The 2022 HWA Service Awards

The Richard Laymon President’s Award

The recipient of the Richard Laymon President’s Award for Service is Meghan Arcuri.

The Richard Laymon President’s Award for Service was instituted in 2001 and is named in honor of Richard Laymon, who died in 2001 while serving as HWA’s President. As its name implies, it is given by HWA’s sitting President.

The award is presented to a volunteer who has served the HWA in an especially exemplary manner and has shown extraordinary dedication to the organization.

Congratulations to Meghan!

Meghan Arcuri

Meghan Arcuri is a Bram Stoker Award®-nominated author. Her work can be found in various anthologies, including Borderlands 7 (Borderlands Press), Madhouse (Dark Regions Press), Chiral Mad, and Chiral Mad 3 (Written Backwards). She is currently the Vice President of the Horror Writers Association.

Prior to writing, she taught high school math, having earned her B.A. from Colgate University—with a double major in mathematics and English—and her masters from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

She lives with her family in New York’s Hudson Valley. 

The Karen Lansdale Silver Hammer Award

The recipient of the Karen Lansdale Silver Hammer Award is Karen Lansdale.

In 2022, the Horror Writers Association renamed the Silver Hammer Award to the Karen Lansdale Silver Hammer Award in honor of the tremendous amount of work Karen did starting the HWA. 

Our physical award has also been updated. Instead of a hammer, a new stylized sculpture has been designed and cast by the same company that mints our Bram Stoker Award statues. We look forward to sharing the new design at StokerCon2023.

The HWA periodically gives the Karen Lansdale Silver Hammer Award to an HWA volunteer who has done a truly massive amount of work for the organization, often unsung and behind the scenes. It was instituted in 1996, and is decided by a vote of HWA’s Board of Trustees.

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.

Congratulations to Karen!

Karen Lansdale 


Once upon a time dear hearts, there wasn’t a Horror Writers Association, and the writers who specialized in horror fiction existed random of one another, like stars, and they were lost in a dark void.

And then Karen Lansdale came along, and the void was filled.

Let me explain how that happened. Let me try and put a continuous misunderstanding aside so that it might die in a field alone, and let true credit be given where credit is due.

Robert R. McCammon, who was very much involved in the horror field back when it was in its boom, along with his then wife, Sally, met Karen and me in an elevator at a World Fantasy Convention. Hearing me speak to Karen, Rick said, “I bet you’re Joe R. Lansdale. I can tell by the accent.”
Took one Southerner to recognize another. The elevator was slow, but the McCammons and Lansdales hit up an immediate friendship, right then and there.

The elevator stopped, and we sat and visited, and Rick, as McCammon preferred to be called, said he had an idea that since horror was growing, and had become a recognized commercial genre, it should have an organization. He called the idea HOWL. Horror Occult Writer’s League, which to this day I prefer to the soberer Horror Writers Association. He was talking about something along the lines of The Mystery Writers of America, Science Fiction Writers of America, Western Writers of America, and so on.

But there was a problem. He didn’t have the time.

Karen immediately said, “I’ll do it.”

It would be easy to say the rest was history, but it didn’t quite work out that way.

It went like this.

Karen, at that convention, began to make a list of names and addresses of writers who might be interested in such an organization. Rick had come up with the idea, but was too busy to pursue. He had the seed, but Karen planted and water and fertilized it until it grew into a tree.

See the full story here.