2022 Horror Writers Association Scholarship Winners Announced

In 2022 the Horror Writers Association (HWA) awarded 13 scholarships/grants/endowments with a total value of $15,650 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 Rob Flumignan (Rob Cornell, Pen name)

Whether it’s a covert-ops team of vampire assassins or a greedy dragon who lives under Detroit’s MGM Grand Casino, most of Rob Cornell’s stories feature some element of the dark and fantastic. He has self-published over a dozen novels, including two dark fantasy sagas—The Lockman Chronicles and the Unturned series. He has also dabbled in the mystery and crime genres, including a three-book series featuring private eye and karaoke bar owner, Ridley Brone. In his most recently completed novel, A Shadow Full of Stars, a “life transplant” offered by an unsettling stranger sends a suicidal musician to an isolated and oppressive utopia designed to keep its residents happy at all costs. Rob hopes to publish this one sometime in 2023.

A native of the Detroit area, Rob spent a handful of years living in both Los Angeles and Chicago before returning to Michigan where he now lives with his wife, kids, three dogs, four cats, and (grudgingly) a bunch of evil chickens. You can find out more about his writing at robcornellbooks.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 Mary Berman
Mary Berman

Mary Berman is a Philadelphia, PA, USA-based writer of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Mississippi, and she also holds a BA in Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University. Her stories can be found in PseudoPodFiresideWeird HorrorShoreline of Infinity, and elsewhere.

She is a member of the Pitch Wars class of 2021 and the Viable Paradise class of 2022, as well as an active member of SFWA and HWA.

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.

Tania Chen
  • The winner is Tania Chen

Tania Chen is a Chinese-Mexican queer writer. Their work has been published in Unfettered Hexes by Neon Hemlock, Strange HorizonsPleiades MagazineApparition Lit and Baffling. They are a first reader for Nightmare Magazine, a graduate of the Clarion West Novella Bootcamp workshop of January/Feb 2021 and assistant editor for Uncanny Magazine. They can be found on twitter @archistratego.

THE ROCKY WOOD MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND FOR NON-FICTION WRITING

There are two winners of The Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship Fund for Non-fiction Writing, an endowed fund providing grants for research and writing nonfiction relating to horror and dark fantasy literature (the amount is flexible).

  • Gillian King-Cargile
Gillian King-Cargile

Gillian is receiving this award for her work with They’re Coming to Get You, Barbara: A Gal’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving in Horror, which examines the role of the female survivor in horror, employing both feminist film theory and irreverent commentary. Gillian King-Cargile earned her BA in film production and an MFA in creative writing from Southern Illinois University. She has worked with schools, libraries, universities, and national labs to create exciting stories, games, events, and even stand-up comedy routines that spark a love of reading and learning. A member of the Horror Writers Association and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Gillian has published picture books, middle-grade nonfiction books, and longer work for readers of all ages. Her short stories have appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies, Carve Magazine, Everyday Fiction, River Styx, 3 Elements, Hello Horror, and other publications. Her short story, “The Dead Kid,” received a Pushcart Prize Special Mention and was adapted into an award-winning short film.

  • Louise Zedda-Sampson
Louise Zedda-Sampson

Louise is receiving this award for her work with a history of horror in Australia. Louise Zedda-Sampson is an Australian writer, researcher and editor. Louise has edited/co-edited several anthologies and was a AHWA Shadows Awards Finalist for Trickster’s Treats 4: Coming Buried or Not! [2020]. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous publications, and her horror articles have appeared online at This is Horror, Horror Tree and Horror Oasis. Her debut book Bowl the Maidens Over: Our First Women Cricketers [2021] examines the Australian women cricketers’ first games in the 1870s.

DENNIS ETCHISON YOUNG WRITERS AWARD

The Dennis Etchison Young Writers Scholarship open to students in grades 10-12 (or the equivalent, if home schooled), with an interest in writing horror/dark fiction. It is a $500 grant.

This year, a single winner was chosen out of twenty-seven applicants. As they are a minor, however, their name and likeness will not be released due to privacy laws.

DIVERSITY GRANTS

The 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. 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. There are five winners:

  • Chinaza Eziaghighala

Chinaza Eziaghighala (she/her) is a medical doctor (House Officer), featured on WHO Africa, who tells stories. An interdisciplinary writer at the intersection of health, film, and literature, she is a 2021 University of Iowa International Writing Program Alum and 2022 Voodoonauts Fellow. She is an SFWA member. Her works are in/forthcoming BSFA’s Fission #2 Vol 1 Anthology, Mythaxis, Planet Scumm, Metastellar, Brittle Paper, Hellboundbooks and BSFA’s Focus. CHIMERA, her debut novella, is forthcoming in 2024 from Nosetouch Press. She works as a Screenwriter for Africa Magic/Multichoice and is training to become a Film Developmental Executive with Jungle Film Works. 

  • Darcy Marie Hughes

Darcy Marie Hughes (e/em/eir/eirs/emself). The poet, TTRPG designer/streamer, fiction writer, and editor with 18 names (including Emily Flummox, Tristissima, & Skunkheart) competed nationally twice during eir decade-long slam career. Much of eir poetry, notably “Sacred Purification Ritual Using Your Own Urine Instead of Water”, focuses on identifying with the divinity of the disgusting.

E’s performed eir stories “Civilization Stained These Young Things” and “The Fog of Time Means We’re Everywhere” during the San Francisco Leather Cultural District’s Erotic Storytelling Hour; the former’s been published in Scry of Lust 2.  An excerpt from eir Spiritualist space-fantasy novel Aduality{0≠2;100=108} appeared in Wickedly Abled. 

  • Naching T. Kassa

Naching T. Kassa (she/her) is a wife, mother, and horror writer. She serves as an assistant at Crystal Lake Publishing and is a proud member of the Horror Writers Association, Mystery Writers of America, and several Sherlock Holmes Scions.  Naching resides in Eastern Washington State with her husband, Dan, and their three children.

  • Ian Muneshwar

Ian Muneshwar (he/they) is a Boston-based writer and teacher. His short fiction has sold to venues such as Strange Horizons, Nightmare, and The Dark, and has been selected for The Year’s Best Weird Fiction and Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror. Ian has taught writing in the Transitional Year Program at Brandeis University, in the Experimental College at Tufts University, and in Clarion West’s online programming. You can find out more about his work at ianmuneshwar.com

  • Meemee Taylor

Meemee Taylor (she/her) is a Louisiana-raised, Los Angeles-based author and screenwriter of psychological thrillers, horror, and creature features with a touch of humor. She was the July 2022 Winner of the Roadmap Career Writers Program Diversity Initiative with her horror TV pilot, The Vessel. She was also a top 10 Finalist in the Women Write Now 2022 Program and has had horror short stories published in the anthology, The Memory Eater, and on the Yahoo Contributors Network. An avid world runner, her favorite race will always be the local Run For Your Lives 5k, where “zombies” chased her throughout the course.

YOUNG ADULTS WRITE NOW

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

  • McCracken County Public Library—Paducah, KY; Telltale Stories, administered by Justin Brasher, Library Director
  • Woodland Hills Academy Library—Woodland Hills, CA; Teen Wolfpack Horror Writer’s Club, administered by Neva Galvez, Teacher Librarian

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