The 2021 Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary Ballot

The 2021 Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot Announced
The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is pleased to announce the Preliminary Ballot for the 2021 Bram Stoker Awards®. The HWA (see is the premier writers organization in the horror and dark fiction genre, with more than 1,800 members. We have presented the Bram Stoker Awards in various categories since 1987 (see Works on this ballot are not referred to as “nominees” or “finalists.” Only works appearing on the Final Ballot may be referred to as “nominated works” and their authors as “finalists.”  The HWA Board and the Bram Stoker Awards® Committee congratulate all those appearing on the Preliminary Ballot. Notes about the voting process will appear after the ballot listing. If your work appears on this ballot and you would like to offer it to voting members of the HWA in the Internet Mailer to be sent on or around January 26, please see important information following the ballot. Please contact with any corrections.

The 2021 Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot Superior Achievement in a Novel

Castro, V. – The Queen of the Cicadas (Flame Tree Press)
Demchuk, David – Red X (Strange Light)
Hendrix, Grady – The Final Girl Support Group (Berkley)
Jones, Stephen Graham – My Heart Is a Chainsaw (Gallery/Saga Press)
Knight, EV – Children of Demeter (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
McLeod Chapman, Clay – Whisper Down the Lane (Quirk Books)
Pelayo, Cynthia – Children of Chicago (Agora Books)
Starling, Caitlin – The Death of Jane Lawrence (St. Martin’s Press)
Stred, Steve – Incarnate (Black Void Publishing)
Wendig, Chuck – The Book of Accidents (Del Rey)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Desiree, Amanda – Smithy (Inkshares)
Fox, VK – Indie Saint (Aethon Books)
Jones, C.B. – The Rules of the Road (Ionosphere Press)
Martinez, S. Alessandro – Helminth (Omnium Gatherum)
McQueen, LaTanya – When the Reckoning Comes (Harper Perennial)
Miles, Terry – Rabbits (Del Rey)
Moreno, Gus – This Thing Between Us (MCD x FSG Originals)
Piper, Hailey – Queen of Teeth (Strangehouse Books)
Quigley, Lisa – The Forest (Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing)
Willson, Nicole – Tidepool (The Parliament House)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Ahmed, Saladin (author) and Kivelä, Sami (artist) – Abbott 1973 (BOOM! Studios)
Garcia, Kami (author); Suayan, Mico (artist); Badower, Jason (artist); and Mayhew, Mike (artist) – Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity (DC Comics)
Leong, Sloane (author) and Bowles, Anna (artist) – Graveneye (TKO Studios)
Manzetti, Alessandro (author) and Cardoselli, Stefano (artist) – The Inhabitant of the Lake (Independent Legions Publishing)
McCurdy, Bowen (author/artist) and Musto, Kaitlyn (author) – Specter Inspectors (BOOM! Box)
Morrison, Grant (author); Child, Alex (author); and Franquiz, Naomi (artist) – Proctor Valley Road (BOOM! Studios)
Moyer, Rich (author/artist) – Ham Helsing Vampire Hunter (Crown Books for Young Readers) 
Panosian, Dan (author) and Ignazzi, Marianna (artist) – An Unkindness of Ravens (BOOM! Studios)
Scott, Cavan (author) and Howell, Corin (artist) – Shadow Service: Dark Arts (Vault Comics)
Szym, Adam (author/artist) – A Cordial Invitation (Self-published)  

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

Ames, Alison – To Break a Covenant (Page Street Kids)
Blake, Kendare – All These Bodies (Quill Tree Books)
Boyle, R.L. – The Book of the Baku (Titan Books)
Craig, Erin A. – Small Favors (Delacorte Press)
Gould, Courtney – The Dead and the Dark (Wednesday Books) 
Lewis, Jessica – Bad Witch Burning (Delacorte Press)
Marshall, Kate Alice – Our Last Echoes (Viking Books for Young Readers)
Polydoros, Aden – The City Beautiful (Inkyard Press)
Sutherland, Krystal – House of Hollow (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Waters, Erica – The River Has Teeth (HarperTeen)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Asman, Brian – Man, Fuck This House (Mutated Media)
Castro, V. – Goddess of Filth (Creature Publishing, LLC)
Deady, Tom – Of Men and Monsters (Crystal Lake Publishing)
Jeffery, Ross – Only The Stains Remain (Cemetery Gates Media)
Khaw, Cassandra – Nothing But Blackened Teeth (Tor Nightfire)
LaRocca, Eric – Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke (Weirdpunk Books)
Marrs, Chris and O’Neill, Gene – “Entangled Soul” (Entangled Soul and Other Stories) (Omnium Gatherum)
Piper, Hailey – “Recitation of the First Feeding” (Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy) (The Seventh Terrace)
Strand, Jeff – “Twentieth Anniversary Screening” (Slice and Dice) (Independently published)
Tingle, Chuck – Straight (Self-published)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Gwilym, Douglas – “Year Six” (LampLight Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 1) (Apokrupha)
Gyzander, Carol – “The Yellow Crown” (Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign) (Hippocampus Press)
Joseph, R.J. – “I Just Want to Be Free” (Paranormal Contact: A Quiet Horror Confessional) (Cemetery Gates Media)
Joseph, R.J. – “Soulmates” (Dark Dispatch Issue #2: Deadly Love) (Dark Dispatch)
Murray, Lee – “Permanent Damage” (Attack From the ’80s) (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
O’Quinn, Cindy – “A Gathering at the Mountain” (The Bad Book) (Bleeding Edge Books)
Oreto, Frank J. – “The Care and Feeding of Household Gods” (Beyond the Veil) (Flame Tree Press)
Taborska, Anna -“Two Shakes Of A Dead Lamb’s Tail”(Terror Tales of the Scottish Lowlands) (Telos Publishing)
Ward, Kyla Lee – “A Whisper in the Death Pit” (Weirdbook #44) (Wildside Press)
Yates, Pauline – “The Best Medicine” (Midnight Echo Issue 16) (AHWA)

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Bailey, Michael – Psychotropic Dragon (Written Backwards)
Baxter, Alan – The Gulp (13th Dragon Books)
Files, Gemma – In That Endlessness, Our End (Grimscribe Press)
Fracassi, Philip – Beneath a Pale Sky (Lethe Press)
Landry, Jess – The Mother Wound (Independent Legions Publishing)
Maberry, Jonathan – Empty Graves: Tales of the Living Dead (WordFire Press LLC)
McCarthy, J.A.W. – Sometimes We’re Cruel and Other Stories (Cemetery Gates Media)
Tuttle, Lisa – The Dead Hours of Night (Valancourt Books)
Wise, A.C. – The Ghost Sequences (Undertow Publications)
Yap, Isabel – Never Have I Ever (Small Beer Press)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Bailey-Bond, Prano and Fletcher, Anthony – Censor (Silver Salt Films)
Carolyn, Axelle – The Manor (Amazon Studios)
Chaisson, C. Henry; Antosca, Nick; and Cooper, Scott – Antlers (Searchlight Pictures)
Charles, Kathy; Steensland, Mark; and Stevens, Travis – Jakob’s Wife (AMP International)
Cushing, Aric and Thomas, Logan – There’s No Such Thing as Vampires (Ascent Releasing)
Dong-hyuk, Hwang – Squid Game, Season 1, Episode 1: “Red Light, Green Light” (Siren Pictures) 
Flanagan, Mike; Flanagan, James; and Howard, Jeff – Midnight Mass, Season 1, Episode 6: “Book VI: Acts of the Apostles” (Intrepid Pictures)
Graziadei, Phil and Janiak, Leigh – Fear Street: Part One – 1994 (Chernin Entertainment)
Peele, Jordan; Rosenfeld, Win; and DaCosta, Nia – Candyman (Universal Pictures)
Pisanthanakun, Banjong – The Medium (GDH 559)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

Garza, Alexander P. – notsleepyyet (Weasel Press)
Lansdale, Joe R. – Apache Witch and Other Poetic Observations (Independent Legions Publishing)
Manzetti, Alessandro – Dancing with Maria’s Ghost (Independent Legions Publishing)
McHugh, Jessica – Strange Nests (Apokrupha)
O’Brien, Brandon – Can You Sign My Tentacle? (Interstellar Flight Press)
Simon, Marge and Turzillo, Mary – Victims (Weasel Press)
Sng, Christina; Yuriko Smith, Angela; Murray, Lee; and Flynn, Geneve – Tortured Willows: Bent. Bowed. Unbroken. (Yuriko Publishing)
Snyder, Lucy A. – Exposed Nerves (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
Walrath, Holly Lyn – The Smallest of Bones (CLASH Books)
Wolfe, Jezzy – Monstrum Poetica (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Chambers, James – Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign (Hippocampus Press)
Cluff, Michael and Becker, Willow – Humans are the Problem: A Monster’s Anthology (Weird Little Worlds)
Datlow, Ellen – When Things Get Dark: Stories Inspired by Shirley Jackson (Titan Books) 
French, Aaron J. and Landry, Jess – There is No Death, There are No Dead (Crystal Lake Publishing)
Guignard, Eric J. – Professor Charlatan Bardot’s Travel Anthology to the Most (Fictional) Haunted Buildings in the Weird, Wild World (Dark Moon Books)
HOWL Society – Howls From Hell (HOWL Society Press)
Johnson, Eugene – Attack From the ’80s (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
Schlossberg, Josh – The Jewish Book of Horror (Denver Horror Collective) 
Showers, Brian J. – Uncertainties: Volume V (Swan River Press)
Thomas, Ben – Tales from Omnipark (House Blackwood)

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Abbott, Stacey and Jowett, Lorna – Global TV Horror (University of Wales Press)
Decker, Lindsey – Transnationalism and Genre Hybridity in New British Horror Cinema (University of Wales Press)
Falvey, Eddie; Hickinbottom, Joe; and Wroot, Jonathan – New Blood: Critical Approaches to Contemporary Horror (University of Wales Press)
Olson, Danel – 9/11 Gothic: Decrypting Ghosts and Trauma in New York City’s Terrorism Novels (Lexington Books)
Knost, Michael – Writers Workshop of Horror 2 (Hydra Publications)
Lester, Catherine – Horror Films for Children: Fear and Pleasure in American Cinema (Bloomsbury Academic)
Potts, Jim – Defending a Serial Killer: The Right to Counsel (Vesuvian Books)
Wetmore Jr., Kevin J. – Eaters of the Dead: Myths and Realities of Cannibal Monsters (Reaktion Books)
Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew and Hansen, Regina M. – Giving the Devil His Due: Satan and  Cinema (Fordham University Press)
Woofter, Kristopher – Shirley Jackson: A Companion (Peter Lang Publishing)

Superior Achievement in Short Non-Fiction

Clasen, Mathias – “Fear Not!” (Aeon)
Cowen, David E. – “Introduction” (Victims) (Weasel Press)
Ward, Kyla Lee – “Vampire Poetry” (Penumbra No. 2 (2021)) (Hippocampus Press)
Diak, Nicholas – “Cullzathro Fhtagn! Magnifying the Carnivalesque in Lovecraft Through the Comic Book Series Vinegar Teeth” (Academia Letters)
Ognjanović, Dejan – “The Three Paradigms of Horror” (Vastarien Vol. 4, Issue 2) (Grimscribe Press)
O’Quinn, Cindy – “One and Done” (Were Tales: A Shapeshifter Anthology) (Brigids Gate Press)
Tamásfi, László – “The Devil Flew Away”(Dracula’s Death)(Strangers from Nowhere)    
Verona, Emily Ruth – “A Horror Fan’s Guide to Surviving Womanhood” (  
Wetmore, Kevin J. – “Devil’s Advocates: The Conjuring” (Auteur Publishing/Liverpool University Press)
Yuriko Smith, Angela – “Horror Writers: Architects of Hope” (The Sirens Call, Halloween 2021, Issue 55) (Sirens Call Publications)

Please note these works must NOT be referred to as “Bram Stoker Award Nominees.” Only Works that appear on the Final Ballot, to be formally announced on or about February 23, may be called nominees.  Our voting members will now vote on these Preliminary Ballots, with voting closing on February 15, 2022 (only Active and Lifetime Members in good standing are eligible to vote). Works appearing on the Preliminary Ballot are NOT “Bram Stoker Award® Nominees” and authors, editors, publishers, and others should not refer to any of these works as such – doing so is a severe breach of etiquette.  The Preliminary Ballot will be sent on February 1 to Lifetime and Active Members in good standing as of January 31. If you are an Active or Lifetime Member and do NOT receive your electronic Ballot link by February 3, please first check your spam/junk mail filter, make sure your email address is updated in Wild Apricot, and then email Brad C. Hodson at with a brief message about the issue. Note that Ballots are sent to the same email address as the Newsletter and the Internet Mailer. It is the responsibility of Members to keep their email address up to date in Wild Apricot or advise the administrator of any issues with your membership account at Late Ballots cannot be accepted under any circumstances.

If your work (you are the author, agent, editor, publisher, or publicist) appears on the ballot and you wish to provide a link allowing Voting Members to read the work, there will be a SPECIAL PRELIMINARY BALLOT INTERNET MAILER issued on or around January 26. Please email the Internet Mailer editor at with a link to your work as soon as you can but no later than January 25 (links will not be accepted for this Special IM after January 25). Anyone validly representing a work appearing on the Preliminary Ballot may submit via this method, whether or not they are HWA members (this includes the author, agent, editor, publisher, or publicist of the work). With your link include the title of your work and a very brief description.

You may also post the fact that your work is available to be read for Bram Stoker Award consideration ONCE, and only once, here: (Bram Stoker Eligible Work); on the HWA Facebook page here:; and in the Wild Apricot forums here: If you had already posted your work here prior to the announcement of the Preliminary Ballot you are entitled to post it again. Do NOT spam Voting Members, this is a severe breach of etiquette – Active and Lifetime (voting) members tend to notice such breaches and may consider them when determining which works to vote for on the Ballot. Note: Only members may post in the website and Wild Apricot forums, but members are encouraged to post on behalf of non-members who may appear on the Ballot. The Facebook page is open to members and non-members alike. Non-members may also email for help with this.

The Final Ballot will be announced on or around February 23.

Please direct any questions regarding the Preliminary Ballot to
Any questions regarding your membership/account information to
If you’re on the Preliminary Ballot and want to provide your work for the Special Preliminary Ballot Internet Mailer to go out on or around January 26, please send a link to your work to