HWA Achievements: 2011 to Present



As part of the HWA's commitment to keeping members and the public 'in the know' about what the organization is doing to improve itself, increase its value to membership, support the genre, and attract new members, there will now be a single page where members can go to see what the Board and the various committees have accomplished and initiated. This dates back to 2011, and will be updated on a regular basis.

We thank the 170 plus members that are serving the HWA at any given time for their efforts in achieving the results reported herein.

Updated: June 2016


HWA Outreach

Established a Pinterest account, with initial ‘boards’ for Halloween, the Bram Stoker Awards® and Horror Selfies, with more to come. Established an Instagram account, and outlined a program for posting there. Also initiated and organized Twitter campaign to increase followers on Twitter (currently at over 11,000 followers).

Members and local chapters have run HWA's booths or tables at the following events:

  • Comic Con New York City
  • Tucson Book Festival
  • Salt Lake Comic Con
  • League of Utah Writers Fall Conference
  • Life the Universe & Everything
  • Salty Horror Con
  • Salt City Steamfest
  • Salt Lake Fan Experience
  • Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
  • Book Expo America
  • Monster Mania
  • Scariest
  • New York Horror Show
  • South Dakota Con/Anime/Geek
  • Toronto International Book Fair
  • Son of Monsterpalooza
  • Toronto Comicon
  • DFW Writers Conference
  • Niagara Comic Con
  • West Hollywood Book Festival
  • Bloody Words
  • Festival of Fear
  • Dragon Con
  • Scare LA
  • Long Beach Comic Con
  • Horror Rama
  • Bay Area Book Festival
  • NYC Horror Film Festival
  • On Point Executive Center Book Fair
  • Ravencon
  • Rue Morgue Dark Carnival
  • Brooklyn Book Fair
  • American Library Association
  • Bay Area Book Festival
  • HP Lovecraft Film Festival
  • FanFest
  • Toronto Word on the Street
  • ComicPalooza Houston
  • Bay of Blood
  • HallowRead Convention
  • World Horror Convention

In 2015, for the first time HWA appeared on the main floor of BookExpo, with a high-traffic display located close to the major publishers. Our display hosted book giveaways and author signings, and drew the attention of thousands of booksellers, librarians, editors, publishers, and readers.

HWA's Events Coordinator reviews and approves the various conventions and events the organization will be at each year in order to maximize organization visibility vs. investment and member/volunteer availability. An Event Organizer ensures that each event receives branded promotional materials.

The Halloween Haunts public blog has expanded each year since launch in 2011. We publish around 50 contributions each year. It is now also promoted to libraries in addition to being on the public-facing website landing page.

Established the HWA YouTube Channel. Updated it with the recorded webcast of our Bram Stoker Awards® each year since 2011; and with video clips and author interviews.

Launched the wildly successful website www.horrorselfies.com to promote the genre across a range of social media, engaging literally millions of horror fans and offering promotional opportunities to member and non-members alike.

In 2016, created the Mass Media Committee to investigate ways to involve more screenwriters, role-playing game writers, video game writers, and graphic novelists.

Libraries and Literacy

Launched the HWA's Library and Literacy programs, which now run both separate and inter-related projects to promote reading and expand the HWA's brand. There is now a separate HWA web section for Librarians. Interviews, reading lists, blogs, links, and articles are added regularly to keep the pages fresh.

Initiated relationships/partnerships with VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) Magazine, and the Library of Congress to promote literacy and young adult literacy. Placed articles in VOYA Magazine and the BWI (a major book supplier for libraries) website about the HWA's commitment to literacy.

Initiated a partnership with the American Library Association that resulted in the HWA's first-ever booth at an ALA event, plus promotional materials at 5-7 library-related conferences each year. We also had a 'Day of Horror' at that first event, where several HWA members presented panels.

In 2016, expanded our ALA partnership to allow us to include all of our members in the Authors for Libraries database.

Established the HWA's Library Database, which contains the contact info of librarians/libraries who've expressed an interest in horror, including stocking medium and small press books and having authors in to do presentations. Since its inception, it has built to 300-plus entries, with more added every month.

Established an ongoing relationship with cartoonist Ray Billingsley that has led to multiple mentions of the HWA and horror in his comic strip, seen in more than 300 newspapers nationwide, plus a customized literacy poster for use at events and readings.

Interviewed actress/author Amber Benson, author/screenwriter David Gerrold, and musician/comedian Richard Christy about, among other things, their thoughts on literacy. Those interviews are on the public-facing HWA home page and in the newsletter archives.

In January 2016, made a $5,000 donation to and became a sponsor of Literacy Inc., which works with underprivileged high school kids in the south to provide them with e-readers and motivational speakers.

In 2016, created the Young Adults Write Now Endowment, which offers libraries $500 to assist with creation or continuation of writing programs for young authors.


Young Adult Horror

Launched the Young Adult reader programs, as well as a public website section celebrating Young Adult horror. Interviews, reading lists, blogs, links, and articles are added regularly to keep the pages fresh, including Jonathan Maberry's "Scary Out There" blog for young adult readers.
 

Poetry

Published our first poetry ebook, HWA Poetry Showcase in July 2014, with all contributors being paid at professional rates. The third volume, published in 2016, is the first to be available in both multiple ebook formats and print edition.

Established a Poetry Committee that has created a new section on the website to promote this overlooked but important form. This section is updated monthly and adds to our continuing

In 2015, established the Dark Poetry Scholarship.


Scholarships

Created two $2500 writing scholarships for members, to be awarded annually: the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship and the Horror Writers Association Scholarship. The first two scholarships were awarded in 2014.

In 2015, added two additional scholarships: the Dark Poetry Scholarship, and the Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship for Non-fiction Writers.

In 2016, added The Scholarship From Hell, which pays for one winner to attend our yearly StokerCon and Horror University.

In 2016, created the Horror Scholarships website and standardized all scholarship submission processes and scholarship committees.

Chapters

The Chapter Handbook was revised and reissued.

Web sites have been developed for each Chapter.

The LA Chapter initiated a successful program with the Pasadena Public Library and expanded the number of schools and libraries where members are welcome to conduct readings or presentations.
In addition, they launched a Visiting Author Support Program where we make sure to visit and support visiting (and local) HWA Authors at their signings and readings.

In 2015, we established our first Italy chapter. In 2016, the Italy chapter held its first official meeting.

In 2016, we re-established a UK chapter and scheduled multiple events for the chapter, including hosted parties, appearances at festivals, and pub meets.

HWA now has the following chapters, with more being formed throughout the year:

Conventions

After running stand-alone Bram Stoker Awards Weekends in 2009 and 2011, and hosting the 2013 and 2015 World Horror Conventions, HWA inaugurated its own yearly full convention in 2016 with StokerCon™, held May 12th-15th at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. StokerCon Guests of Honor included R. L. Stine, Ellen Datlow, Jack Ketchum, Leslie S. Klinger, Daniel Knauf, Marge Simon, Anne Serling, Anthony Timpone, and Ryan Turek; the Toastmaster was Stephen Jones, and the Bram Stoker Awards presentation was emceed by Jeff Strand. The convention incorporated Horror University, a series of workshops and special presentations taught by bestselling authors and acknowledged experts. It also hosted the Lucky Th1rt3en Film Competition, which chose thirteen outstanding short horror films to present during the convention (to a packed house!); the winner, Quenottes, received a $1,000 cash prize, the Tredecim trophy, and a "first-look" deal from RothCo/Co-Conspiracy Entertainment. StokerCon 2016 received high praise from attendees and in the press.

In 2017, StokerCon will be held on the legendary Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Guests of Honor include George R. R. Martin, Elizabeth Hand, Chuck Wendig, Bill Bridges, Peter Crowther, Tananarive Due, Gretchen McNeil, Becky Spratford, and Stephen Graham Jones; the Toastmaster is Nancy Holder, and the Bram Stoker Awards presentation will once again be emceed by Jeff Strand. Horror University will return, as will the Lucky 13 Film Competition.

StokerCon 2017 will also host HWA's first academic conference, with papers presented and published in a stand-alone book.

In 2016, created a strong anti-harassment policy for use in all our events.

Bram Stoker Awards

Increased participation and visibility of the Bram Stoker Awards, and updated the management of the awards program. This includes a new half-Juried system and a totally revitalized Award Committee; updating the electronic voting process; appointing a Publisher Liaison; and initiating contact with mainstream publishers, screenwriters, and graphic artists to increase the volume and diversity of submissions.

 In addition, the Award rules have been revised annually, based on member feedback.

A relationship with Amazon was established whereby they promote the Bram Stoker Award winners. Similar relationships with other review, book, and genre websites have been instituted for the same purpose – many of these relationships promote all nominees or nominees in a particular category. This is all to the benefit of the horror genre, and the authors, poets and editors nominated.

In 2016, established the Diverse Works Inclusion Committee, to increase awareness of works by authors of color, LGBT authors, and disabled authors.

Mentor Program

Continued to build the mentoring program, with 30 mentors currently mentoring members. About 30 mentees have graduated from this program in the last two years. In 2015, the Mentor Program was revised to create a one-year program, which concludes with an official presentation of graduates and the presentation of a special pin to each graduate.


Hardship Fund

Increased the level of the Hardship Fund, thanks to increased membership and more members donating, which has allowed us to make loans to several members in need.


Member Handbook

A new Member Handbook has been published and is regularly updated. (http://www.horror.org/private/handbook/index.htm).

Horror Curricula

Introduced a new Horror Curriculum Committee to work with schools and universities on promoting horror-oriented curricula.


Social Media/Press

Established social media programs, with a successful Facebook page with over 7,000 participants; a Twitter platform to disseminate industry and genre information; an Instagram account; and a Pinterest account with multiple threads.

Also created a popular Facebook HWA horror news page.

Created the position of Communications Director, increased social media and press contacts, and made more use of PR Newswire to release important press announcements. In 2016, our press releases achieved reach numbers over ten million.

In 2016, created electronic press kits for use at events, which are delivered on branded USB drives.

Web Operations

Migrated the entire HWA website to a more secure host. The website’s graphics were updated and a new front page instituted, leading to a significant growth in click-throughs

Improved the presentation of member new releases on the HWA website's public-facing pages.

Hundreds of pages of new and updated content were uploaded, including new sections for Librarians, Horror Poetry, and Young Adult Horror.

Throughout 2016, we will be working to increase navigation ease and functionality of the entire site, and to make the entire site mobile-friendly on all devices.


Publications

We have overseen the publication of all three volumes of the Blood Lite anthologies in the UK/European market as e-books. These books and On Writing Horror in physical book form continue to generate royalties for the HWA and members.

Released the previously out of print anthology F.Paul Wilson's Freak Show as an ebook in both .MOBI (Kindle) and ePub formats.

Published three volumes of our annual Poetry Showcase.

In 2015, sold Scary Out There, a young adult horror anthology, to Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Edited by bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, the book includes 23 original short stories and poems from some of the genre's top authors, including R. L. Stine, Ellen Hopkins, Neal Shusterman, Joyce Carol Oates, Christopher Golden, and Cherie Priest.

In 2015, signed with agent Alec Shane of Writers House to represent our projects.

In 2016, sold our Halloween-themed anthology Hallows' Eve to Doubleday's Blumhouse Books imprint. The anthology, due for release in 2017, is edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton.

The HWA Newsletter has gone from strength to strength with the addition of new columns and a near doubling of content each month.


Membership

Expanded our membership to 27 countries - Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, Honduras, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Philippines, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad, United Kingdom and the United States.

Welcomed self-published authors to our Active (professional) and Affiliate (semi pro) ranks after a Referendum in July 2014.

Grew membership from 750 to 1100 in less than 2 years (and from 240 in 2009). In the process, we have maintained a 90% renewal rate, which is above average for a professional association. As of 2016, membership is nearing 1,400.

Membership qualifications were revised based on industry changes and member feedback to include a mix of advances and royalties. They are likely to be revised again shortly to deal with the growth in self-publishing. Again, this is a result of member feedback.

Updates to the Members Only section of the website include new and regularly updated Reviewer Listings, Agents Listings, and Discounts.

Successfully resolved a number of grievances to the satisfaction of the members.

Created more member benefits, including additional discounts and the opportunity (in May 2016) to have exclusive submission privilege to Cemetery Dance Magazine and Cemetery Dance Online.

Administration

Employed a full time employee (Administrator) for the first time, in August 2014.

Implemented new member management software – Wild Apricot. This significantly reduces manual administration, improves customer service to members, and allows members to update their own information.

The ByLaws have been revised based on industry changes and member feedback.

Dozens of operational manuals and standard procedures have been created and collected in a central repository to reduce risk and eliminate duplication of work effort.

Industry Issues

Working with Authors Registry, which distributes unclaimed secondary rights monies coming from the UK and Holland, we were able to direct outstanding payments to three members.

Played a key role in the resolution of the Hydra publishing situation to achieve policies that are more author friendly and professional.

Established a formal relationship with Writers Beware (in conjunction with SWFA) to enable members to more effectively monitor predatory practices and operators; and to give them an effective channel to report predatory practices and operators.

Issued an open letter to Amazon urging them to reform reviews on their site to remove abuse of that process, thereby protecting all authors, including our members.

Copyright © 2009 by Horror Writers Association