Tag Archives: Horror Writers Association


The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is proud to announce the addition of a brand new category in the Bram Stoker Awards®: Superior Achievement in a Middle Grade Novel.

For purposes of this Award, Middle Grade novels are defined as novels (see clause IVe) intended for the age group 8-13 with word length beginning at 25,000 words. A Middle Grade novel that is deemed to be a ‘First Novel’ according to Rule IVf may qualify for consideration in the ‘First Novel’ category (see Rule IVr) if the author insists in writing that the work be considered for ‘First Novel’ rather than ‘Middle Grade’ novel; otherwise, said novel will remain in the ‘Middle Grade’ novel category. The work may not be considered for both the ‘First Novel’ and ‘Middle Grade’ novel categories concurrently.

Clause IVe defines a Novel in general as a work of prose fiction. It may be illustrated or include symbols or representations other than printed letters but the essential character of the must be prose. Non-linear texts or hypertext novels may qualify if and only if the central narrative—the shortest prose telling of the complete story, beginning to end—by itself, without commentary, footnotes, alternate paths, or other optional adjuncts meets the required word count.

Works published in 2022 will be the first year eligible for the award and will be presented at the Bram Stoker Awards ceremony in 2023. 

The Board of Trustees is delighted to add this category to the Bram Stoker Awards®.

For any additional questions, please email: stokerchair@horror.org 


Edited by Stephanie M. Wytovich, the Horror Writers Associations presents their eighth annual Poetry Showcase, featuring the best in never-before-published dark verse. Edited by Stephanie M. Wytovich with judges Sara Tantlinger and myself, this year features the first Crystal Lake Poetry Contest winner, poems from Cynthia Pelayo, Lindy Ryan, Sarah Read, Alicia Hilton, Corrine De Winter, Sumiko Saulson, Querus Abuttu, Carina Bissett, Lee Murray and many more poems from the talented members of the Horror Writers Association. Cover artwork by Robert Cabeen. I’m excited to have the honor of editing the next two volumes in this series.

Thank you to Stephanie for putting together this incredible collection and Sara for judging with me. Now Available in Print and on Kindle here.


In my book mail this week: The Parasite and Other Tales of Terror by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (available here). This is a release from the Haunted Library of Horror Classics, a line of reissued classic horror literature books from over the past 250 years. From Poisoned Pen Press and The Horror Writers Association (HWA) these books are recognized as literary masterpieces of their era.

Today they are remembered only through distorted theatrical or movie versions, have been relegated to academic study, or have otherwise been nearly forgotten entirely. Series editors Eric J. Guignard and Leslie S. Klinger now bring back these seminal titles of the genre, making them easily available to modern readers.

I grew up reading classics but most of these I’ve never read. Over the next year I’m going to try to work through this list, starting with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle… I thought I read all his works but I think I may have missed this one. Thank you to the HWA, Poisoned Pen and Eric J. Guignard and Leslie S. Klinger for bringing these back.

Check out the complete collection here. What book will you choose?


Sharing my book mail, current reads, recent reviews and all the lit news I’ve heard in the last week with a video reading from Naching T. Kassa. You can also view it on my Facebook profile and join the conversation there. By the way, these are affiliate links which go towards Amazon gift cards… and more books! What was covered today:


Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America by Andrew Wang 

The War on Normal People: The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future by Andrew Wang

Women of the Sacred Groves: Divine Priestesses of Okinawa by Susan Sered https://amzn.to/3kfFZWx

Speak, Okinawa by Elizabeth Miki Brina


Oriental Faddah and Son by Lee Tonouchi


Speak, Okinawa by Elizabeth Miki Brina (Read the review posted here)


Happy Birthday to my youngest son Aaron—22 years old today!

Tortured Willows COVER REVEAL on Sci-Fi and Scary

BRIANT LASLO is the AUTUMN IRON WRITER CHAMPION for 2021. He will be competing again in June 2022 for the title of Iron Writer Champion 2021. You can read his winning VIBRANCY here: https://ironwriters.com/2021/09/13/vibrancy/

Saturday 9-18 at 7:30 pm CST READ FOR PIXELS 2021: Writing Better Men and Tackling Toxic Masculinity in Horror The Pixel Project (www.thepixelproject.net) proudly presents acclaimed Horror authors Errick Nunnally, Kaaron Warren, and Stephen Graham Jones. The session is held in conjunction with the launch of The Pixel Project’s first Read For Pixels charity anthology, “Giving the Devil His Due”.  During this session, Mr Nunnally, Ms. Warren, and Mr Jones will be discussing dismantling toxic masculinity, sexism, and misogyny and writing better male characters in Horror. “Giving the Devil His Due” is available in e-book and paperback from all major booksellers worldwide from September 1st, 2021. Viewers can also donate to get fabulously cool and exclusive goodies for donors to the Read For Pixels 2021 (Fall Edition) fundraiser that will run from 1 September – 15 October. For more details, visit http://bit.ly/Read4Pixels

Sunday 9-19 at 2 pm CST POETRY INSTAGRAM LIVE I’ll be chatting poetry with Amy Zoellers at https://www.instagram.com/hipness_and_outrage/

Tuesday 9-21 at 6 pm CST LIT UP: JEZZY WOLFE The literary spotlight shines on Jezzy Wolfe as we talk about her new book, Monstrum Poetica. Jezzy will be reading. You can find Monstrum Poetica by Jezzy Wolfe on Amazon. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_yjrhAZRfc

The first SPECFAIRe will go live on October 8 https://specfaire.com/

Iron Writers Votes open until 9-30 https://ironwriters.com/

New books will be hard to come by for the rest of the year

Naching T. Kassa reads “Along for the Ride,” her entry for Iron Writers June
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXd-yqWSOOs&t=7s
Read-a-long: https://ironwriters.com/2021/06/11/along-for-the-ride/

Naching T. Kassa is a member of the Horror Writers Association, Head of Publishing for Horroraddicts.net, and an Intern for Crystal Lake Publishing. She resides near the small town of Valley, Washington, with her husband Dan. They are the proud parents of three children and a dog. You can find her on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/3AnEMC3

Accepted to HWA Poetry Showcase

Poetry ShowcaseI am pleased to announce that my recent poem, Death Waits, has been accepted into the HWA Poetry Showcase Volume III, set to be published as an electronic chapbook later this year.

My poem, The Braid, was accepted and included in last year’s Showcase and became the inspiration behind my short story, also titled The Braid. I am currently working on a short story based on Death Waits.

About HWA: The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it. HWA was formed in 1985 with the help of many of the field’s greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe Lansdale. It is the oldest and most respected professional organization for the much-loved writers who have brought you the most enjoyable sleepless nights of your life. Find more information on the HWA at Horror.org.

Find past Poetry Showcase volumes by following the links below.

Poetry Showcase Volume II

Poetry Showcase Volume I

Back from StokerCon 2016


Mr. Smith and I attended the gala Bram Stokers Award Banquet. Photo courtesy of S. Kay Nash.

How can I possibly express what it was like to be at StokerCon 2016?

The best of the horror community walked the halls, mingling with the up-and-comers. It was a blur of friends, new and old. There were workshops teeming with more information than could possibly be absorbed in the time allotted. The panels were full of audience participation, demonstrating what a close knit community of writers and authors the Horror Writers Association remains.

Set all this collaboration and cooperation into the glittering Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The result was a singular experience–exhausting, invigorating, thrilling–and nothing will ever compare.

There will be other StokerCons. The next one is already set to take place in 2017 aboard the Queen Mary in California, but this one will always remain at the top of the list. Mostly, it’s because it was the first StokerCon and must, by the mysterious powers of numbers, remain in the number one spot. It will also remain in the top because the horror community demonstrated that, despite growing pains, we remain together.

Words are my livelihood, but sometimes a picture can express things an exhausted writer can’t. Tonight, I take the easy route and share the images I caught over the past week. Please enjoy while I go finish unpacking.

I’ll share more details when I get caught up.

Alone No More

Alone is scaryOctober is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month and today a beautiful story unfolded about one dog who has been living in a nightmare and how he has been saved.

Today my daughter went to look at a property to possibly purchase. There were some abandoned buildings on the land, and as my daughter and the realtor were looking things over, a skinny dog came out of one of the buildings, whimpering.

He came right up to her crying. The little hair he had left on his back was teeming with fleas. He was starved and limping. He looked up at her with big brown eyes, desperately begging for help. The buildings weren’t the only thing abandoned on this property—the owner had left his dog as well.

She scooped him up and drove him to New Beginnings Animal Shelter, also Niceville Animal Clinic, for help.  The poor dog needed everything. Vaccinations, heart worm, flea and tick treatment—a grooming. She didn’t have money to pay for everything at the moment, but the Niceville Animal Clinic didn’t let that stop this canine from getting help. Each of them chipped in to help cover the costs, greatly reducing the final bill.

Tonight, this abandoned dog has hope. He is back at my daughter’s apartment while his owner is sought. If in 10 days he hasn’t been claimed, he is hers. For now this little beagle has a full stomach, relief from the fleas that covered him and a safe place.

Alone is scary, but for this dog, the nightmare is finally over.

This month the Horror Writers Association has been participating in the Alone Is Scary campaign to support the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA) Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month.


Alone Is Scary: What We CAN Do

20151007_160143In the past, whenever I see adopt-a-shelter pet info I have felt helpless. We are full up on pets right now, and I don’t think we could responsibly take on anymore.

We don’t have an excess of money or time either, so volunteering and donating are out. I assumed it meant I could no longer help. Then I saw this graphic posted at New Beginnings Animal Shelter in Niceville.

I had a personal epiphany. No, I don’t have time to volunteer, piles of money to donate or the room for any more animals… but… I can still help.

I can campaign for supply drives, I can designate a portion of my book sales, I can share information. I can and have adopted New Beginnings Animal Shelter, a no kill shelter in Niceville.

A few days ago I talked about October being the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA) Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. To support this, the Horror Writers Association launched the “Alone Is Scary” campaign.

The statistics for animal life expectancy in kill shelters are scary. From the SPCA website:

  • Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  • Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats).

No kill shelters like New Beginnings are fighting against the tide to save the animals already in the system and to prevent them from ever needing adoption by educating about spay/neuter programs.

There’s a lot I can’t do to help out, but thanks to this small card posted at New Beginnings, I realize there are still ways I can help.

Alone is Scary: Adopt-a-Dog Month

Pippin, adopted by my daughter, is one of the lucky few to have a home.

Pippin, adopted by my daughter, is one of the lucky few to have a home.

The Horror Writers Association, the premier organization of writers and publishers of horror and dark fantasy, recently announced the launch of its “Alone Is Scary” campaign to support the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA) Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month.

From now until Nov. 7, the HWA’s successful Horror Selfies website (www.horrorselfies.com) will seek submissions featuring pets in costume, pets “reading” horror, and/or pets with signs supporting local animal shelters. Accepted submissions will be featured on the site and distributed via the HWA’s social media accounts.

Previous Horror Selfies campaigns generated nearly 20 million impressions, and included participation from Stephen King (Finders Keepers), Peter Straub (A Dark Matter) and Craig Engler (Z Nation).

All approved selfie submissions are entered into a random drawing for one of the HWA’s largest prizes ever. ChiZine Publications (CZP), recipient of the 2014 Bram Stoker Award® Specialty Press Award, has donated a prize package featuring every ebook the press has published. With 100+ titles, the ebook prize package is worth over $1,000.

In conjunction with the Horror Selfies contest, HWA chapters across the United States are working with local animal shelters to host events to promote Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Events vary by location, and may include book raffles, author signings, costume contests, and more. These events are designed to collect much-needed donations for the animal shelter and to encourage community support. At the end of the month, one participating shelter will be randomly selected to receive a $250 Petco gift card.

“Hundreds of our members have adopted rescue animals. Dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and other wonderful animal companions,” said HWA President Lisa Morton, who is an active volunteer at a Los Angeles animal shelter. “We may write your nightmares, but horror writers are, by and large, compassionate souls. When we approached the ChiZine team with the concept, Brett Savory and Sandra Kasturi [co-publishers at CZP] immediately wanted to help out. We expect ‘Alone Is Scary’ to rival any other HWA campaign to date. ”

The selfie contest began October 1 and ends November 7, 2015 12:00 EST. Visit www.horrorselfies.com for official contest rules. The animal shelter events are scheduled through the month of October. More information is available at www.horror.org.

You can see my selfie with Pippin, my daughter’s rescue, here.

HWA Signs with Writers House

hwalogosmallsquareMore fantastic Horror Writers Association news… and another reason all authors in the genre need to belong! The HWA has signed with Writers House, one of the largest literary agencies in the world. This comes within days of the HWA announcing their new partnership with Authors for Libraries.

I can attest that, personally, joining the HWA has been the game changing factor in my own career. My one regret? I didn’t join four years ago when I published my first book.

From author Tom Calen on the Horror Writer Association’s Facebook page Sept. 25:

Based in New York City, Writers House has a history of representing a diverse list of authors, including winners of the National Book Award, Hugo Award, World Fantasy Award, and Pulitzer Prize. Their author lists boast industry giants such as Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Franzen, Ken Follett, and Octavia E. Butler.

Alec Shane, who began his career with Writers House in 2008, will be HWA’s representative at the agency.

“I fell in love with horror at a very young age, so to be able to represent an organization like the HWA as an adult is a dream come true. The amount of talent, energy, knowledge, and enthusiasm that the Horror Writers Association brings to the table in regards to the genre is unparalleled, and it’s an honor to call myself their agent,” said Shane.

“We are thrilled to work with Alec on continuing HWA’s legacy of quality books. Alec is young, enthusiastic, and a dedicated horror-lover, so we look forward to an exciting and profitable relationship,” said HWA President Lisa Morton.