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2024 Specialty Awards

The Horror Writers Association is pleased to announce the recipients of its Specialty Awards. These will be presented on June 1st, 2024, during the Bram Stoker Awards® Presentation at StokerCon®2024 in San Diego, CA.


Specialty Press Award


The recipient of the Specialty Press Award is Thunderstorm Books.


The HWA Specialty Press Award is presented periodically to a specialty publisher whose work has substantially contributed to the horror genre, whose publications display general excellence, and whose dealings with writers have been fair and exemplary.


The award was instituted in 1997, largely due to the efforts of long-time HWA member and specialty press aficionado Peter Crowther. Congratulations to Thunderstorm Books!


The Richard Laymon President’s Award


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

Brian W. Matthews.


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 Brian!


The Karen Lansdale Silver Hammer Award


The recipient of the Karen Lansdale Silver Hammer Award is

Lila Denning.


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 Lila!


Mentor of the Year Award


The recipient of the Mentor of the Year Award is Lisa Wood.


The HWA’s Mentor Program is available to all members of the

organization. This popular program pairs newer writers with

established professionals for an intensive four-month-long partnership.

For new writers, the Program offers mentees a personal, one-on-one

experience with a seasoned writer, tailor-made to help them grow in

their writing and better market their work. For experienced writers, it

is an opportunity to pay forward the assistance and encouragement

other writers gave them when they were starting out. In addition,

there is the added benefit of growing as a writer oneself through the

act of teaching others. In short, the Program benefits all who participate, regardless of their roles.


Established in 2014, the Mentor of the Year Award recognizes one mentor in the Program who has done an outstanding job of helping new writers. The award is chosen by the current manager of the Program. Congratulations to Lisa!


About the Horror Writers Association


The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it. Founded in the late 1980s, it now has close to 2000 members around the world and is the oldest and most respected professional organization for creators of horror fiction. The HWA encourages public interest in and appreciation of horror and dark fantasy literature and hosts an annual professional conference, StokerCon. HWA is also dedicated to recognizing and promoting diversity in the horror genre and practices a strict anti-harassment policy at all of its events. Please direct any questions regarding these awards to the Vice President of HWA. For more information about the Horror Writers Association, please visit For more information about the Bram Stoker Awards® and our other awards, please visit

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