Trustee Candidate Statements 2017
(in alphabetical order by last name):
I would like to run for one of the open trustee positions for the Horror Writers Association.
I was first brought into the fold by the Borderlands Press Boot Camp, led by Thomas F. Monteleone, F. Paul Wilson, Douglas E. Winter, and guest instructors such as David Morrell, Gary A. Braunbeck, Mort Castle, and Elizabeth Massie, who have each taken me under their wings at one point or another. Each of these individuals (and many others, especially my writing peers) have helped mold me into the person I am today. I was invited (sometime during all of this development) by Rocky Wood to join the Horror Writers Association, and have been a member ever since.
In the last ten years, I have become a multi-award-winning writer and editor, and the recipient of over two dozen literary accolades, including the Bram Stoker Award®, Benjamin Franklin Award, Eric Hoffer Book Award, Independent Publisher Book Award, the Indie Book Award, the International Book Award, and others. My nonlinear novels include Palindrome Hannah, Phoenix Rose, and Psychotropic Dragon (forthcoming), and I have published two short story and poetry collections, Scales and Petals, and Inkblots and Blood Spots, as well as Enso, an illustrated children’s book. I am the founder of Written Backwards, an independent press focused on carrying the torch handed to me by my mentors, seeking diverse new voices to publish alongside some of the best writers of contemporary fiction.
I am responsible for anthologies such as Qualia Nous, The Library of the Dead, four volumes of Chiral Mad, You Human, a series of illustrated books, and a few debut fiction collections by up-and-comers, among other projects. I am currently at work on a science fiction thriller called Seen in Distant Stars, a new fiction collection, The Impossible Weight of Life, and collaborating on various projects. My most recent anthology, Chiral Mad 4, is a completely collaborative book (co-edited with Lucy A. Snyder), which will include four short stories, four novelettes, four novellas, and four graphic adaptations—all collaborative efforts. In other words, I am constantly pushing boundaries, crossing/mixing genres, and designing what I hope are forever-memorable books.
During my adventures within the Horror Writers Association, I have served as a mentor, assisted the Grievance Committee, and served as a judge for the Bram Stoker Awards.
Recently, I have taken the plunge to become a full-time freelance editor, book designer, and to further development my own writing.
As a member of the Board of Trustees, I will continue seeking new, diverse voices, as well as illustrators, book designers, and other such artists, in hopes of bringing people together to create the most beautiful books imaginable. I have always wanted to volunteer more of my time to help the Horror Writers Association evolve, and finally have that opportunity. No organization is perfect, but I wholeheartedly believe in the gathering of willing individuals to help any organization live and breathe, and at least come somewhere close to perfection. As most of you have come to realize over the years, I do not take sides; I am diplomatic and logical in everything I do.
I am running for re-election as a Trustee for the Horror Writers Association. This is a position I’ve held since 2012, during which time I like to think I’ve had a positive impact on the organization of which I’ve been a member of for more than 13 years.
In the short time I’ve had the honor of being a Trustee, I’ve focused my efforts on several distinct, but inter-related, areas:
- The Library Program
- The Literacy Program
- Young Adult (YA) Horror
- Partnerships Outside the Genre
- Increasing the HWA’s Visibility
To date, here is what I, in partnership with the Board, other trustees, and committees made up of dedicated volunteers, have achieved:
- The formation of the Young Adults Write Now scholarship program, which allocates 5 stipends of $500 each to libraries that have horror-oriented writing programs for teens and tweens.
A Libraries day as part of StokerCon, with panels devoted to library-oriented topics and guest speakers, such as Becky Spratford, from the library world.
A convention funding program which has seen the HWA represented at more than 20 medium- and large-sized events nationwide (and in Europe) to promote our organization and the genre.
Mentions for the HWA and YA horror writing in various mediums ranging from newscasts to nationally syndicated comic strips.
A partnership with the American Library Association’s United For Libraries program, which includes having all HWA members listed in the UFL’s database, which can be accessed by libraries looking for writers to come in and give presentations. Normally this would be $49 per year for a writer, but it is now a perk of being an HWA member.
Multiple panels at American Library Association annual meetings.
The creation and upgrade (currently in progress) of the HWA’s library database, which members can access in order to get contact information for local libraries interested in horror writers.
The establishment of the HWA’s Young Adult Horror program and committee. I also worked with Angel McCoy and the Board to create a YA Horror page for the HWA’s website, which now features articles and information for both YA readers and YA librarians.
The establishment of the HWA’s presence at New York ComicCon, which has since been managed by the New York City/Long Island chapter of the HWA.
The HWA’s first SOPs for individuals and chapters wishing to host tables at conventions, including new policies, a submission request form, and various pieces of promotional items that can all be found in a single place on our website.
The placement of several articles on the HWA and our YA program in various library and literacy resources, including VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) Magazine.
Working relationships with individuals outside the horror genre, such as artist Ray Billingsley (creator of the CURTIS comic strip), musician Richard Christy, and actress Amber Benson, all of whom have contributed in one way or another to the HWA’s literacy program.
The development of a special page on the HWA website devoted to librarians, which not only provides information about the horror genre, but also includes links to our recommended reading lists, YA page, and past Bram Stoker Award winners and nominees.
The annual placement of HWA brochures and flyers at all the major regional and state library conferences each year in order to increase our name recognition among librarians.
If I am re-elected my goals for the next 2 years will continue in the same vein. I am presently working with Becky Spratford to establish a multi-genre program that will help both authors and readers by combining the resources of the HWA, RWA, SFWA, MWA, and ITW to promote small press works and publishers through reviews and new release blurbs. In conjunction with other board members, I am working on a project to create informational videos on various writing topics and to also record panels at upcoming StokerCons. These videos would then be made available for educational purposes to schools and libraries.
Additional information about me
- I’ve been a member of the HWA for more than 13 years.
- I’ve been a Mentor since 2007, during which time I’ve mentored 7 writers (all of them published now).
- I currently direct the HWA Library & Literacy Committee.
- I’ve volunteered at several HWA Stoker weekends and moderated several popular panels at HWA and WHC events.
- I Chaired the Stoker Screenplay Jury for 3 years.
- I speak regularly at local libraries in my area on topics such as YA horror and Literacy.
- I am a member of the SFWA, MWA, RWA, and ITW, which, while it might not seem to have a bearing on being an HWA Trustee, it does, because it means exposure to how other organizations do things, and our Board and the boards of other organizations are working on ways to help each other grow and serve our members in new ways.
- I occasionally find time to write, with 6 novels, 9 novellas, and more than 60 short stories published since I joined the HWA. (Do I consider that a part of my success story? I do! I had no publications before joining.)
In closing, I would like to say that no single Board member or Trustee achieves anything alone. We operate as a team, developing and sharing ideas, recommending changes or improvements, and doing everything we can to move the organization forward in ways that best meet the needs of our membership. Our successes are truly a team effort).
I am seeking a second consecutive term as a member of the Board of Trustees. I served as a trustee in the ‘90s and also stepped into the Vice President position after Lisa assumed the presidency when Rocky Wood passed away while in office.
I see my role as something of an “elder statesman” on the board. I sold my first novel in 1981, so I have been around for a long time. I was a member of the HWA’s first incarnation as “HOWL,” founded by Karen and Joe Lansdale and Robert R. McCammon.
I served as the president of the local chapter of a nonprofit medical organization at a time when a medical professional was contemplating a lawsuit against a number of members, and this experience has taught me to consider the potential for conflicts and unwanted consequences regarding HWA’s programs and policies. I see my function on the board as more of a gatekeeper rather than an innovator. I want to protect the HWA and our membership from predatory business dealings and unethical practices in the publishing industry, and limit the number of missteps we collectively and individually (and inevitably) make as we try to implement more services and programs for the membership. The best part of being on the board is working with a slate of officers and board members who truly want to help other horror writers, and who want the best for the HWA at all levels. I do, too.
I ask for your vote in reelecting me to the board. Thank you.
I’ve been an Active Member of the HWA for a dozen years and have seen the organization grow and mature in many important ways. I like the direction in which it’s going and would like to contribute to that process.
Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of serving as a mentor—officially and unofficially—for several HWA members, and have been pleased to see some of them make sales. Guidance, sharing, and networking are crucial.
I spent some years as chairman of the Pennsylvania-New Jersey chapter and used the meetings as mini-workshops to help members improve the craft of writing and their understanding of the business of publishing.
I’m deeply invested in community-building for writers, both in and out of the HWA. I ran the Writers Room of Bucks County and the Writers Corner, co-founder the philanthropic Liars Club, and launched the free Writers Coffeehouses. Those Coffeehouses are now opening across the country, open to all writers. I’m delighted to say that quite a few HWA members, including Stoker Award winners, join with me in facilitating these free events which benefit writers of all genres and levels of publishing success.
I edited the HWA’s first young adult anthology, Scary Out There, which was sold to Simon & Schuster via my agent, Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc. The anthology included original stories by some of today’s top horror writers as well some talented newcomers, and proceeds benefit the HWA. Contributors to the anthology include R.L. Stine, Brenna Yovanoff, Ellen Hopkins, Carrie Ryan, Cherie Priest, Zac Brewer, Josh Malerman, Madeleine Roux, Lucy Snyder, Nancy Holder, Neal Shusterman, Marge Simon, Linda Addison, Jade Shames, Rachel Tafoya, Steve Rasnic Tem, Christopher Golden, Kendare Blake, Rachel Caine, Tim Waggoner, and Ilsa Bick.
I’m currently working on additional anthology projects for the HWA.
I wrote a popular blog, also called Scary Out There, which was included on the HWA website. In it I interviewed dozens of top writers of teen horror fiction including Charlie Higson, Darren Shan, Ellen Hopkins, Gretchen McNeil, Holly Black, Ilsa Bick, James Rollins, Jeff Hirsch, Kami Garcia, Kendare Blake, Kim Harrison, Maggie Stiefvater, Melissa De La Cruz, Rachel Caine, Rick Yancey, Barry Lyga, Tonya Hurley, and many others.
I have served as a judge for several Stoker Award Juries, most recently the Screenplay Jury.
I am a full-time working writer, a New York Times bestseller, author of more than thirty novels (including three Bram Stoker Award winners); twenty-eight nonfiction books (including a Stoker Award winning book on folklore); fifteen graphic novels (including one Stoker Award winner); as well as more than twelve hundred feature articles; three thousand-plus columns, reviews and blog posts; two plays, and more. Many of my projects are in development for film and TV; and one has been adapted to a board game.
I am a frequent workshop leader, guest of honor, and keynote speaker for writing and genre events around the country and around the world. I am very active in helping emerging writers make their step, as well as aiding my seasoned colleagues move their careers forward. The writing world is tough, we all know that, but cooperation, the free sharing of information, and mutual support will help us all rise.
These recent years involved with HWA have been a most rewarding experience!
I’ve served on the Board as Chair. We have accomplished more together than any Board ever, in my estimation. Our Trustee group discussion board has greatly facilitated discussions and group decisions –thanks to Lisa Morton for the design.
I’ve contributed news to “From the Trenches”, and maintained my Dark Poets Columns (including other articles pertinent to writing) in the HWA NL. I am one of the regular proofreaders for the HWA Newsletter and worked with our editor, Kathy Ptacek on ideas for future writer oriented columns including a Women of Dark Fiction feature. I’ve worked to keep members informed and help find resolutions to problems they may have. I believe in responding personally and promptly to our members’ needs and concerns. If you have questions or problems, I’m here to help if I can.
HWA Writers’ and Poets’ scholarships: I have served on both committees and will be happy to continue doing so. In addition, I have served as a judge for the HWA Poetry Showcase and donated my art for three covers.
I’ve continued to stay involved with raising poetry awareness. I’ve found a new editor, David E. Cowen, to take over as editor of the Poetry Page, accessible to members and non-members at our site: www.horror.org.
Future project: I am working with Robert Payne Cabeen on an HWA Cookbook, proceeds to go to HWA projects. Recipes, photos and art will be solicited from HWA members. We’re hoping to see this come to completion by 2018.
I have the time (retired from a day job) and a couple of decades of experience in writing and publishing. I donate it gladly. It seems like we are all energized by one another!
All the folks on our Board are simply great to work with. There is camaraderie; there is support and a positive flow throughout. It is an experience I sincerely treasure. I hope I can continue to serve as a Trustee of the HWA if you will have me.