Horror Writers Association

HWA Election Results 2022


HWA Election Results 2022
Los Angeles CA September 22, 2022

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) held its annual election in September. We had an unprecedented number of candidates for the three open positions of Trustee. Offices of President and Secretary ran unopposed. Our members have voted, and we are pleased to share the results.

Please welcome our new president, John Edward Lawson; the re-election of our Secretary, Becky Spratford; and the re-election of our three Trustees: Linda Addison, James Chambers, and Ellen Datlow.  

The elected officers shall hold their respective offices for terms of two years, beginning on October 31st at midnight. 

I’d like to thank our Election Committee: Lisa Marie Wood, Rhonda Jackson Joseph, and Nicole Kurtz; our Ballot Master: Angel Leigh McCoy; Verifiers: Lila Denning and Shawnna Deresch; and our administrator: Brad Hodson.

I’d also like to thank our amazing outgoing President, John Palisano. The HWA has grown tremendously under his leadership and seen much success. We are thankful for his many years of loyalty and service.

Welcome to the new team. We’re looking forward to continuing the great work of the Horror Writers Association!

Meghan Arcuri
Vice President, HWA 



John Edward Lawson

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.



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. 



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.

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