Horror Writers Association

HWA 2022 Elections


The HWA’s annual elections will soon be upon us. 

Up this year are three Trustee positions, as well as the offices of President and Secretary. 

Please read the statements of the following candidates carefully. Links to the ballot will be sent out on or around September 7, 2022 to our Active and Lifetime members, with a due date of September 16, 2022

The elected officers shall hold their respective offices for terms of two years, beginning on November 1 and ending on October 31.


Candidates for President

John Edward Lawson

John Edward Lawson

As a child, horror films, books, and comics captured my imagination. During my teen years, they inspired me to write short stories and screenplays and to draw. When I hit adulthood, like so many others, I was lost when it came to turning those interests into a career. In 2002, after several years as an author and editor, I attended my first convention, and it was there I met members of the HWA—folks who were generous with their time and knowledge. From their actions I learned publishing isn’t just a career or industry, or some faceless machine. The system is composed of people, and it’s only as good as those who dedicate themselves to supporting it.

Since then, I have volunteered to judge writing contests for organizations like Pennwriters and the Maryland Writers Association, served as Vice President of Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction, taught workshops and lectured at schools. In the event space I’ve helped to organize events at the local, regional, and national level, and worked to improve access to virtual events for those who cannot attend in person. As an editor of a magazine and anthologies, and as co-founder of Raw Dog Screaming Press, I helped publish and publicize authors worldwide, and received the HWA Specialty Press Award—an award reserved for publishers known to be fair in their dealings with authors.

Accomplishing all of those things has required coordinating with large teams, adapting to new technologies, short and long term planning, and above all learning how to make progress toward goals while continuously putting out fires. It would be an honor to leverage all of that for the HWA in an official position, and to contribute my inside knowledge of publishing, distribution, retailers, and marketing.

In addition to my love of horror, and my business and volunteer experience, I’m also a writer with nominations for the Pushcart Prize and the Dwarf Stars, Elgin, Rhysling, Stoker, and Wonderland awards. My work spans fantasy, science fiction, and even literary fiction, but always with a horror bent. Beyond being a novelist and short story writer, I’m also known for my poetry, and my academic papers and presentations. You can count on me to represent the interests of all members regardless of their particular expertise.

If given the opportunity to serve the HWA as President, I will step away from my publishing duties, with the rest of RDSP’s editorial team taking over daily operations, negotiations, and publishing schedules to prevent conflict of interest. My focus is furthering the careers of all horror writers while securing a strong future for the HWA, and I hope to work with you toward that goal. Thank you for considering me.


Candidates for Secretary

Becky Spratford

I would like to express my intention to run for reelection as Secretary of the HWA so that I can continue to build upon the work I have done for the organization over the last four years. I am respectfully asking for your vote for a few reasons.

Over the last four years, the HWA, like all of us, has been through a lot. I don’t need to elaborate as we have all lived through it, but what I can tell you, from my place on the Executive Board, is that through it all the HWA has not only grown, we have blossomed. We have welcomed more members than any time in our history. Membership has grown across all levels as we have actively recruited people from all over the Horror landscape, We have also seen a growth in the diversity of our members. But one of the most exciting things about the HWA right now is that our number of members who have reached the “Active” level is higher than it ever has been. 

As Secretary one of my duties is to oversee membership, but that is about more than helping us grow, it is about making us, the HWA Board, more accessible to you, the membership. This past year I arranged for the annual membership meeting at  StokerCon to be moved from its traditional place at the end of the Con to right smack in the middle of it all. I led that meeting in persona and on our virtual platform. We were able to take questions live and virtually, and the entire meeting was recorded and seen by more members than ever before. I truly want the HWA Board to be responsive to our members needs, and I am putting that desire into tangible actions.

Finally, I bring valuable not-for-profit board experience to the HWA. I currently serve on my local library board, the Reaching Across Illinois Library System board, and am on the Executive Board for the Illinois Library Association. I have been proactive in sharing things from those experiences with the HWA Board in order to enhance our service to our members. This unique experience has been invaluable as we continue to navigate unprecedented growth.

Thank you for reading this, and I hope you feel that I deserve the chance to serve as your Secretary for another two years. 


Candidates for Trustee

Marc L. Abbott

I have been an active member if the HWA for 8 years. Since I joined through New York Chapter in 2014 and have been afforded opportunities to participate in many of the local chapter’s events such as readings, volunteering to help run the table at several local conventions including NY Comic Con. I have been published in several anthologies including the most recent 2022 collection Even in the Grave. I donated my work to The Empire State of Fright anthology which raised money for the organization Girls Write Now. My participation in the HWA also extends to the annual Stokercon where I have both moderated and taken part in panel discussions as well as volunteered at the sign in table. I took part in the HWA Mentorship Program as a mentor which was a rewarding experience. 

The reason I am running for Trustee is so that I can contribute to this organization on another tier. I believe in giving back through time and talent and I want to do that for the HWA. This organization has opened a lot of doors for me that I struggled to get through for a long time.  Many of the writers I have come to know in this community has been supportive of my work, encouraged me to take many leaps of faith and offered their time to answer any questions I have. 

If I am chosen, I pledge to continue to make the Horror Writers Association a positive, influential and productive organization for writers in the horror genre. I’ll listen to and assess all business matters, as well as participate in decision making processes, with an open mind. Working together with the other elected bodies on ways that will make the HWA better as time goes on and be an advocate to all those within the HWA community.    

Currently I’m a month away from receiving my MFA in Creative Writing from SNHU after which I plan to teach as well as build a curriculum for speculative fiction for students.  I am also a contributing writer in the recent Bram Stoker nominated anthology Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign. The Center for Fiction, where I am hosting a monthly workshop called Beyond the Tropes, has asked that I return for another season starting in the fall to continue my work. You can read more about me and my work at www.whoismarclabbott.com.   


Linda Addison

I have been an active member of HWA for more than twenty years. I am running for Trustee to continue to give back to the community that has been uplifting me. Many of the writers I’ve met over the years in the organization have been gracious in sharing information and lifting up my writing. 

If I am chosen, I will support the organization in the most inclusive and positive way. My strength is in being open to listen to all sides of a subject and come to a conclusion constructive for the majority. 

I am the author of five award-winning collections, including How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend, recipient of the HWA Lifetime Achievement Award and SFPA Grand Master of Fantastic Poetry. Read more about me as a writer: www.LindaAddisonWriter.com


James Chambers

I’m seeking re-election as Trustee for the opportunity to continue working to help make the Horror Writers Association an inclusive, positive, and productive organization for horror writers at all levels. As a long-time volunteer, I’ve participated in multiple aspects of the HWA and have had the opportunity to get to know and work with many of our members. Since first volunteering for the Membership Committee in 2011, I’ve remained engaged by contributing to a range of other HWA activities and programs. I’ve striven to stay connected with members’ concerns and goals and represent them on the Board. I’m presently the co-coordinator of the HWA’s New York Chapter, which I helped relaunch in 2013. I co-chaired StokerCon 2018, 2021, and 2022, the latter two marking the HWA’s first fully virtual and first hybrid conventions, which significantly increased attendance and expanded programming. I’m the administrative co-chair for the Bram Stoker Awards and the co-coordinator of Horror University, which the HWA launched as an online program in 2020 and is currently building into an archive of recorded workshops. A recipient of the Richard Laymon President’s Award (2012) and the Silver Hammer (2016), I’ve had the honor of working with the HWA’s many dedicated officers and volunteers to build and improve our programs and resources and expand them to better serve our members. I’m running for re-election so that I can continue helping our organization to evolve, develop and launch new initiatives, and carry on the HWA’s core mission to promote the horror genre and the work of horror writers in an open, welcoming, and professional atmosphere.


Ellen Datlow

I’ve been a trustee for the HWA for a long time-more than ten years. It’s an important job and I’m happy to be able to continue doing it. I’m proud of what the board has accomplished during my trusteeship, and believe we can continue to lead the membership by navigating unexpected circumstances (such as the cancellation of many live events as a result of the pandemic) with grace and fortitude; by creating new opportunities for our members; and by continuing to encourage and embrace horror writers from all walks of life.

Being a trustee is a big responsibility and a privilege, and I would like to continue serving the membership in that capacity.

I’ve also served as a judge for the Stoker Award several times, sat on the Scholarship committee for two years, and helped run the HWA booths at Book Expo, The Brooklyn Book Festival, and NY ComicCon.

I’ve been editing sf/f/h short fiction for forty years, currently
acquiring and editing stories and novellas for Tor.com. I’ve also edited almost one hundred anthologies, including the annual The Best Horror of the Year.

I’ve won multiple World Fantasy Awards, Locus Awards, Hugo Awards, Stoker Awards, International Horror Guild Awards, Shirley Jackson Awards, and the 2012 Il Posto Nero Black Spot Award for Excellence as Best Foreign Editor. I’ve also been named recipient of the 2007 Karl Edward Wagner Award, given at the British Fantasy Convention for “outstanding contribution to the genre”; have been honored with the Life Achievement Award given by the Horror Writers Association, in acknowledgment of superior achievement over an entire career, and the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award, which is presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to the fantasy field.


Anthony Gambol

As I near a decade in the HWA, I’ve engaged in a process so common for so many who have done something for so long:  reflection.  On the time gone by; the work that we’ve done; the lives that have touched ours.  It is this reflection that inspired me to submit myself to you as a candidate for HWA Trustee.

This humane community of creatives represents the finest vision of artistic endeavor, inclusive collaboration, and professional assistance.  For its members, it’s an oasis in a desert of doubt and uncertainty.  Those of us who have stopped to drink have found life in its waters.  My goal is to help maintain the HWA’s vital purpose both for all of us and for all those yet to find it.

I welcome the opportunity to serve as your Trustee and I am grateful for your consideration.


Sèphera Girón

I’m Sèphera and I live in Toronto and have been an active member of HWA since the nineties. 

I ran the HWA Ontario/Canadian chapter for over twenty-seven years and was awarded the Silver Hammer for my efforts. During the pandemic, I stepped down. There are now a couple of Canadian chapters, and the Ontario chapter is in great hands with Monica S. Kuebler, Julianne Snow, and David Thirteen. I’m still involved with the chapter but now I have time and energy to try other areas of volunteering in the HWA. I’d like to run for Trustee as I’ve been a member of HWA since the eighties and have seen all the incarnations, glories, and scandals. My knowledge of the HWA combined with being a full-time working writer means that I can bring my expertise to the table. I also am open-minded and am willing to learn all the things that I don’t know. I look forward to helping the HWA continue to grow. 





Douglas Gwilym

Hi, it’s Douglas Gwilym. Your underdog candidate for Trustee.

But maybe you’ve seen me. At StokerCon ’22 in Denver at my author reading, or the poetry open mic, or on the folk horror panel with our amazing guests of honor. You may also have heard me read the classics of Weird Fiction on social media. If you’re an editor, you’ve watched my stories crash relentlessly on your shore (I keep 40-50 going at all times). If you’re a Pittsburgher, you’ve seen me banging out monster tunes on a street corner on the Southside, or reading my work at libraries and universities, or maybe you caught my rock opera of psychic apocalypse, Bonnie Wipes It All Clean.

I’ve taught horror, science fiction, and fantasy at the Alpha Young Writers Workshop. Edited the speculative annual Triangulation for four years (lending those editions my own glistening sheen of weird). My story “Year Six”, in LampLight Magazine, made the preliminary ballot for a Bram Stoker Award this year. I’ve been a background investigator, a DJ, an adjunct professor, a strawberry farmer, a graphic designer, and a sign maker, plus worked the line in an ice cream cone factory. Now I’d like to be your trustee.

I offer enthusiasm and ideas. I love our organization and want to see it grow, with outreaches to both new writers and established voices in horror and related genres, to grow our ranks. I hope to help expand our wonderful existing mentor program to include a second tier, for those who aren’t beginners but find themselves spinning their wheels to find their way forward. I think there are many great facets to our web presence, but its infrastructure could use improvement. We’re a great organization. Let’s push it all even farther!

I hope you’ll support me for trustee, but—in any case—I can’t wait to see you at StokerCon ’23, in my beautiful hometown of Pittsburgh. Maybe there will be zombies… or maybe the mythical Fourth River will finally burst its bonds, flooding us all with eldritch wonders.


Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito

When I joined HWA, I found an incredibly welcoming and supportive writing community. My first year I participated in the mentorship program where my HWA mentor read my stories, revised my work, and generally kept me sane as I learned about the industry. This wasn’t an isolated experience and I can say confidently that HWA members are some of the kindest and most supportive writers I’ve met. That being the case, I’d like to join the Board in continuing to strengthen, support, and grow HWA’s membership. 

At HWA, I serve on the Membership Committee where I have the delightful role of processing applications, answering membership questions, and welcoming new members. More recently, I had the honor of being one of the judges for the HWA Poetry Showcase this year.  

I’m also a co-chair of the Young Willamette Writers, which is a non-profit group dedicated to providing free writing workshops to middle grade and high school students in the Portland, Oregon region. Additionally, I volunteer with Kundiman—a national organization dedicated to the creation and cultivation of Asian American creative writing. I’m a first reader for Nightmare Magazine and Space and Time. I’ve also served as a board member and officer for legal organizations and schools.   

Outside of writing, I’m an administrative patent judge, and prior to my federal appointment I was in private practice at intellectual property firms specializing in patents, trademarks, and copyrights. I’ve been an attorney for sixteen years and a judge for nine. Understanding legal issues is not new to me and I believe having that background on the Board would be helpful to HWA in general.

For my writing, I work across genres in poetry, non-fiction, and speculative for both adults and children. I’m a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA). My work is out (or forthcoming) in several venues including Nailed Magazine, Buckman Journal’s Issue 006, Flame Tree Press’s Asian Ghost Stories, Strangehouse’s Chromophobia, Moms Who Write’s Order of Us, Death’s Garden Revisited, Not A Pipe’s Stories (Within), Startling Stories, and Unquiet Spirits: Essays by Asian Women in Horror.

As I have said in my HWA Asian Heritage in Horror interview, I started writing because the bookshelves disappointed me. There simply wasn’t enough diversity in the stories I wanted to buy and read for myself and my children. Because of that, my writing has always leaned hard and unabashedly into my heritage from an immigrant perspective. And because of my experiences with the writing industry thus far, I think we can do more in general to lift marginalized voices as well as create opportunities to support all writers at all levels of membership.

Thank you for considering my candidacy. I look forward to working with all of you.

Happy Writing!


Eugene Johnson

I would like to run for Board of trustees. I believe Horror and Writing  very powerful Able to  make a difference to many people in the world. 

I believe the HWA is a powerful tool to help people and to deliver that message I want to use my resources and knowledge to help you sure

  • Gene M. Johnson is a Rondo Award Nominee, 3 time Bram Stoker nominee and Bram Stoker Award®-winning editor, author filmmaker and columnist. He has written as well as edited in various genres, and created anthologies such as the Attack From The’80s, Fantastic Tales Of Terror, Appalachian Undead with Jason Sizemore, Drive In Creature Feature with Charles Day, the Bram Stoker Award®-nominated non-fiction anthology Where Nightmares Come From: The Art Of Storytelling In The Horror Genre, the Tales Of The Lost series and many more. He has worked with Apex Books, Crystal Lake Press, Cemetery Dance and other well known publishers. He has a masters in Mental Health Counseling and he writes often on the theory of horror as well as storytelling as coping mechanism for mental illness. He lives in Appalachia with his family.


Stephen Mark Rainey

I would like to hereby state my intention to run for the position of Trustee. I am a longtime active member of HWA, with over thirty-five years’ experience as a professional writer and more than a decade of experience as editor of the award-winning Deathrealm magazine (plus a few anthologies). Over the years, I have treasured the friendships, the professional opportunities, and the sense of community that belonging to HWA has offered. I have seen this organization go through ups, downs, and upheavals of all sorts as it has steadily developed into an excellent and effective professional organization. In my experience, the integrity of HWA’s members and officers has always been inspiring, and I would very much appreciate the opportunity to play a larger role in this organization’s continued growth and influence.

In my more “traditional” daytime career over the past forty years, I have been a product manager as well as graphic services specialist & coordinator for companies both small and large. This professional experience has, for me, nurtured a long and dedicated commitment to transparency, open communication, and positive personal interaction that I feel is paramount in any organization, and particularly HWA, which is composed of so many unique and creative talents. Having recently retired from my position of the past twenty-three years with one of the nation’s best-known publishers of educational resources, I am seeking to devote my professional energy to the field for which I have held the most passion for literally all of my adult life. It would be my honor to serve as one of HWA’s Trustees.


David Rose

David Rose here: active member of the HWA. After attending our last StokerCon, I feel compelled to get more involved. The apparent commitment to keep our beautiful Frankenstein on its feet is no small thing, and I imagine circulating this labor of love is crucial to its overall health and longevity. I believe I have the time per week and the abilities necessary to be a viable asset. Over the next few years, it is my hope to both serve as trustee and get going some type of HWA veterans group. I feel these ambitions don’t conflict, if anything they may be complimentary.


Lindy Ryan

I am writing to express my interest in running for a position on the Board of Trustees for the HWA. I am an active member in good standing and have been involved with the HWA for many years—as an observer, as a member, and previously as part of the social media team. 

As my involvement with the HWA has increased, I have volunteered in a number of small capacities, including as a verifier for the 2021 election results, assisting with website updates for the 2021 Bram Stoker Awards®, and leading 2022’s Women in Horror Month (WiHM) interview series. I’m also grateful to have formatted the HWA Poetry Showcase Volume 8, and to have been asked to do so again for Volume 9. Most recently, my service to the HWA has been as the co-chair of the newly formed Publishers Council, alongside co-chair Maxwell Gold, HWA’s current Treasurer. Though our efforts are just beginning, we look forward to building a sustainable, equitable, and transparent future of horror publishing.

As a long-time publishing professional, I am the founder and president of traditional small press Black Spot Books, acquired in 2019 as an imprint of multimedia corporation Vesuvian Media Group, Inc. From 2020-2022 I served on the board of directors for the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) as well as IBPA’s Editorial and DEI committees, and previous to that, I was on the board of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA). For these efforts, I was named a Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree in 2020.

As a creative, I’ve edited sf/f/h fiction/non-fiction for many years, including work in anthologies and poetry showcases, all of which have won various awards. I am a traditionally published author, with non-horror related work already adapted to film, a number of academic texts to support my job as a professor at Rutgers University, and forthcoming novels from St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur. I’ve also written and produced an animated short Halloween film. 

From volunteer service to member activities, my HWA membership has been a rewarding and dynamic experience, where the opportunities to grow, network, learn, and support the horror community have been second to none. I would be grateful to put my experience as a publisher, writer, and editor at the service of our Association, to support our members, and our future, in the most inclusive and equitable way possible. Long live horror!


John F.D. Taff

Who Am I?
I’ve been writing professionally in the horror genre for thirty-plus years.  I’ve had five novels, three collections and more than 140 short stories in print over that time.  I’ve been an active member of the Horror Writers Association from the moment I sold my first pro-rate story to Cemetery Dance in the mid-90s. Since then, I’ve been short-listed for the Bram Stoker award twice and served as the Program Director for the HWA’s first standalone StokerCon, held in Las Vegas in 2016, working closely with Rena Mason and Lisa Morton.  I have deep, longstanding roots in the horror community.  I am active on Twitter, with 18,000 followers. I support the horror community at every possible turn.

What Do I Want?
I want horror to be the most welcoming, open-armed genre out there.  I want to help expand opportunities for every voice that wants to write in the horror genre. I want everyone to have a say in how the Horror Writers Association remains a powerful force for authors and publishers in the future.

What Do I Offer to the Horror Writers Association?
I bring more than thirty years’ experience in marking and communications, having worked for ad/pr agencies. The largest account I managed directly was for a media trade association, and I got plenty of experience in how these organizations are run, and how they can be a powerful force for industry professionals.  I was also the publisher of a multi-million-dollar, century-old, art trade journal. This, plus my extensive experience as a horror author and my support for and mentoring of numerous fellow authors, I think makes me uniquely qualified to serve as a Trustee of the Horror Writers Association.

Why Me?
Simple.  I care.  Deeply, down to the black marrow of my bones.  I believe in horror, and I believe in the efficacy and importance of a strong association that not only assists its members, but also take definite stands on important issues.  Past shepherds of the organization have given us an active, vital resource, and I think I have much to offer in helping guide the HWA into a vibrant future.

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