Norman Rubenstein to Receive The Hammer Award from HWA

The Horror Writers Assn. periodically gives The Hammer Award (also known as the Silver Hammer Award) to an HWA volunteer who has done a truly massive amount of work for our organization, often unsung and behind the scenes. It was instituted in 1996, and is decided by a vote of HWA's Board.

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.

The Board has voted to give the 2013 Award to Norman Rubenstein, Co-Chair of the Bram Stoker Awards® Committee.

HWA’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees Marge Simon commented, “The HWA is a success because of the tremendous workload carried by our many volunteers, mostly unnoticed. Norm has done a truly outstanding job as the Awards Committee Co-Chair, a position that requires incredible attention to detail and diplomacy. He has worked tirelessly to update processes, enhance transparency, and develop our evolving half-juried system. He previously served on the Additions Jury for three years and edited the Souvenir Book for last year’s Bram Stoker Awards Weekend, incorporating the World Horror Convention.”

Norm will receive The Hammer Award at the Bram Stoker Awards Banquet at the World Horror Convention in Portland on May 10.

Norm Rubenstein, a former litigation attorney and Administrative Law Judge in Chicago, IL, has spent nearly the past decade becoming an experienced editor, columnist, horror literature and film reviewer, author, and screenwriter. Norm has organized and presented a number of large science fiction conventions in conjunction with the BBC for their DOCTOR WHO television series, being featured on a nationally televised segment of the Entertainment Tonight TV show. He also negotiated character merchandising licenses with the BBC for the DOCTOR WHO program and produced a wide array of licensed merchandize. Norm also co-produced ten stage plays including a thriller, "Murder By Misadventure," that enjoyed an extended run upon London’s famed West End, and a world premiere of an A.R. Gurney play, "The Fourth Wall," starring George Segal and Betty Buckley, in Chicago, for which he was also GM/Managing Producer.

As an author, Norm has had extensive work, including essays, articles, interviews, and book and film reviews appearing in numerous publications, including Cemetery Dance, Dark Scribe, Dark Discoveries, and Shroud Magazines, has written regular columns for Fear Zone and Shroud, and has been a regular reviewer for Horror World, Hellnotes, and the Pod Of Horror podcast. Norm is a frequent convention speaker, panelist, and moderator.

Norm has also published short stories he’s co-written in the anthologies Fear Of The Dark, by Horror Bound Magazine Publications (“The Closet,” co-authored with Carol Weekes, 2011) and the recent 2012 HWA Bram Stoker Award Finalist charity anthology, Horror for Good, published by Cutting Block Press (“The Widows Laveau,” with Steven Booth, 2012). Norm’s work has also appeared in Thrillers: 100 Must Reads (Oceanview Publishing, 2010; David Morrell and Hank Wagner, editors). He wrote the “Editor’s Foreword” to the Dark Regions Press hardcover edition of Gene O’Neill’s Stoker-winning collection Taste Of Tenderloin (2012). Norm recently graduated from the ScreenwritingU ProSeries Professional Screenwriting Program (PS #45).

As an editor, Norm’s had extensive experience working for a number of specialty presses, including Bloodletting Press, Cargo Cult Press, Centipede Press, Dark Regions Press, Thunderstorm Books, Genius Publishing, and most recently as managing editor for JournalStone Publishing. Norm’s edited over forty books and has been the editor for numerous works by many prominent authors, including multiple finalists for, and one winner of, the HWA’s Bram Stoker Awards. Norm was also the editor of the Souvenir Program Book for The Bram Stoker Awards Weekend 2013 Incorporating The World Horror Convention, which included new fiction by Clive Barker, Dan Simmons, Jonathan Maberry, and numerous others. Norm currently performs editing work on a freelance basis (

He is an active member of both the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and the HWA, and is completing his third year as Co-Chair of the HWA’s Bram Stoker Awards Committee. Norm previously spent three years serving on the HWA’s former Bram Stoker Additions Jury, the last two of which as Jury Chair, and also currently serves as a member of the HWA’s Grievance Committee.