2017 Horror Writers Association Scholarships

The Horror Writers Association has named its 2017 scholarship winners.

The scholarship, open to all horror writers (HWA membership is not required), is worth $2500, which may be spent on approved writing education over the two years following the granting of the scholarship.

The 2017 winner is:

John C. Mannone

John C. Mannone has work in Blue Fifth Review, New England Journal of Medicine, Peacock Journal, Gyroscope ReviewBaltimore Review, Pedestal, Pirene’s Fountain, Event Horizon, Eye To The Telescope and others. He’s the winner of the 2017 Jean Ritchie Fellowship in Appalachian literature and the recipient of two Weymouth writing residencies. He has three poetry collections: Apocalypse (Alban Lake Publishing), nominated for the 2017 Elgin Book Award; Disabled Monsters (The Linnet’s Wings Press) featured at the 2016 Southern Festival of Books; and Flux Lines (Celtic Cat Publishing). He’s been awarded two Joy Margrave Awards for Nonfiction and nominated for several Pushcart, Rhysling, and Best of the Net awards. He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex, Silver Blade, and Liquid Imagination. He’s professor of physics near Knoxville, TN. http://jcmannone.wordpress.com

This scholarship, worth $2,500, is open to female horror writers. It may be spent on approved writing education over the two years following the granting of the scholarship.

The late Rocky Wood, then HWA President, explained why the scholarship was created in 2014.

It is very clear to the HWA that there are unseen, but real, barriers limiting the amount of horror fiction being published by women. There are many fine women writers being published in our genre but we also see potential for the percentage of horror fiction being published by women to increase. This Scholarship, named after the great female horror writer, aims to encourage more female writers to enter our genre and to aid in the development of those already working within it. At the same time the HWA exists to extend the horror genre in all its aspects, so we are also establishing Horror Writers Association Scholarship, which is open to all our members, regardless of gender.

The 2017 winner is:

Anita Siraki

A.E. Siraki writes horror and dark fantasy novels and short stories. She is pursuing her Master of Information degree at the University of Toronto specializing in Library Science and Book History. A graduate of the Borderlands Press Writers Bootcamp, her fiction has appeared in Murky DepthsDark Heroes (Pill Hill Press), Ghostlight Magazine, and others. She has written non-fiction articles and book reviews for such venues as Geeks of Doom, Hellnotes, and Horror World. Visit her blog or follow her on Twitter for updates.

A.E. said, “It is incredibly humbling and a great honour for me to have been chosen as this year’s recipient of the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship. I am tremendously grateful to the voting committee and the Horror Writers Association for providing such wonderful opportunities for writers. This scholarship will enable me to continue honing my craft as well as to pursue avenues to challenge myself and to develop further as a writer. I would also like to convey my heartfelt and profound appreciation to all those who have helped me along the way. Thank you!”

The Dark Poetry Scholarship, first awarded in 2015, is designed to assist in the professional development of Horror and/or Dark Fantasy Poets. It is worth $1,250, which may be spent on approved writing education over the two years following the granting of the scholarship.

The 2017 winner is:

Ashley Dioses

Ashley Dioses is a writer of dark fantasy, horror, and weird poetry from southern California.  Her debut collection of dark traditional poetry, Diary of a Sorceress, is forthcoming from Hippocampus Press in October.  Her poetry has appeared in Weird Fiction Review, Spectral Realms, Weirdbook Magazine, and elsewhere.  Her poem “Carathis,” published in Spectral Realms 1, appeared in Ellen Datlow’s full recommended Best Horror of the Year Volume Seven list. She has also appeared in the Horror Writers Association Poetry Showcase 2016 for her poem “Ghoul Mistress.”  She is an Active member in the HWA and a member of the SFPA.  She blogs at fiendlover.blogspot.com.

The Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship Fund for Non-fiction Writing provides grants for research and writing nonfiction relating to horror and dark fantasy literature. The amount is flexible. Membership in HWA is not a requirement.

The 2017 winners are:

  • Kelly Robinson is a freelance writer and researcher with a particular interest in silent horror films. Her bylines appear in magazines such as Rue Morgue, Smithsonian, History, and Mental Floss. Her feature story on lost horror films was nominated for a Rondo Hatton Award for excellence in classic horror research. She has produced and hosted eclectic events from underground theatre to an international conference on Jack the Ripper, and is the founder and host of Knoxferatu, a silent horror film event in Knoxville, TN. She is currently researching and writing a book on lost horror films from the silent era and beyond, and recently gave a presentation on lost horror silents at the Library of Congress’ Mostly Lost film workshop. Her essay “Where the Wild Roses Grow: The Strange Allure of Murder Ballads” will appear in the upcoming book Under My Thumb: Songs That Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them (Repeater Books, 2017).
  • Stephanie M. Wytovich is an American poet, novelist, and essayist. Her work has been showcased in numerous anthologies such as Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, Shadows Over Main Street: An Anthology of Small-Town Lovecraftian Terror, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror: Volume 2, The Best Horror of the Year: Volume 8, as well as many others.

Wytovich is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, an adjunct at Point Park University, and a mentor with Crystal Lake Publishing. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, and a graduate of Seton Hill University’s MFA program for Writing Popular Fiction. Her Bram Stoker Award-winning poetry collection, Brothel, earned a home with Raw Dog Screaming Press alongside Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, and An Exorcism of Angels. Her debut novel, The Eighth, is published with Dark Regions Press.

Her next poetry collection, Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare, is scheduled to be released October 2017 from Raw Dog Screaming Press.

2017 MacArthur Genius Grants

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced the 24 fellows who are receiving this year’s “genius grants”, $625,000 disbursed over five years to spend any way they choose. The recipients work in a variety of fields, from computer science to theater, immunology and photography.

Although none come from the bullseye center of the sff field, like 1995 winner Octavia Butler, one of the 2017 winners has a genre connection, opera director and producer Yuval Sharon, whose next project is an adaptation of the radio program “War of the Worlds.”

“I’m totally amazed,” said Sharon, 37, the founder and artistic director of The Industry, a Los Angeles-based production company that produces operas in nontraditional spaces and formats. A 2015 production transported audience members and performers to various locations in Los Angeles via limousines, with singers and musicians performing along the way and at each stop.

Sharon’s “War of the Worlds” will be performed in November utilizing decommissioned World War II sirens to broadcast a performance occurring simultaneously inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall and at nearby locations on the streets of downtown Los Angeles.

Orson Welles’ 1938 “fake news” led millions of panicked listeners to believe that aliens were invading. Yuval Sharon takes the original radio script as the basis of an audacious new performance piece to be heard around L.A. — at WWII era sirens reactivated for two-way communication — and simultaneously at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Composer Annie Gosfield’s use of radio sounds makes her the ideal collaborator in this must-see event.


WAR OF THE WORLDS delves into new layers of the city’s history and bring them to life in an unprecedented way. The sirens that dot the landscape of Los Angeles are silent witnesses to a time filled with existential anxiety, and also to the birth of the city’s cultural development.

World War II brought to Los Angeles both the constant fear of annihilation from beyond – and, paradoxically, a stream of European refugees who shaped the city’s cultural growth. As markers of the turning point of the city, the 240 defunct sirens are ideal icons to resurrect in the hopes of both commemorating the past but also meditating on the present and future life of a city undergoing such an exciting cultural transformation.


Here is the complete list of 2017 fellows:

  • Njideka Akunyili Crosby, painter, Los Angeles.
  • Sunil Amrith, historian, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Greg Asbed, human rights strategist, Immokalee, Fla.
  • Annie Baker, playwright, New York.
  • Regina Barzilay, computer scientist, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Dawoud Bey, photographer and educator, Chicago.
  • Emmanuel Candès, mathematician and statistician, Stanford, Calif.
  • Jason De León, anthropologist, Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Rhiannon Giddens, singer and songwriter, Greensboro, N.C.
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones, journalist, New York.
  • Cristina Jiménez Moreta, social justice organizer, Washington, D.C.
  • Taylor Mac, theater artist, New York.
  • Rami Nashashibi, community leader, Chicago.
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen, fiction writer and cultural critic, Los Angeles.
  • Kate Orff, landscape architect, New York.
  • Trevor Paglen, artist and geographer, Berlin.
  • Betsy Levy Paluck, psychologist, Princeton, New Jersey.
  • Derek Peterson, historian, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • Damon Rich, designer and urban planner, Newark, New Jersey.
  • Stefan Savage, computer scientist, La Jolla, California.
  • Yuval Sharon, opera director/producer, Los Angeles.
  • Tyshawn Sorey, composer and musician, Middletown, Connecticut.
  • Gabriel Victora, immunologist, New York.
  • Jesmyn Ward, fiction writer, New Orleans

2017 WSFA Small Press Award

“The Tomato Thief,” by Ursula Vernon, published in Apex Magazine, ed. by Jason Sizemore, (January 2016) is the winner of the 2017 WSFA Small Press Award. Congratulations to Oor Wombat!

The Washington Science Fiction Association announced the winner at Capclave on October 7. The award recognizes the best short fiction published by a small press in 2016, and consists of certificates and trophies for both the author and publisher, and $500 for the author.

The other finalists for the 2016 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction were:

  • “Foxfire, Foxfire,” by Yoon Ha Lee, published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, ed. by Scott H. Andrews, (March 2016);
  • “Jupiter or Bust,” by Brad R. Torgersen, published in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, ed. by Edmund Schubert, (March/ April 2016);
  • “The Mytilenian Delay,” by Neil James Hudson, in Hyperpowers, ed. by Bascombe James, published by Third Flatiron Publishing (May 2016);
  • “Only Their Shining Beauty Was Left,” by Fran Wilde, published in Shimmer Magazine, ed. by E. Catherine Tobler, (September 2016);
  • “Radio Silence,” by Walter H. Hunt in Alien Artifacts, ed. by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray, published by Zombies Need Brains, (2016);
  • “A Salvaging of Ghosts,” by Aliette de Bodard, published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, ed. by Scott H. Andrews, (March 2016);
  • “Vengence Sewn With A Fey Cord,” by Christine Lucas, published in The Future Fire, ed. by Djibril al-Ayad, (April 2016);
  • “The Witch’s Knives,” by Margaret Ronald, published in Strange Horizons, ed. by Niall Harrison, Jane Crowley, Kate Dollarhyde, Lila Garrott, Catherine Krahe, An Owomoyela, and Vajra Chandrasekera, (October 2016).

The winner was chosen by members of the Washington Science Fiction Association, who voted on texts with the identity of the author (and publisher) hidden so that the final choice was based solely on the quality of the story.

[Based on the press release.]

Kazuo Ishiguro Wins 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature

Kazuo Ishiguro

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 has been awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world” the citation says.

Following the announcement, Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, described Kazuo Ishiguro’s writing style as a mix of Jane Austen and Franz Kafka: “But you have to add a little bit of Marcel Proust into the mix, and then you stir.”

The fantastic elements in his latest novel, The Buried Giant (2015) argue for his inclusion among the small number of sff authors to win the prize, such as Kipling and Doris Lessing.

That he would consider himself to belong was threshed out in a 2015 exchange between Ursula K. Le Guin and Ishiguro. After he was quoted in an NYT interview pondering, “Will readers follow me into this? Will they understand what I’m trying to do, or will they be prejudiced against the surface elements? Are they going to say this is fantasy?” – Le Guin made the news with her reply – “Well, yes, they probably will. Why not? It appears that the author takes the word for an insult. To me that is so insulting, it reflects such thoughtless prejudice, that I had to write this piece in response.”

Ishiguro subsequently explained, “[Le Guin]’s entitled to like my book or not like my book, but as far as I am concerned, she’s got the wrong person. I am on the side of the pixies and the dragons,” and Le Guin withdrew her criticism: “I am delighted to let Mr Ishiguro make his own case, and to say I am sorry for anything that was hurtful in my evidently over-hasty response to his question ‘Will they think this is fantasy?’”

And in the Academy’s bio-bibliography Ishiguro is explicitly associated with sf —

Ishiguro’s dystopian Never Let Me Go (2005) , Ishiguro introduced a cold undercurrent of science fiction into his work.

His other novels include A Pale View of Hills (1982), An Artist of the Floating World (1986), and The Remains of the Day (1989), which was turned into film with Anthony Hopkins acting as the duty-obsessed butler Stevens. Apart from his eight books, Ishiguro has also written scripts for film and television.

After the award was announced Ishiguro told The Guardian

“It comes at a time when the world is uncertain about its values, its leadership and its safety,” Ishiguro said. “I just hope that my receiving this huge honour will, even in a small way, encourage the forces for goodwill and peace at this time.”

[Thanks to NickPheas for the story.]

2018 Roswell Award Contest Taking Entries

The 2018 Roswell Award for short science fiction by adults (18+) is accepting entries through January 29, 2018.

The Roswell Award was created in 2014 to identify, encourage and promote up-and-coming science fiction writing talent among adults worldwide. Last year’s winner was Richard Larson’s story “Fifteen Minutes Hate”.

Entries must be original science fiction short stories no longer than 1500 words, by a writer over the age of 18.

Sci-Fest L.A. and Light Bringer Project seek to identify and nurture new science fiction writing talent in all corners of the globe. Science fiction writing provides a unique opportunity for writers to develop the ideas and narratives that will shape the future of humanity from how we address pressing scientific, social, philosophical, and environmental issues to inspiring us to develop new technologies and explore outer space. And of course we’re excited to see stories that entertain. We are proud to be taking a leadership role in developing the next generation of science fiction writers.

Four to six finalists will be chosen and their stories read dramatically by celebrity guests in a special performance at LitFest Pasadena on Saturday, May 19, 2018 followed by an awards presentation.

First, second, and third place winners will be chosen from the finalists. Special prizes will also be presented by partnering organizations.

  • First Place: $500 USD
  • Second Place: $250 USD
  • Third Place: $100 USD
  • Special Prize — The “Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award” presented by Artemis Journal and the Hollywood Chapter of the National Organization for Women (Hollywood NOW): Special publication in Artemis Journal and on the Hollywood NOW site and $100 USD.

[The “Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award”] recognizes a science fiction story that embraces feminist themes and has a strong female protagonist. Top entries will exemplify excellence in feminist storytelling, while capturing the complexities of their characters.

Applicants who wish to be considered for the Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award must indicate this on their cover page / their submission email. Stories submitted for this award will be considered for other prizes if they are not a Women Hold Up Half the Sky winner. Stories are eligible for only one prize.

Rules and submission guidelines are on the The Lightbringer Project’s Tomorrow Prize/Roswell Award information page.

2018 Tomorrow Prize for LA Student SF Writers Now Taking Entries

The 2018 Tomorrow Prize is accepting entries from students attending high school in Los Angeles County. The deadline to submit is February 26, 2018.

Contest entries must be original short science fiction stories, not fan fiction, of 1,500 words or less.

Sci-Fest L.A. and Light Bringer Project seek to nurture imagination, creativity and excellence in writing amongst Los Angeles high school students. Science fiction writing provides a unique opportunity for students to develop the ideas and narratives that will shape the future of humanity from how we address pressing scientific, social, philosophical, and environmental issues to inspiring us to develop new technologies and explore outer space. We are seeking narratives that are imaginative, original, thoughtful, well told, and well written.

Five finalists’ stories will be dramatically read on stage by sci-fi celebrities during LitFest Pasadena on Sunday, May 20, 2018, followed by an awards presentation.

The Grand Prize Winner will receive $250, with second and third place winners each receiving $150 and $100, respectively.

The Tomorrow Prize for short science fiction was created by Sci-Fest LA in 2014 “to identify and encourage the next generation of science fiction writing talent.”

Entrants may also choose to be considered for the “Green Feather Award” presented by Los Angeles Audobon.

[The “Green Feather”] award recognizes an outstanding science fiction short story by a teen author [or team of authors] that centers on overcoming today’s environmental challenges. Strong entries will highlight the importance of ecology and biodiversity in some way, and we would be especially excited to see the local ecology, geography, culture, and environmental concerns of Southern California emphasized. We also recognize that issues of social and environmental justice strongly overlap with those concerning wildlife conservation, sea level rise, water conservation, climate change, and energy. Keeping that in mind, a story about a single neighborhood or school overcoming an environmental challenge would be just as valid as a story that tackles a much broader scale.

The “Green Feather” winner will receive a $250 cash prize and a one year Los Angeles Audubon membership.

Stories are eligible for only one prize but stories submitted for The Green Feather Award will be considered for other prizes if they are not a Green Feather Award winner.

Rules and submission guidelines are on the The Lightbringer Project’s Tomorrow Prize/Roswell Award information page.

Somtow Wins European Cultural Achievement Award

Somtow Sucharitkul at Carnegie Hall in 2016.

Congratulations to Thai composer, conductor and sff writer Somtow Sucharitkul, winner of the 2017 European Award for Cultural Achievement given by the Kultur-Forum Europa (KFE).

The KFE announced:

KulturForum Europa / Europe Culture Forum has decided to award composer, conductor and novelist Somtow Sucharitkul for his services (and also in the spirit of international diversity) — as cultural ambassador between East and West, overcoming national borders and cultural-historical barriers from and to Europe, and establishing meaningful collaborative connections in Thailand and Europe — the 2017 European Award for Cultural Achievement / KulturPreis Europa.

“I’m thrilled and humbled by this award,” he said. He is the first Thai and the first East Asian to receive the award, and only the second composer, the other being Hans Werner Henze, one of Germany’s most celebrated 20th-century musicians.

KFE was founded in 1992 on the initiative of Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the German statesman who shepherded Germany’s foreign ministry through the years of reunification, promotes European thought in all areas of culture.

The President of the KFE will travel to Thailand and present the award on December 18, the UN International Migrants Day, at a concert in the Thailand Cultural Center. Sucharitkul will conduct Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony – and he told File 770 he hopes to have it livestreamed.

Past winners have included actor Georges du Fresne, American writer Doug Wright, and Elzbieta Penderecka, creator of the Krakow Beethoven Festival. The initial winner in 1993 was Annemarie Renger, the first woman to serve as president of a German Parliament and the first woman to be nominated for President by a major party in Germany.

[Somtow] credits the widespread attention in the international media for his DasJati project, a series of ten linked music dramas based on the iconic last ten lives of the Buddha, which when completed will constitute the “largest classical work of all time” in the words of London’s Opera Now.  Part of the work toured in Europe last year, and was an eye-opener for European audiences, positioning Thailand in the cultural limelight.

“It’s important to me that the KFE’s website’s headline is ‘2017 Award to Thailand.’” Somtow added.  “Exciting things are happening here artistically.  I firmly believe that we are heading toward a realignment of the world’s cultural map and that Thailand is going to be a regional center of such a map.  This is why, after a half-century of a career in the west, I came back to Thailand.  This is where it is truly happening now.   I am gratified to be a small part of this revolution.  I am proud to accept the award on behalf of all the artists and the people of this country.”

He still maintains connections with American fans: in 2015 a group attended the premiere of his opera The Snow Dragon at the Skylight Theatre in Milwaukee.

British Fantasy Awards 2017

The British Fantasy Society announced the winners of the British Fantasy Awards 2017 at FantasyCon 2017 in Peterborough on October 1.

The winners were selected by juries.

Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer

  • Erika L Satifka, for Stay Crazy

Best Magazine / Periodical

  • Tor.com

Best Non-fiction

  • The Geek Feminist Revolution – Kameron Hurley

Best Comic / Graphic Novel

  • Monstress, Vol 1: Awakening – Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

Best Independent Press

  • Grimbold Press

Best Artist

  • Daniele Serra

Best Anthology

  • People of Colour Destroy Science Fiction ed. Lightspeed Magazine

Best Collection

  • Some Will Not Sleep – Adam Nevill

Best Film / Television Production

  • Arrival

Best Novella

  • The Ballad of Black Tom – Victor LaValle

Best Short Fiction

  • “White Rabbit” – Georgina Bruce

August Derleth Award for Best Horror Novel

  • Disappearance at Devil’s Rock – Paul Tremblay

Robert Holdstock Award for Best Fantasy Novel

  • The Tiger and the Wolf – Adrian Tchaikovsky

Karl Edward Wagner Award (for an “important contribution to the genre or the Society”)

  • Jan Edwards

The Legends of Fantasy Con Award

  • David & Sandra Sutton

The Juries

  • Fiction: Elloise Hopkins, Susan Oke, Christian Cameron
  • Horror: Mark West, Laura Mauro, Gareth Spark
  • Novella: Penny Jones, Sarah Ann Watts, Pete Sutton
  • Short Story: Andrew Hook, Richard Webb, Stephen Bacon
  • Collection: Gillian Redfearn, Gary Couzens, Colleen Anderson
  • Anthology: Lea Fletcher, Richard Webb, Stephen Bacon
  • Film/TV: Marcus Gipps, Rob Malan, Alasdair Stuart
  • Comics: Alasdair Stuart, Stephen Theaker, Marcus Gipps
  • Indie: Terry Jackman, Ross Warren, Lea Fletcher
  • Magazine: Neil Williamson, Margret Helgadottir, Ross Warren
  • Nonfiction: Lea Fletcher, Ruth Booth, Alasdair Stuart
  • Artist: Gillian Redfearn, Robin Carter, Rob Malan
  • Newcomer: Robin Carter, Pauline Morgan, Shona Kinsella

2017 Lord Ruthven Awards

The winners of the 2017 Lord Ruthven Awards, presented for the best fiction on vampires and the best academic work on the study of the vampire figure in culture and literature, were announced at this year’s International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts.

Lord Ruthven Award: Non-Fiction

  • 2017: David J. Skal, Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula

Lord Ruthven Award: Fiction

  • 2017: Anne Rice, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis

Lord Ruthven Award: Media/Popular Culture

  • 2017: Vamped / The Vampire Historian

The awards take their name from the vampire antagonist in John Polidori’s “The Vampyre” (1819) and are given by the Lord Ruthven Assembly, an organization affiliated with the IAFA whose objectives include the serious pursuit of scholarship and research focusing on the vampire/revenant figure in a variety of disciplines.