Horror Writers Association 2022 Lifetime Achievement and Specialty Awards Winners

The Horror Writers Association today announced the winners of the 2022 HWA Lifetime Achievement and special awards: the Specialty Press Award, the Richard Laymon President’s Award, the Silver Hammer Award, and the Mentor of the Year Award. These will be presented June 17 at StokerCon®2023 in Pittsburgh, PA.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. The recipients of the HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award are Elizabeth Massie, Nuzo Onoh, and John Saul. 

HWA presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to an individual whose work has substantially influenced the horror genre. While this award is often presented to a writer, it may also be given for influential accomplishments in other creative fields. 

The Lifetime Achievement Award is the most prestigious of all awards presented by HWA. It does not merely honor the superior achievement embodied in a single work. Instead, it is an acknowledgment of superior achievement in an entire career.

Elizabeth Massie

Elizabeth Massie

Elizabeth Massie, whose first horror story, “Whittler,” was published by The Horror Show magazine back in the primitive days of 1984, is a two-time Bram Stoker Award-winning and Scribe Award-winning author of horror novels, novellas, short fiction, media-tie ins, poetry, and nonfiction. A seventh grade life science teacher until 1991, she then took the plunge into full-time writing. Over the years she has been published by Simon & Schuster, Berkley, Pocket Books, Harper, Leisure, Pan, Crossroad Press, and many others. Her novels and collections include Sineater, Hell GateDesper Hollow, Wire Mesh Mothers, Homeplace, Naked on the Edge, Dark Shadows: Dreams of the Dark (co-authored with Mark Rainey), Versailles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Power of Persuasion, It Watching, Afraid, Madame Cruller’s Couch and Other Dark and Bizarre Tales, The Great Chicago Fire. She is also the creator of the Ameri-Scares series of spooky, middle-grade novels, which was optioned for television by Warner Horizon in 2021. Beth’s short fiction has been included in countless magazines and anthologies, including several years’ best publications. She lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband, artist/illustrator and Theremin-player Cortney Skinner. When not writing she knits, goes geocaching, spends time chilling at Starbucks, and seeks out locations she’s never visited before. If she can find the remains of a crumbling, abandoned amusement park, all the better.

Nuzo Onoh

Nuzo Onoh

Nuzo Onohis a Nigerian-British writer of Igbo descent. She is a pioneer of the African horror literary genre. Hailed as the “Queen of African Horror”, Nuzo’s writing showcases both the beautiful and horrific in the African culture within fictitious narratives. 

Nuzo’s works have been featured in numerous magazines and anthologies. She has given talks and lectures about African Horror, including at the prestigious Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, London. Her works have appeared in academic studies and been longlisted and shortlisted. 

Nuzo holds a Law degree and a Master’s degree in Writing, both from Warwick University, England. She is a certified Civil Funeral Celebrant, licensed to conduct non-religious burial services. An avid musician with an addiction to Jungyup and K-indie, Nuzo plays both the guitar and piano and holds an NVQ in Digital Music Production. She resides in the West Midlands, United Kingdom. 

John Saul

John Saul

John Saul was born in 1942 in Southern California and grew up in Whittier, California. Jack and Betty Saul were his parents, and he had a sister, Helen, who was two years older. He was in Seventh Grade when his English teacher told him he should consider writing as a career. John attended four colleges, studying Theater and Anthropology. He wrote plays, short stories, poetry and eventually novels. Though he enjoyed writing humor, John’s first novel was purchased by Dell Publishing to compete in the rapidly expanding thriller market of the late 1970s. With the immediate success of SUFFER THE CHILDREN, he was off and running. John’s partner (now husband) of 47 years, Mike Sack, helped with book ideas and plotting. When they first met, Mike was a clinical psychologist at a state hospital and shared his experiences with John. Both Mike and John helped organize and taught at the Maui Writers Conference and School. His third novel, CRY FOR THE STRANGERS, was made into a TV movie, and all of John’s books have been published in over 35 countries worldwide and millions have been sold.

SPECIALTY PRESS AWARD

The recipient of the Specialty Press Award is Undertow Publications. The HWA Specialty Press Award is presented periodically to a specialty publisher whose work has substantially contributed to the horror genre, whose publications display general excellence, and whose dealings with writers have been fair and exemplary.

Undertow Publications

“I am extremely grateful to be receiving the H.W.A. Specialty Press Award. To be honored and recognized by my peers in this way is truly unexpected. I am pleased beyond words, and giddy with joy. Thank you! The warmth and support from the horror community has been overwhelming. I am indebted to you all.” – Michael Kelly, Founder/Editor-in-Chief

Undertow Publications began in 2009 with the goal of proving that speculative and literary fiction could coexist in the same strata, and that modes of writing shouldn’t be judged by their genre but by their literary aesthetic. Literary spec-fic is what we aspire to. Our first publication, “Apparitions,” an anthology of literary ghost stories, garnered a Shirley Jackson Award nomination. Since then we’ve won 2 Shirley Jackson Awards; a British Fantasy Award, and are 5-time World Fantasy Award finalists. We have been profiled in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and Wall Street Journal.

We crave stories of human relationships. The stories we publish explore human identity and the global, cultural, and natural influences that connect and shape us. No matter the setting, it’s vital to us to publish real stories of real people – their struggles; their triumphs. Fiction holds a mirror to the common world and helps us understand. It makes us feel. And it entertains. Often, that’s enough.

Undertow Publications continues to push against genre prejudice; publishing a diverse cross-section of authors, and continues to prove that horror and speculative fiction is not a pejorative.

THE RICHARD LAYMON PRESIDENT’S AWARD

The recipient of the Richard Laymon President’s Award for Service is Meghan Arcuri.

The Richard Laymon President’s Award for Service was instituted in 2001 and is named in honor of Richard Laymon, who died in 2001 while serving as HWA’s President. As its name implies, it is given by HWA’s sitting President.

The award is presented to a volunteer who has served the HWA in an especially exemplary manner and has shown extraordinary dedication to the organization.

Meghan Arcuri

Meghan Arcuri

Meghan Arcuri is a Bram Stoker Award®-nominated author. Her work can be found in various anthologies, including Borderlands 7 (Borderlands Press), Madhouse (Dark Regions Press), Chiral Mad, and Chiral Mad 3 (Written Backwards). She is currently the Vice President of the Horror Writers Association.

Prior to writing, she taught high school math, having earned her B.A. from Colgate University—with a double major in mathematics and English—and her masters from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

She lives with her family in New York’s Hudson Valley. 

The Karen Lansdale Silver Hammer Award

Karen Lansdale

The recipient of the Karen Lansdale Silver Hammer Award is Karen Lansdale.

In 2022, the Horror Writers Association renamed the Silver Hammer Award to the Karen Lansdale Silver Hammer Award in honor of the tremendous amount of work Karen did starting the HWA. 

HWA has also updated the physical award. Instead of a hammer, a new stylized sculpture has been designed and cast by the same company that mints the Bram Stoker Award statues. The new design will be shared at StokerCon2023.

The HWA periodically gives the Karen Lansdale Silver Hammer Award to an HWA volunteer who has done a truly massive amount of work for the organization, often unsung and behind the scenes. It was instituted in 1996, and is decided by a vote of HWA’s Board of Trustees.

The award is so named because it represents the careful, steady, continuous work of building HWA’s “house” — the many institutional systems that keep the organization functioning on a day-to-day basis.

Mentor of the Year Award

The recipient of the Mentor of the Year Award is David Jeffery.

David Jeffery

The HWA’s Mentor Program is available to all members of the organization. This popular program pairs newer writers with established professionals for an intensive four-month-long partnership. For new writers, the Program offers mentees a personal, one-on-one experience with a seasoned writer, tailor-made to help them grow in their writing and better market their work. For experienced writers, it is an opportunity to pay forward the assistance and encouragement other writers gave them when they were starting out. In addition, there is the added benefit of growing as a writer oneself through the act of teaching others. In short, the Program benefits all who participate, regardless of their roles.

Established in 2014, the Mentor of the Year Award recognizes one mentor in the Program who has done an outstanding job of helping new writers. The award is chosen by the current manager of the Program.

[Based on a press release.]

Horror Writers Association 2021 Specialty Awards Winners

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) announced the recipients of its 2021 Specialty Awards.

SPECIALTY PRESS

The HWA Specialty Press Award goes to Valancourt Books.

The HWA Specialty Press Award is presented periodically to a specialty publisher whose work has substantially contributed to the horror genre, whose publications display general excellence, and whose dealings with writers have been fair and exemplary.

The award was instituted in 1997, largely due to the efforts of long-time HWA member and specialty press aficionado Peter Crowther.

Valancourt Books was founded by James D. Jenkins and Ryan Cagle in 2005 to make neglected and out-of-print books available to new generations of readers at affordable prices. Over the past 17 years Valancourt has published over 500 titles, with an emphasis on 18th & 19th-century Gothic fiction and 20th-century supernatural and horror fiction. Recently Valancourt debuted three new series: Paperbacks from Hell, focusing on lost paperback horror of the 1970s and ’80s, Monster, She Wrote, focusing on classic horror by women writers, and Valancourt International, which translates horror from around the world.

The origins of Valancourt Books date back to 2004, when the press’s founders James D. Jenkins and Ryan Cagle had to drive 28 hours to access some rare Gothic horror texts that were only available at one library in the country. With modern publishing technology, they figured there had to be a better way of doing things, and so they started Valancourt Books with the aim of making rare and out-of-print books available to new audiences at reasonable prices.

For its first seven years, Valancourt focused on scholarly editions of 18 th and 19 th -century texts, from the seven legendary “horrid novels” mentioned in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey to rare Victorian “penny dreadfuls” and late 19 th -century popular fiction by authors like Bram Stoker, Marie Corelli, and Richard Marsh. These scholarly editions feature introductions, notes, and contextual materials edited by top scholars from around the world.

More recently Valancourt has moved into more modern horror fiction, rediscovering forgotten mid-century authors like John Blackburn, Gerald Kersh, and Charles Beaumont, as well as some of the lost horror greats of the 1970s and ’80s, like Michael McDowell, Elizabeth Engstrom, Bernard Taylor, and Michael Talbot.

In 2016 Valancourt launched two popular series: The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories and The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories, and more recently three exciting new series have debuted: Paperbacks from Hell, which reprints lost 1970s and ’80s horror novels with their original iconic covers, Monster, She Wrote, which spotlights women horror writers, and Valancourt International, which publishes horror fiction in translation, including The Valancourt Book of World Horror Stories, which was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and World Fantasy Award.

Many of Valancourt’s books have been adopted for university courses around the world, several have been filmed or are in production, and many of them have been translated and published throughout the world.

For more information on Valancourt Books and the titles it publishes, please visit www.valancourtbooks.com.

THE RICHARD LAYMON PRESIDENT’S AWARD

The winner of the Richard Laymon President’s Award for Service is Sumiko Saulson.

The Richard Laymon President’s Award for Service was instituted in 2001 and is named in honor of Richard Laymon, who died in 2001 while serving as HWA’s President. As its name implies, it is given by HWA’s sitting President.

The award is presented to a volunteer who has served HWA in an especially exemplary manner and has shown extraordinary dedication to the organization.

Sumiko Saulson (they/them), Social Media Manager for the Horror Writers Association, is an award-winning author of Afrosurrealist and multicultural sci-fi and horror whose latest novel Happiness and Other Diseases (book one of the Metamorphoses of Flynn Keahi) is available on Mocha Memoirs Press.  Other works include the non-fiction title 100+ Black Women in Horror Fiction, novels Solitude, Warmthand Moon Cried Blood. Their short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies including Tales For The CampfireClockwork WonderlandTales From the Lake Vol 3Beasts and BabesScierogenous 2,  Colors In Darkness: Forever Vacancy, and Slay: Tales of the Vampire Noire. Their poetry has appeared in Infectious HopeSiren’s Call Magazine, and HWA Poetry Showcase VII and VIII.  They are the editor of the anthologies Black Magic Women (2018), Scry of Lust (2019), Wickedly Abled (2020) and Scry of Lust 2 (2021), and the collection Black Celebration. They are a comic zine maker and author/illustrator of the graphic novels/comic books Agrippa (2013), Dreamworlds (2016), and The Complete Mauskaveli (2020).  They are the illustrator of Living a Lie (2015).

Winner of the Afrosurrealist Writers Award (2018), Grand Prize 2017 BCC Voice “Reframing the Other” contest, 2nd Place Carry The Light Sci-fi/Fantasy Award (2016), 2017 Mixy Award, 6th Place in the Next Great Horror Writers Contest (2017). They are the recipient of the 2002 STAND Grant for First Time Directors, 2016 HWA StokerCon “Scholarship from Hell”, 2018 Ara Joe Grant for Zinemakers, 2020 HWA Diversity Grant recipient, and 2021 Ladies in Horror Fiction grant.

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

THE SILVER HAMMER AWARD

The winner of HWA’s Silver Hammer Award is Kevin J. Wetmore.

The HWA gives the Silver Hammer Award to an HWA volunteer who has done a truly massive amount of work for the organization, often unsung and behind the scenes. It was instituted in 1996, and is decided by a vote of HWA’s Board of Trustees.

The award is so named because it represents the careful, steady, continuous work of building HWA’s “house” — the many institutional systems that keep the organization functioning on a day-to-day basis. The award itself is a chrome-plated hammer with an engraved plaque on the handle. The chrome hammer is also a satisfying allusion to The Beatles’ song, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”, a miniature horror story in itself.

Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. is the author, editor or co-editor of twenty-seven books, including Bram Stoker Award nominees Uncovering Stranger Things, The Streaming of Hill House, Devil’s Advocates: The Conjuring, and Eaters of the Dead: Myths and Realities of Cannibal Monsters. He is also the author of over a hundred articles and three dozen short stories found in magazines and anthologies such as Cemetery Dance, Mothership Zeta, Nonbinary Review, Midian Unmade and The Cackle of Cthulhu. He is the co-chair of HWA’s Los Angeles Chapter, has twice co- chaired StokerCon and served as StokerCon’s volunteer coordinator, in addition to serving as curator for the HWA blog Halloween Haunts and chair of the Lifetime Achievement Award committee. In his other life he is a professor of Theatre Arts at Loyola Marymount University where he teaches horror theatre, horror cinema, Japanese theatre, African theatre, Shakespeare and stage combat.

MENTOR OF THE YEAR

The HWA Mentor of the Year is Michael Knost.

The HWA’s Mentor Program is available to all members of the organization. This popular program pairs a newer writer with an established professional for an intensive four-month long partnership. For new writers, the Program offers mentees a personal, one-on-one experience with a professional writer, tailor-made to help them grow in their writing and teach them how to better market their work. For experienced writers, the Program allows mentors a chance to pay forward the experience and encouragement other writers gave them when they were starting out. In addition, there is the added benefit of growing as a writer oneself through the act of teaching others. In short, the Program benefits all who participate, regardless of their roles.

Inaugurated in 2014, the Mentor of the Year Award recognizes one mentor in the Mentor Program who has done an outstanding job of helping newer writers. The award is chosen by the current chair of the Mentor Program.

Michael Knost “epitomizes what a mentor should be. He is always willing to help writers improve their craft, as both an HWA mentor and outside of the program, as both a teacher and an editor. Writers who have worked with him, or trained under him, universally praise Michael for his honesty, knowledge, and encouragement. This is probably recognition that is long overdue, but Michael’s contributions to the HWA, and the horror genre’s up-and-coming writers, has always been recognized and appreciated.” – JG Faherty, HWA Mentorship Program Manager.

Michael Knost is a Bram Stoker Award®-winning editor and author of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and supernatural thrillers. He has written in various genres and helmed multiple anthologies. He received the Horror Writers Association’s Silver Hammer Award in 2015 for his work as the organization’s mentorship chair. He also received the prestigious J.U.G. (Just Uncommonly Good) Award from West Virginia Writer’s Inc. His Return of the Mothman is currently being filmed as a movie adaption. He has taught writing classes and workshops at several colleges, conventions, online, and currently resides in Chapmanville, West Virginia with his wife, daughter, and a zombie goldfish.

[Based on a press release.]

Horror Writers Association’s 2019 Service Awards

The Horror Writers Association announced the winners of three service awards on March 31. Ordinarily these awards would have been presented at the annual Stokercon, but this year’s event in the UK has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

RICHARD LAYMON PRESIDENT’S AWARD. The Richard Laymon President’s Award is named in honor of Richard Laymon, who died in 2001 while serving as the HWA’s President. As the name implies, it is given by the HWA’s sitting President. The award is presented to a volunteer who has served HWA in an especially exemplary manner and has shown extraordinary dedication to the organization.

Rena Mason

The 2019 Richard Laymon President’s Award winner is Rena Mason.

  • Rena Mason is an American author of horror fiction and a three-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award . Her literary debut, The Evolutionist, won the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel in 2013, while her novella East End Girls was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Best Long Fiction. She has also been awarded HWA’s Silver Hammer Award.

SILVER HAMMER AWARD. The HWA presents the Silver Hammer Award in recognition of extraordinary volunteerism by a member who dedicates valuable time and effort to the organization. The award is determined by HWA’s Board of Trustees.

HWA’s Board of Trustees has voted the 2019 Silver Hammer Award to Leslie S. Klinger.

  • Leslie S. Klinger is the New York Times-best-selling editor of the Edgar®-winning New Annotated Sherlock Holmes and the critically-acclaimed New Annotated Dracula and New Annotated Frankenstein, as well as numerous other books and articles on Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, horror, vampires, and the Victorian age. He also edited or co-edited eight anthologies of mysteries, horror, and vampire fiction. His books include the Bram Stoker Award®-nominated four-volume The Annotated Sandman with Neil Gaiman (Vertigo) and The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft, as well as the highly-regarded Watchmen: The Annotated Edition. Klinger currently serves as Treasurer of the Horror Writers Association.
Leslie S. Klinger

MENTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD.  Lee Murray is HWA’s Mentor of the Year Award recipient for 2019. HWA presents the award “in recognition of a member who distinguishes herself in helping mentees, while serving in the HWA’s Mentor Program.”

  • Lee Murray is a multi-award-winning writer and editor of science fiction, fantasy, and horror (Sir Julius Vogel, Australian Shadows) and a two-time Bram Stoker Award® nominee. Her works include the Taine McKenna military thrillers, and supernatural crime-noir series The Path of Ra, co-written with Dan Rabarts, as well as several books for children. She is proud to have edited thirteen speculative works, including award-winning titles Baby Teeth: Bite Sized Tales of Terror and At the Edge (with Dan Rabarts), Te K?rero Ahi K? (with Grace Bridges and Aaron Compton) and Hellhole: An Anthology of Subterranean Terror. She is the co-founder of Young New Zealand Writers, an organisation providing development and publishing opportunities for New Zealand school students, and co-founder of the Wright-Murray Residency for Speculative Fiction Writers. In February 2020, Lee was made an Honorary Literary Fellow in the New Zealand Society of Authors Waitangi Day Honours. Lee lives over the hill from Hobbiton in New Zealand’s sunny Bay of Plenty where she dreams up stories from her office overlooking a cow paddock. Read more at www.leemurray.info. She tweets @leemurraywriter

Upon being informed of the award, Lee commented:

 “I’m so grateful for this unexpected honour from my friends at the Horror Writers Association. To be included on a list with previous Mentor of the Year winners such as Tim Waggoner, Linda Addison, and Greg Faherty, people I admire and adore, well, as the kids say, ‘I can’t even!’ Special thanks must go to my own writing mentors—Jenny Argante, Graeme Lay, Jonathan Maberry, my dad—folk whose quiet belief in me has been both uplifting and humbling. But the truth is, I’ve never escaped a mentorship without learning something, so I’m thankful for the wonderful lessons my HWA colleagues have offered me, for giving me a sneak-peek into their writing processes and the deliciously dark stories they’re conjuring in the twisted shadows of their minds. Mostly, I’m grateful for their fellowship and the lifelong friendships forged through our mentoring partnerships. Because, ultimately, we all get by with a little help from our friends.”

Lee Murray

Horror Writers Association’s 2018 Service Awards

The Horror Writers Association has announced the winners of the 2018 Silver Hammer Award, Jess Landry, and the Richard Laymon President’s Award, Brad Hodson. The awards will be presented at StokerCon™ 2019.

Jess Landry

SILVER HAMMER AWARD. The HWA presents the Silver Hammer Award in recognition of extraordinary volunteerism by a member who dedicates valuable time and effort to the organization. The award is determined by HWA’s Board of Trustees.

Jess Landry is the 2018 Silver Hammer Award winner.

Working as Head Compiler, Jess is a key member of HWA’s Bram Stoker Awards® Committee. The Head Compiler is responsible for checking every work that is recommended by a member. She adds links to works for authors/publishers/editors that are on the HWA’s Recommended Reading List, often answering hundreds of emails throughout the year regarding works. As a part of the Awards Committee, the Head Compiler is expected to write the Co-Chairs should an issue arise and give input regarding the matter, as well as giving input throughout the year as HWA continuously strives to improve the system. The Recommendations branch of the binary awards system wouldn’t work without her hard work and dedication. 

She also works in Membership Outreach, contacting dozens of new authors every year to invite them to join the organization.

Upon being informed of the award, Jess commented:

When I first joined the HWA in 2014, I had no idea what I was getting into or what kind of people I would encounter, but when the opportunity to volunteer arose shortly after I became a member, I jumped at the chance. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to lurk behind the scenes with some fantastic folks and have come to appreciate all the hard work that goes into maintaining our close-knit community. It takes everyone working together to make the HWA run as smoothly as it does, so I’m truly honoured to have been selected for the 2018 Silver Hammer Award. And it’s a good thing all I have to do is type this, because I’m honest-to-Jeebus speechless. Thank you!

RICHARD LAYMON PRESIDENT’S AWARD. The Richard Laymon President’s Award is named in honor of Richard Laymon, who died in 2001 while serving as the HWA’s President. As the name implies, it is given by the HWA’s sitting President. The award is presented to a volunteer who has served HWA in an especially exemplary manner and has shown extraordinary dedication to the organization.

Brad Hodson

HWA President Lisa Morton has chosen Brad Hodson to receive the 2018 Richard Laymon Award. As HWA’s Administrator, Brad has served HWA for many years, overseeing both the organization’s day-to-day operations and also coordinating much of the yearly StokerCon™ events. As President Lisa Morton noted, “The definition of this award states that it goes to an especially dedicated volunteer, while Brad is our only full-time employee. However, I figure that what Brad puts in every week goes so far beyond the forty hours we pay him for that he’s surely our hardest working volunteer as well. HWA owes much of its growth to him, and this recognition is long overdue.”

Brad Hodson responded to the award announcement:

Joining the HWA has truly been a life-changing experience. From networking to access to the resources that let me start making professional sales, it’s helped my career immensely. But, more so, the Administrator position has been a godsend. The amazing people I now get to interact with on a daily basis have enriched my life in so many ways. And having a day job that revolves around a genre I adore while assisting writers and educating readers has, even at its most stressful, been fulfilling in so many ways. HWA’s President for most of my time in the position has been Lisa Morton and I couldn’t ask for a better boss. Lisa has always trusted my opinions and empowered me to do what needs to be done while simultaneously offering guidance and resources to do so. I’ve worked for major companies in the entertainment industry and it’s rare to find an environment like I have with the HWA. When I first took over as Administrator, we only had 350 members and almost all of them were in the US and Canada. I’ve watched that number grow to over 1500 members in 27 countries in a few short years. There’s a reason for that growth: the President, Vice President, Board of Trustees, and all of the volunteers are passionate about the Horror Writers Association.  And that passion is infectious. I’m happy to have caught the bug and am truly honored to be this year’s recipient of the Richard Laymon President’s Award.

As the Administrator of the Horror Writers Association, Brad Hodson’s various duties include managing the member database, the renewal system, StokerCon registration, and serving as the communications hub for the org. He works with other organizations, such as the Author’s Coalition, to advocate for creators and help keep HWA initiatives such as its scholarship program funded and paying out to recipients. Managing the day-to-day nuts and bolts of what keeps the organization running has given him a special appreciation for the genre, the creators and fans that champion it, and the volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to provide HWA’s members with the resources at their disposal.

Horror Writers Association’s 2017 Service Awards

The Horror Writers Association has announced the winners of the 2017 Mentor of the Year Award, the Silver Hammer Award, and the Richard Laymon President’s Award. The awards will be presented at StokerCon™ 2018, March 1-4.

MENTOR OF THE YEAR. The Mentor of the Year Award was established in 2016 to recognize a writer who has offered extraordinary service to the HWA’s Mentor Program, which pairs newer writers with more established writers. This year, Mentor Program Chair, Brian Hatcher, has chosen Angel Leigh McCoy as the 2017 Mentor of the Year.

Angel Leigh McCoy is a writer, audiobook narrator, editor, video game designer, and the HWA webmaster. Her novelette, “Charlie Darwin, or the Trine of 1809” was published by Nevermet Press, and she has had short stories appear in Strange Aeons, Necrotic Tissue, and Ravens in the Library by QuietThunder. As a game writer, she has worked on Guild Wars 2, various Microsoft game projects, White Wolf’s World of Darkness, and Forgotten Realms among many others. Aside from a storied twenty-five-year career, she makes time for her cats, Boo, Simon, and Lappyloo, who make her world cozy.

SILVER HAMMER AWARD. The HWA presents the Silver Hammer Award in recognition of extraordinary volunteerism by a member who dedicates valuable time and effort to the organization. The award is determined by HWA’s Board of Trustees.

This year’s recipient is Kenneth W. Cain, who serves as a key member of HWA’s Membership Committee. His duties include officially welcoming and assisting new members, and consulting on membership approval and qualification issues, tasks which he has performed for several years.

Kenneth W. Cain is the author of four novels, The Saga of I trilogy and United States of the Dead, and four short story collections, These Old Tales, Fresh Cut Tales, Embers, and the forthcoming Darker Days. He is also the editor for Crystal Lake Publishing’s Tales From The Lake Volume 5. Early on, shows like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and One Step Beyond created a sense of wonder for the unknown that continues to fuel his writing today. He resides in Chester County, Pennsylvania with his wife and two children.

RICHARD LAYMON PRESIDENT’S AWARD. The Richard Laymon President’s Award is named in honor of Richard Laymon, who died in 2001 while serving as the HWA’s President. As the name implies, it is given by the HWA’s sitting President. The award is presented to a volunteer who has served HWA in an especially exemplary manner and has shown extraordinary dedication to the organization.

HWA President Lisa Morton has chosen Greg Chapman to receive the 2017 Richard Laymon Award. As a graphic designer, Chapman has served the HWA for many years, providing everything from book covers to website graphics to convention banners. “Greg’s extraordinary gifts as a graphic artist have been crucial in bringing HWA into the 21st century in terms of our visual impact and overall branding,” said Morton. “His skills as a writer ensure that his art always tells a compelling story. We’re very lucky to have such a talented – and fast! – craftsman in our ranks.”

Greg Chapman is a horror author from Australia. He is the author of the Bram Stoker Award®-nominated and Australian Shadows Award-nominated novel Hollow House, the novel The Noctuary: Pandemonium and the novellas: Torment, Vaudeville, The Last Night of October and The Eschatologist. He is also an artist and illustrated the Bram Stoker Award®-winning graphic novel Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times, written by Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton.

[Based on a press release.]

Hanten Wins HWA’s 2016 Richard Laymon Award

The Horror Writers Association announced the 2016 Richard Laymon President’s Award will be presented to Caren Hanten. She will receive the award for her “extraordinary volunteerism and dedication to HWA at StokerCon 2017.”

Ms. Hanten (a/k/a C.W. LaSart) is an established writer who joined HWA in 2011, and became the Assistant Verifier in 2012. She assumed the position of Head Verifier in 2013 and has held this post ever since. Her position can be summed up in many terms: Rules, Patience, Discretion, and Thousands of Emails per year. She credits her title for the many contacts and countless friendships that she has made in the writing and publishing industry over the years. Though always a writer, she tried her hand at publication in 2011 and sold her first story to Dark Moon Digest. Since then her short stories have been published by Cemetery Dance Publications, Dark Moon Books, Eirelander Press and many more. Managing an Irish Pub by day, she spends countless hours shuttling her family to ball games and caring for a menagerie of rescue pets. If you are conversing with her about the eligibility of your work, she wants you to know that there is a good chance she has a rodent in her pocket.

Instituted in 2000, the Richard Laymon President’s Award is named in honor of Richard Laymon, who passed away in 2000 while serving as HWA’s president. The honor is awarded by the current President of the HWA, Lisa Morton, and is presented to a member who has served HWA in an exemplary manner and shown exceptional dedication to the organization.

Horror Writers Association Announces Two Awards

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) has announced the recipients of this year’s Specialty Press Award and Richard Laymon President’s Award.

The Specialty Press Award winner is Borderlands Press.

Since its founding in 1990 by Elizabeth and Tom Monteleone, Borderlands Press has published more than 100 titles by the most revered and successful writers in the genres of horror, dark fantasy, and suspense, including Ray Bradbury, Clive Barker, Wes Craven, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Dan Simmons, and Peter Straub.

In addition to its publishing activities, the press has sponsored and conducted the Borderlands Press Writers Boot Camp for twelve consecutive years. Held at Towson University’s Conference Center, the Boot Camp has provided instruction and guidance to more than 200 attendees—of whom more than 70% have gone on to see their subsequent work published professionally.

The annual Specialty Press Award recognizes a publisher outside the mainstream New York City publishing community that specializes in dark-themed fiction. The winner is determined by a majority vote of the HWA Board.

The Richard Laymon President’s Award winners are Patrick Freivald and Andrew Wolter, moderators of HWA’s Facebook group.

“Our Facebook group is one of the most trafficked parts of HWA’s online presence,” said HWA’s President Lisa Morton. “Keeping it focused and tidy is a difficult, time-consuming job. Patrick and Andrew put many hours every week into it, reviewing every post to make sure our rules are followed. They do so with good humor and thoughtful discussion, and HWA is lucky to have them.”

Patrick Freivald is an author, high school teacher, and beekeeper. He lives in Western New York with his beautiful wife, two birds, three dogs, too many cats, and several million stinging insects. He is the author of Twice Shy, Bram Stoker Award®-nominated Special Dead, Blood List (with his twin brother Phil), Bram Stoker Award®-nominated Jade Sky, and the sequel Black Tide, as well as the novella Love Bites, a growing legion of short stories, and the Jade Sky graphic novella (with Joe McKinney) for Dark Discoveries magazine.

Seattle resident, Andrew Wolter is the author of the books Seasons in His Abyss, Much of Madness, More of Sin, and Nightfall. He has published over three dozen short stories that have appeared both online and in print anthologies including Raw: Brutality as Art, Enter at Your Own Risk: Fires and Phantoms, and Anthology: Year Three, Distant Dying Ember. An advocate for LGBT rights, Andrew also freelances as a contributing columnist for a nationwide LGBT publication. Under the pseudonym Tristan Wilde, Andrew publishes homoerotic mystery novels.

The award is named in honor of Richard Laymon, who died in 2000 while serving as the HWA’s president. It is given by the HWA’s sitting president to a volunteer who has served in an especially exemplary manner and has shown extraordinary dedication to the organization.

Both awards will be presented at HWA’s inaugural StokerCon in Las Vegas, NV, during the Bram Stoker Awards® ceremony on May 14.

HWA Bestows Silver Hammer, Specialty Press, and Service Awards

Horror-writers-association02The Horror Writers Association announced a series of honors this week.

Rena Mason has been named the recipient of HWA’s 2014 Silver Hammer Award, given to an HWA volunteer who has worked diligently for the organization, often unsung and behind the scenes. Mason currently serves as Co-Chair of the Bram Stoker Awards®. She has also worked as a compiler for the awards process, and arranged and supervised HWA events, such as a recent panel at the Vegas Valley Book Festival.

ChiZine Publications is the winner of the HWA 2014 Specialty Press Award, which recognizes a publisher outside the mainstream New York City publishing community that specializes in dark-themed fiction.

ChiZine Publications (CZP), founded and run by Brett Alexander Savory and Sandra Kasturi,  sprang out of the successful chizine.com, which began presenting fiction and reviews in 1997. Since its inception in 2008, CZP has published more than 90 books by authors including Christopher Golden, Stephen Graham Jones, Geoff Ryman, Robert Shearman, Melanie Tem and Steve Rasnic Tem.

Finally, HWA will give its 2014 Richard Laymon President’s Award for Service to the organization’s publicity team of Doug Murano, Tom Calen, and Brock Cooper. The Award is presented to a volunteer who has served HWA in an especially exemplary manner and has shown extraordinary dedication to the organization. The recipients were selected by HWA President Lisa Morton.

“These three gentlemen have completely re-created HWA’s promotion and publicity, taking it from almost zero to sixty in record time,” Morton said. “Thanks to this amazing trio, we’ve received hundreds of thousands of hits on campaigns like our ‘Horror Selfies’, our press releases have been receiving international attention, and more readers than ever know about the Bram Stoker Awards®. Our former President Rocky Wood held Doug, Tom, and Brock’s work in the highest standing, and I share that admiration and appreciation.”

All three of the awards will be presented to recipients on May 9 at the Bram Stoker Awards® Banquet in Atlanta, held as part of World Horror Convention 2015.

[From the press releases.]