2021 Horror Writers Association Scholarship Winners Announced

In 2021 the Horror Writers Association (HWA) awarded 14 scholarships/grants/endowments with a total value of $10,500 to assist writers looking to pursue a career as a writer of horror fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. They also have named the libraries that will receive funds from HWA’s endowment program for use in expanding their young adult reading programs.

THE HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION SCHOLARSHIP

The Horror Writers Association 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 winner is Shannon DeAnne Lawrence
Shannon DeAnne Lawrence

A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes primarily horror and fantasy. Her stories can be found in over forty anthologies and magazines, and her three solo horror short story collections, Blue Sludge Blues & Other Abominations, Bruised Souls & Other Torments, and Happy Ghoulidays are available now. You can also find her as a co-host of the podcast “Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem.” When she’s not writing, she’s hiking through the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings, where, coincidentally, there’s always a place to hide a body or birth a monster. Find her at www.thewarriormuse.com.

THE MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT SHELLEY SCHOLARSHIP

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 winner is Amanda Leigh Madrid 
Amanda Leigh Madrid

L.L. Madrid lives in the desert, writes in a closet, and occasionally gives herself nightmares. She’s a Pitch Wars alum and a member of the Quokka Crew writing collective. L.L.’s story, Ephemeral Girls, was a Best of the Net finalist and recipient of the Luminaire Award for best prose. Her short stories have appeared in the This Side of the Divide, The Furious Gazelle Presents: Halloween, and She’s Lost Control anthologies. When she’s not writing or trying to sneak in writing at work, L.L. eats sour candy and listens to true crime podcasts at 1.5 speed. L.L. Madrid lurks at www.llmadridmakesthingsup.com.

THE DARK POETRY SCHOLARSHIP

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 winner is Timothy Flynn
Timothy Flynn

Timothy P. Flynn is a dark poet from Massachusetts. His previous poetry resides in Space and Time magazine, Anthocon’s book collections: Anthology Years 1-3, Wicked Tales, Scifaikuest, haikuniverse, Haiku Journal and the HWA Poetry Showcase Vol 5 & Vol 6. He is a member of the New England Horror Writers. Follow him on Twitter: @TimothyPFlynn or on Instagram: instagram.com/timothypflynnwriter

THE DENNIS ETCHISON YOUNG WRITERS SCHOLARSHIP

The Dennis Etchison Young Writers Scholarship is open to students in grades 10-12 (or the equivalent, if home schooled), with an interest in writing horror/dark fiction. The winner may apply the $500 toward college tuition, course fees (on line or traditional), and/or materials pertaining to the enhancement of writing skills.

  • The winner is a minor, therefore HWA has not released their name and likeness due to privacy laws.

From our winner: “I’ll be able to purchase textbooks for my college writing courses, strengthening my active participation in class and discussions with other students. The books will help me enhance my writing skills, interact with different ideas, and corroborate a variety of perspectives so I can further develop my voice and style in creative writing. This will no doubt benefit my career.”

THE DIVERSITY GRANTS

HWA’s Diversity Grants are open to underrepresented, diverse people who have an interest in the horror writing genre, including, but not limited to writers, editors, reviewers, and library workers. The Diversity Grants have adopted the broadest definition of the word diversity to include, but not limited to, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabled, and neurodiverse. The winners are:

  • Eugen M. Bacon

Eugen M. Bacon (she/her) is African Australian, a computer scientist mentally re-engineered into creative writing. Her work has won, been shortlisted, longlisted or commended in national and international awards, including the Foreword Book of the Year, Bridport Prize, Copyright Agency Prize, Australian Shadows Awards, Ditmar Awards and Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans. Her novella Ivory’s Story was shortlisted in the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Awards. New releases: Danged Black Thing, story collection by Transit Lounge Publishing (2021), Mage of Fools, an Afrofuturistic dystopian novel by Meerkat Press (2022), Chasing Whispers, story collection by Raw Dog Screaming Press (2022). Website: eugenbacon.com Twitter: @EugenBacon

  • Somto Ihezue Onyedikachi

Somto Ihezue Onyedikachi (he/him) is an Igbo writer, filmmaker, and wildlife enthusiast. A Nommo Award-nominated writer and Winner of the African Youth Network Movement Fiction Contest, his works have appeared or are forthcoming in Omenana Magazine: A Magazine of African Speculative Fiction, Tor’s Africa Risen Anthology, The 2021 Year’s Best Anthology of African Speculative Fiction: Vol 1, The Bridging World’s Anthology, Africa In Dialogue and 20.35 Africa. His works was both shortlisted for the 2021 Ibua Journal Continental Call [Bold: Imagining A New Africa] and the Akuko Magazine – [A Repository for African + African Diaspora Creativity] – Inaugural Issue.

  • Jonathan Kincade

Jonathan Kincade (he/him) is a scholar, artist, musician, and writer. His short fiction has appeared in Anathema: Spec from the Margins and FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction. His research has won him numerous awards and he was shortlisted for the ACLS Emerging Voices Fellowship. When he isn’t writing, Jonathan is probably cooking or riding his bike. He resides in Washington, DC with his partner and their cats. You can find him on Twitter @minustimes.

  • Tonya Liburd

Tonya Liburd (she/her) shares a birthday with Simeon Daniel and Ray Bradbury, which may tell you a little something about her. She has the honour of having her fiction used in Nisi Shawl’s workshops, and in Tananarive Due’s black horror course at UCLA (the latter of which featured Jordan Peele as a guest lecturer!), both to demonstrate ‘code switching’. She is also an Editor over at The Expanse Magazine. You can find her blogging at https://www.Tonya.ca or on Twitter at @somesillywowzer, or you can join her Patreon at www.Patreon.com/TonyaLiburd

  • Juan Manuel Pérez 

Juan Manuel Pérez (he/him), a Mexican-American poet of Indigenous descent and a Poet Laureate for Corpus Christi, Texas (2019-2020), is the author of several books of poetry including the Elgin Nominated, Space In Pieces (2020) and the new book, Planet of the Zombie Zonnets by Hungry Buzzard Press. The award-winning poet, history teacher, and Pushcart Nominee, is also a member of the Poetry Society of Texas, the Horror Writers Association, the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and the Horror Authors Guild. The former Migrant worker worships his Creator and chases Chupacabras in the South Texas Coastal Bend Area.

YOUNG ADULTS WRITE NOW ENDOWMENT PROGRAM

The Young Adults Write Now endowment program will provide up to five endowments of $250 each per year for selected libraries to establish new, or support ongoing, writing programs. Each of the following five libraries will receive $250 to help fund teen writing programs as part of the HWA’s ongoing dedication to furthering young adult literacy:

The Scott Community College Library — Bettendorf, IA
Scott Creative Writing Club, administered, by Debra Lowman, Ashley Elliott, and Anthony Abboreno

The Cuesta College Library — San Luis Obispo, CA
Teen Writers Workshop: Writing Horror, Weird, & Dark Fantasy Short Fiction, administered by Lauri Bucholz, Sally Demarest, and Wes Martin

The Racine Public Library — Racine, WI
Young Writers Guild, administered by Carrie Richmond, Teen Librarian

The New York Public Library, Inwood Branch — New York, NY
Frightening, Fantastic, and Far-Out: Teen Genre Writing Group, administered by Michelle Vacchio, Young Adult Librarian

The Solano County Library— Fairfield, CA
Teen Writing Program, administered by Elizabeth Bell, Teen Librarian

The Young Adults Write Now program is currently open to United States libraries, but will be expanded in the future to include other countries, as part of the HWA’s global presence. Membership in the HWA is not a requirement.

[Based on a press release.]

HWA Scholarship Applications Accepted Through 8/1

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is accepting applications for seven scholarships and grants offered to those pursuing careers as writers of horror fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, The diversity grants also extend to library workers. And there is are funds offered for YA writing programs at libraries.

The window to apply is open until August 1, 2021 at midnight Pacific time.

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.

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 Diversity Grants will be open to underrepresented, diverse people who have an interest in the horror writing genre, including, but not limited to writers, editors, reviewers, and library workers. …the Diversity Grants have adopted the broadest definition of the word diversity to include, but not limited to, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabled, and neurodiverse.

Four grants will be awarded. Each Grant is worth $500 and may be spent on approved expenses for a period of two (2) years following the awarding of the Grant.

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 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 Dennis Etchison Young Writers scholarship is open to students in grades 10-12 (or the equivalent, if home schooled), with an interest in writing horror/dark fiction. The winner may apply the $500 toward college tuition, course fees (on line or traditional), and/or materials pertaining to the enhancement of writing skills.

The Young Adults Write Now fund will provide up to five endowments of $250 each per year for selected libraries to establish new, or support ongoing, writing programs. The program is currently open to United States libraries, but will be expanded in the future to include other countries, as part of the HWA’s global presence. Membership in the HWA is not a requirement. Recipients receiving funding will be able to use the monies for anything relating to the proposed/active writing program, including but not limited to supplies, special events, publishing costs, guest speakers/instructors, and operating expense. Monies may not be used to fund other programs or expenses for the library.

2020 Horror Writers Association Awards Diversity Grants

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) has announced the recipients of the 2020 HWA Diversity Grants.

The grants were created because “The Horror Writers Association believes barriers—often unseen but very real—exist which limit the amount of horror fiction being published by diverse voices. The goal of these Grants is to help remove some of the barriers and let those voices be heard.” They are open to “underrepresented, diverse people who have an interest in the horror writing genre, including, but not limited to writers, editors, reviewers, and library workers. Like the Diverse Works Inclusion Committee, the Diversity Grants have adopted the broadest definition of the word diversity to include, but not limited to, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabled, and neurodiverse.”

Supported by NoveListLibraryReadsARRT, and RA for All, each 2020 Grant is worth $500 and may be spent on approved expenses for a period of two years following the awarding of the Grant.

The 2020 grant recipients are —

Jacqueline Dyre (they/them) is the editor and publisher of Novel Noctule. You can find them in the sunshine state, drinking poorly-made coffee and consuming psychological horror in lieu of meals.

Jacqueline Dyre 

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (he/him) is a Nigerian speculative fiction writer, slush reader and editor. He has been awarded an honourable mention in the L Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest, twice and won the Nommo award for best short story by an African with his short story The Witching Hour. He has been published in the Selene QuarterlyStrange HorizonsTorOmenana Magazine and other venues, and has works forthcoming in several anthologies and magazines. He has co-edited several publications, including the Dominion Anthology (2020), the Best of African Speculative Fiction Anthology and the Bridging Worlds non-fiction anthology, forthcoming in 2021. He is a first reader in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and a member of the African Speculative Fiction Society, Horror Writers Association, Codex, BSFA, BFA, and the SFWA.

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

Sumiko Saulson (they/them) is an award-winning author of Afrosurrealist and multicultural sci-fi and horror. Ze is the editor of the anthologies and collections Black Magic WomenScry of LustBlack Celebration, and Wickedly Abled. Ze is the winner of the 2016 HWA StokerCon “Scholarship from Hell”, 2017 BCC Voice “Reframing the Other” contest, and 2018 AWW “Afrosurrealist Writer Award.”

Ze has an AA in English from Berkeley City College, and writes a column called “Writing While Black” for a national Black Newspaper, the San Francisco BayView. Ze is the host of the SOMA Leather and LGBT Cultural District’s “Erotic Storytelling Hour.”

Sumiko Saulson

Nicole Givens Kurtz (she/her) is an author, editor, and educator. She’s a member of Horror Writers Association, Sisters in Crime, and Science Fiction Writers of America. She’s the editor of the groundbreaking Slay: Stories of the Vampire Noire. She’s written for White Wolf, Bram Stoker Finalist in Horror Anthology: Sycorax’s Daughters, and Serial Box’s The Vela: Salvation series. Nicole has over 40 short stories published as well as 11 novels and three active speculative mystery series. You can support her work via Patreon and find more about her at http://www.nicolegivenskurtz.net.

Nicole Givens Kurtz (

Tejaswi Priyadarshi (he/him) is a dreamer in the horror/thriller genre. He derives inspiration from Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, Takashi Miike, Alexandre Aja, Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino, and the Ramsay Brothers.

His first book The Psychopath, The Cannibal, The Lover was India’s first splatterpunk novel. It was released in July 2020, and has since remained on multiple bestselling charts, scaling its way up to be Amazon India’s highest rated Horror Thriller with 175+ ratings.

He is currently working on his second novel, trying to amalgamate Horror, Crime, Thriller, and Social Satire. You can often find him writing fiction at a bar counter, appreciating Independent Pop music gigs, and holding screenings of all sub-genres of horror/thrillers. However, nobody knows why he adamantly screens Purani Haveli so often. Email him at tejaswi.priyadarshi@gmail.com if you want to discuss anything under the sun; “How to Prep for a Zombie Apocalypse” is his favorite topic, because, what if!

Tejaswi Priyadarshi 

Gabino Iglesias (he/him) is a writer, editor, professor, and book critic living in Austin, TX. He is the author of Zero Saints and Coyote Songs and the editor of Both Sides. His work has been nominated to the Bram Stoker and Locus awards and won the Wonderland Book Award for Best Novel. His nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. His fiction has been published in five languages and optioned for film. His reviews appear in places like NPRPublishers Weekly, the San Francisco ChronicleCriminal Element, Mystery Tribune, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other venues. He’s been a juror for the Shirley Jackson Awards twice and has judged the PANK Big Book Contest, the Splatterpunk Awards, the horror category of the British Fantasy Awards, and the Newfound Prose Prize. He teaches creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University’s online MFA program and runs a series of low-cost online writing workshops. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias.

Gabino Iglesias

Horror Writers Association Creates Diversity Grants

The Horror Writers Association will accept applications for its new Diversity Grants from September 1 through December 1. Membership in the HWA is not a requirement for application. Four grants will be awarded in 2020; the number available in the future will depend on the amount of funds raised.

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) believes barriers—often unseen but very real—exist which limit the amount of horror fiction being published by diverse voices. The goal of these Grants is to help remove some of the barriers and let those voices be heard.

The Diversity Grants will be open to underrepresented, diverse people who have an interest in the horror writing genre, including, but not limited to writers, editors, reviewers, and library workers. Like the Diverse Works Inclusion Committee, the Diversity Grants have adopted the broadest definition of the word diversity to include, but not limited to, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabled, and neurodiverse.

Supported by NoveListLibraryReadsARRT, and RA for All, each 2020 Grant is worth $500 and may be spent on approved expenses for a period of two years following the awarding of the Grant.

A sub-committee of the HWA Board—consisting of four HWA member volunteers and chaired by a HWA Board member—will collect the applicants’ information, verify it, and choose the winners.

Apply through the Horror Scholarships website.

Anyone interested in donating to the Diversity Grants, click here.