Should You Join the HWA? YES!!!!



For folks who are on the fence regarding whether or not to join the Horror Writers Association, today’s blog is full of information.  So let’s get to it…


  1.  World Horror Convention 2015. (website) This is the premiere horror convention. WHC2015 is a 4 day convention that includes the Bram Stoker Awards Banquet, a Costume Ball and various pitch sessions.  The guest of honor include Charlaine Harris (Stookie Stackhouse series), Kami Garcia (The Legion Series)  and Tom Picirilli (4-time winner of the Bram Stoker Awards).

2.  Horror Anthology for Teens. (website).  Some of your favorite horror writers have submitted their demented ideas to “Scary Out There”, an anthology for teenagers.

3.  Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship (website). Named for the former HWA president, Rocky Wood, who guided the organization to unexpected heights before losing his fight with ALS, this new scholarship provides annual grants to members interested in writing nonfiction.

4.  Changes in Command Structure. The organization has a new president, a new vice president and a new mentor coordinator.   The new structure is:

President:    Lisa Morton                         Vice President:  Nancy Holder
Secretary:    Joe McKinney                        Treasurer:  Leslie Klinger
New Mentor Coordinator:      Michael Knost

Congratulations to the Virginia Chapter members who ‘did their thang’ in the past year. …

 1.   2014 Bram Stoker Preliminary Nominations

The following Virginia Chapter Members published or edited stories that earned a space onto the Preliminary Ballot of the Bram Stoker Awards.  Click on ‘Buy this book’ and you’ll be directed to Amazon purchase page.

Brett J. Talley.   (Buy this book)   Story:  The Reborn (JournalStone)   Category:  Superior Achievement in a Novel.

Kami Garcia.   (Buy this book)      Story:  Unmarked  (The Legion Series Book 2) (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Category:  Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel.

Brett J. Talley.  (Buy this book)    Story:  Limbus, Inc. Book II (JournalStone).
Category:  Superior Achievement in an Anthology.

2.  HWA Scholarship Winners

Michael Tungenhat                            Story:  For Poe   (Click to read)     Category:  2014 Dark Poetry Scholarship

3.   Book Releases

D. Alexander Ward (Buy this Book)         Book:  Shadows Over Main Street.
Release date:  30 January 2015.  (Already reached the #1 spot on Amazon’s Hot New Releases)

Description:  An anthology of Lovecraftian fiction from contemporary authors and edited by D. Alexander Ward (Chapter Ghoul of Central Virginia) and Doug Murano.

4.  HWA Virginia Chapter Convention Attendance 2015.

a.  2015 Scares That Care Horror Convention in Williamsburg, Virginia.  July 24 – 26, 2015.  Website.
b.  RavenCon 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.  April 24 – 26, 2015.  D. Alexander Ward will sit on a panel.   Looking for members willing to vend this location.  Need at least 5 folks willing to man the HWA booth.  Website.

However, the best reason to join the Horror Writers Association is the camaraderie.  Our association is full of members who appreciate the dark and twisted.  If you’re a horror writer frustrated with dodging bottles of holy water – thrown by members in those ‘vanilla’ writing groups – then what are you waiting for?  Join the HWA!!!

You won’t scare us…if you do, we’ll nominate you for an award!!

Until next time…go forth and scare!!!




Welcome to the HWA Virginia Chapter Blog

Thanks for visiting our page.  We’re a new chapter, so expect this page to change as we decide the best method to disperse information.

For now, the goal is to present information that is short, sweet and to the point.  We’d like to encourage you to attain membership status, not bore you to death.

 Each Post will contain at least 2 sections:

Section 1:  Information directly from the Horror Writers Association website (

Section 2:  Information about the Virginia Chapter.

Section 3:  (Optional and situational) Information about specific accomplishments of Virginia members or upcoming events in the state.

That’s it.  Those are the rules.  Feel free to leave comments or suggestions.  Until then, let’s get started.

 Section 1:  HWA Approves Self-Published Works for Membership.

(Posted on  Jul 26, 2014)

The HWA’s referendum on including self-published work in membership qualification for our Active and Affiliate levels closed on July 23. The referendum passed by a significant margin.

The changes apply from July 24, 2014. New By-laws and Membership Qualifications were issued. Apply for membership here:

In effect this means a self-published work will qualify an author if the work earns the same as a non self-published work.

Those earning levels are $200 for Affiliate Status (semi-pro) and $2000 for Active Status (professional).

Note:  To qualify for Active status as a self-published author, you must have proven earnings of $2000 from a single work within two years of publication.  To qualify for Affiliate status, you must have proven earnings of $200.00.

HWA’s President Rocky Wood said, “We are pleased to be leading the way in recognizing self-published authors who earn the same as mainstream, independent and specialty press authors. Self-published authors are an important part of the very vibrant horror and dark fiction community and we welcome them at all levels of the Horror Writers Association.”

Questions to:

 Section 2:  HWA Virginia Chapter created the Beta Reader Program

An invaluable tool for many authors is an experienced Beta Reader.  The job of a Beta Reader is to read a manuscript, then provide feedback in areas like structure and content.

Expect the Betas to find the inconsistencies within the pages: “Hey, Bobby’s eyes are blue on page 50, but they were brown on page 4”.

The members of the Virginia Chapter have agreed to act as Beta Readers for each other.  Imagine a group of horror writers reading a manuscript without negatively judging the content.  Heck, our Beta Reader’s may suggest scenarios to make your manuscript ‘just a wee bit creepier’.  “Hey, Why not take out BOTH of Bobby eyes?”

This program is on a trial basis to shake out the wobbly gears.  First drafts are prohibited and the word count is limited to 5,000 words.  We hope to expand the word count around the beginning of the New Year. Baby steps people…wobbly, zombie-infected baby steps.

We’re Done!!!

That’s all for today: short, sweet and informative.  If you’d like to join the Horror Writers Association, please visit  Once your application is confirmed, contact Dee Southerland at

Until next time,

HWA Virginia

HWA Virginia Chapter Approved


That’s right!!!  There’s a new organization in town.  HWA-Virginia is a network of horror lovers who reside in the state.  (I know…duh!)

Now that we are ‘official’, let’s get down to business and grow this puppy.

Our #1 goal:   Spread the word.

–  Tell your mother, friends, enemies, lovers & strangers that HWA-Va exist.  Heck, start with the people in the room with you.   Inform everyone you know that HWA-Virginia is available and looking for members.

Our #2 goal:  Get members.

–  Seriously, we need members.  HWA-VA is comprised of dues-paying members.  You must apply at

Other goals exist, but the first two (above) are the most important issues at this juncture.   Later, we can focus on convention attendance, community outreach and network opportunities with local businesses.

Don’t forget to visit our facebook page:  Horror Writers Association Virginia.    There’s also a group page, but it’s exclusive for HWA members.

Until next time,