Horror Writers Association

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Horror Writers Association
Horror Writers Association logo.png
HeadquartersNew York
over 1250
John Palisano

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is a worldwide non-profit organization of professional writers and publishing professionals dedicated to promoting the interests of Horror and Dark fantasy writers.


HWA was formed in 1985 with the help of many of the field's greats, including Joe R. Lansdale, Robert McCammon, and Dean Koontz, although it was not formally incorporated until 1987, the year it first gave Bram Stoker Awards. The group was originally called HOWL (Horror and Occult Writers League), but quickly changed to the Horror Writers of America when they formally organized.[1] HWA now has members and regional chapters throughout North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Russia, and Asia, which led to the current name of the organization.

One of HWA's missions is to encourage public interest in and foster an appreciation of quality horror and dark fantasy literature. To that end, HWA offers information on their Web site, they sponsor or take part in occasional public readings and lectures. They also maintain an official presence at many fan-based horror and fantasy conventions, such as the Bram Stoker Awards Weekend, World Fantasy Convention and the World Horror Convention.

HWA sponsors the annual Bram Stoker Awards for superior achievement in Horror and Dark fantasy. HWA also presents an annual Lifetime Achievement Award to up to three living people who have made significant contributions to the writing of horror and dark fantasy over the course of a lifetime.[2] There are also a number of service Awards, including the Specialty Press Award and the Silver Hammer Award.[3]

Since 1990, HWA has produced a series of anthologies edited by a few of the more prestigious members and published in hardcover, mass-market, or trade paperback by various publishers. Most have also had signed, limited hardcover editions. These anthologies present new stories by the members of the Horror Writers Association. In addition, in 1997 HWA produced a volume of essays on the craft of horror writing, On Writing Horror: A Handbook by the Horror Writers Association, edited by Mort Castle, with contributions from dozens of well-known HWA members.[4] Their latest series of anthologies, Blood Lite, collects darkly humorous tales.[5]

Summer Scares Reading Program[edit]

In October 2020, the HWA announced its partnership with United For Libraries, Book Riot, and Booklist as it launched its Summer Scares Reading Program. The program's goal is to introduce readers to new authors and to aid librarians in starting conversations with readers. Each year, a committee consisting of a guest author and four librarians will select three recommended fiction titles for each of three reading levels (Adult, Teen, and Middle Grades) for a total of nine Summer Scares selections. Selected Summer Scares authors will be available for appearances and speaking engagements, for free, at public and school libraries throughout the country. The committee’s final selections will be announced each year on February 14— National Library Lover’s Day.[6]


President Term
John Palisano (2019–present)[7]
Lisa Morton (2014–2019)
Rocky Wood (2010–2014)
Deborah LeBlanc (2006–2010)
Gary A. Braunbeck (2005–2006)
Joseph Nassise (2002–2005)
David Niall Wilson (2001–2002)
Richard Laymon (2000–2001)
S.P. Somtow (1998–2000)
Janet Berliner (1997–1998)
Brian Lumley (1996–1997)
Lawrence Watt-Evans (1994–1996)
Dennis Etchison (1992–1994)
Craig Shaw Gardner (1990–1992)
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (1988–1990)
Charles L. Grant (1987–1988)
Dean R. Koontz (1986–1987)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us". Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  2. ^ "Horror Writers Association - The Bram Stoker Awards". Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  3. ^ "Horror Writers Association - Bram Stoker Awards".
  4. ^ Castle, Mort, ed. (2006). On Writing Horror: A Handbook by the Horror Writers Association (2nd ed.). Writer's Digest Books. ISBN 9781582974200.
  5. ^ Anderson, Kevin J.; Butcher, Jim; Harris, Charlaine; Kenyon, Sherrilyn (2008). Blood Lite. Gallery Books. ISBN 9781416567837.
  6. ^ admin (October 31, 2020). "Summer Scares Reading Program". Horror Writers Association Blog. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  7. ^ "HWA History". June 4, 2017. Retrieved June 14, 2019.

External links[edit]