The Bram Stoker Awards® FAQ


What are the Bram Stoker Awards®?

The Bram Stoker Awards® are the premiere awards in the horror genre; think the Oscar for dark writing! The awards have been given out yearly since 1988 by the Horror Writers Association, and beginning in 2019 will cover work in twelve categories.

What is the Horror Writers Association?

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is a worldwide non-profit organization dedicated to promoting horror and those who write it. With nearly 1,500 members and two-dozen chapters, HWA is a truly international group that celebrates diversity in all forms. The organization is open to membership for writers at all stages of their careers; it also includes membership categories for academics, associated professionals (editors, publishers, teachers, librarians, etc.), corporations, and readers/fans. Among HWA’s many membership benefits: the jam-packed monthly newsletter and Internet Mailers; the Mentor Program, which pairs newer writers with established pros; discounts tickets to HWA’s yearly conference, StokerCon™; access to HWA’s problem-solving Grievance Committee and Hardship Loans; the ability to participate in numerous conventions, book fairs, and trade shows throughout the year; and much more. Please visit HWA’s website horror.org for more information.

What is StokerCon™?

StokerCon™ is HWA’s yearly conference. Each year, the conference is held in a different location, and offers top-name Guests of Honor, an exciting program of panels and readings, a dealers room, the education-themed Horror University, the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference, Librarians’ Day, the Final Frame Film Competition, and the gala presentation of the Bram Stoker Awards. Click here for more on StokerCon™.

Do I have to be a member of HWA to have my work considered for the Bram Stoker Award?

No! The intent of the award is to recognize the best work in the world each year, regardless of whether the author is a member of the organization or not…but remember that only members may recommend works for the award, and only Active members (those who have met the criteria for professional-level writers) may vote on the awards. Members may also serve on Bram Stoker Award juries (depending on their membership level, their qualifications, and the availability of open slots on the juries).

So if my work shows up on the Recommendations list for the award, I can tell everyone I’m a nominee, right?

Wrong. A recommendation means only that one person has liked your work, not that it has received enough recommendations or votes to become an actual nominee.

What if I wrote something that doesn’t fit any of your categories – can it still be eligible for a Bram Stoker Award?

Sorry, no. While we’d like to be able to recognize works of brilliantly-written horror in all fields, it’s simply not possible to cover EVERYTHING with an award category.

If I’m nominated, what do I get? Can I get into StokerCon™ free?

Again, sorry, no. You will receive a Nomination Certificate, hand-signed by the organization’s President and suitable for framing; you will get your own listing on this website; you may place one of our official nomination seals on your work; and you will be eligible to purchase discounted tickets to the gala awards banquet.

I’ve Submitted my work to a Jury and uploaded it in Submittable. Why isn’t it showing up on The Recommended Reading List?

Once you Submit your work to the Jury, you will receive one (1) auto-generated letter informing you that the Jury has received your work. You will not hear from the Jury again regarding your work. Please do not contact them, asking whether or not they’ve received your work and what their thoughts are about it. If you did not receive the single auto-generated letter informing you that the Jury has received your work, check your spam folder first, then write stokerchair@horror.org  If your work is chosen by the Jury, it will show up on the Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary Ballot and you will be contacted for a Special iMailer to promote your work before voting begins for the Final Ballot if you wish to do so. Works that appear on The Recommended Reading List are solely works that have been “Recommended” by HWA members as their “top choice” read(s) for the awards year. If you’d like more information on how to promote your work for awards consideration, please click here.

Do these awards really matter?

We think so, and suggest you read this great essay by Michael Arnzen to see why.

What does the little R in the circle mean next to the Bram Stoker Awards®?

It means HWA has done the hard legal work of reserving trademark on the name of our awards, and our attorneys will descend upon anyone who tries to use the name for their awards.

Where can I read the complete Bram Stoker Awards rules?

Please click here to access the PDF of the complete rules.

Hurrah – I’m a nominee/winner! Where can I get the official seals to put on my nominated/winning work?

Right here (see below)! Or click here to obtain a zipped file of the medallions.