch here: https://horror.org/category/showcase/. This year, we celebrate a decade of dark verse. Even more fanfare and noise will be required.

The Showcase has changed editors, judges and policies over the last decade, but what remains is the core value Peter instilled into this series: dedication to our poets in the HWA. I’m happy to announce the judges for the HWA Poetry Showcase X will be Colleen Anderson, Timothy P. Flynn, Katherine Quevedo and Eugen Bacon. Maxwell I. Gold has agreed to take over as the editor for the next two volumes to follow, HWA Poetry Showcase volumes IX and IIX.

Here are the guidelines for this year’s HWA Poetry Showcase X. Please read the guidelines carefully as there have been some changes. Please also note that submissions close on May 15, 2023.

Submission Guidelines for the Poetry Showcase Volume X

The HWA is proud to announce that it will call for submissions from its members for the Poetry Showcase Volume X beginning April 15. Angela Yuriko Smith will be the editor for the volume. This year’s judges, along with Angela, will include Colleen Anderson, Timothy P. Flynn, Katherine Quevedo and Eugen Bacon. Maxwell I. Gold has agreed to take over as the editor for the next two volumes to follow, HWA Poetry Showcase volumes IX and IIX.

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 limited to members of the HWA in order to showcase their talents in dark poetry. We will verify membership and if a non-member submits they 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 (1) 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 is 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 night.” Evangeline Walton and many others have overused the phrase “She Walks in Darkness.” Stay away from these type of archetypal clichés.
  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. PAYMENT: The HWA will pay contributors a flat rate of $10.00 (ten USD). Contributors will also receive a paperback copy of the volume.
  8. HWA will also provide accepted authors with an e-copy of the volume.

Submissions will open April 15 to celebrate National Poetry Month.

Submissions will close May 15 at 11:59PM Pacific.

Our hope is to have a decision on the accepted poems, along with the top three poems of the Volume, before the end of June with publication slated for September. This is a great opportunity to help the HWA celebrate and promote the contribution of poetry to the genre. We look forward to reading your work.

Submit your poem here from April 15-May 15.

7 comments on “Coming to a Shelf Near You: Poetry Showcase Volume X

  1. These showcases are my favorite books. I read and re-read throughout the year. I’ve discovered many favorite writers in these volumes! I’m wrenching up the courage to submit this year, fingers crossed.

    • I hope you do! The Showcase is here just for that reason. I will be watching for you now.

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