From HWA President on COVID-19
To everyone in our community:
We are as concerned as you are as the events are unfolding surrounding this unprecedented pandemic. The safety of every person is our priority.
Many have asked about our upcoming public events. Our appearance at the Los Angeles Times Festival of books has been postponed until October. Most, if not all of our chapters worldwide have canceled their upcoming meetings through at least the end of this month, and we are working with them to develop “virtual” meeting spaces that will allow our communities to continue to communicate.
As to StokerCon, which is scheduled to be held in the U.K. next month: The political situation has been changing by the hour. In the last 24 hours, travel in much of Europe (with the exception of the U.K.) has been banned. The U.K. may take a similar step, or the U.S. may prohibit travel to and from there. Although at this time, more than two-thirds of attendees are based in the U.K., there is also discussion of a ban on public meetings and conferences above a certain attendance level. So it’s a very real possibility that in the next few days, the decision of whether to hold the Con may be taken out of our hands. We don’t want to postpone or cancel the event unnecessarily, because that could cause severe financial hardship to many of our attendees and volunteers. On the other hand, we want to be respectful of individual decisions about whether or not to travel. We ask for you to be patient for a few more days while we try to sort out various options, including streaming the Bram Stoker Awards ceremony.
Meanwhile, our Librarians Day event, scheduled for May 7th of this year in Chicago, is still a go at this point. The organizers are also carefully watching this pandemic and are working on contingencies should the issues stretch that far into the future. Their statement has been issued separately.
As this situation is changing rapidly, please know we are monitoring and will act as soon as we are able.
Know that heading my first StokerCon as President of the HWA carries no small weight and that my main priority is and will remain our members’ safety and well-being as we navigate these treacherous and unmapped waters.
With the Executive Board of the Horror Writers Association