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What Is 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.

HWA History

HWA was formed in the late 1980’s with the help of many of the field’s greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe Lansdale. Today——with over 1400 members in countries such as Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, Honduras, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad, United Kingdom and the United States——it is the oldest and most respected professional organization for the much-loved writers who have brought you the most enjoyable sleepless nights of your life.

HWA’s Missions

One of HWA’s missions is to encourage public interest in and foster an appreciation of good Horror and Dark Fantasy literature. To that end, we offer the public areas of this web site, we sponsor or take part in occasional public readings and lectures, we publish a blog and produce other materials for booksellers and librarians, we facilitate readings and signings by horror writers, and we maintain an official presence at the major fan-based horror and fantasy conventions, such as the World Fantasy Convention. We also organize our own annual convention: 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.

As part of our core mission, we sponsor the annual Bram Stoker Awards® for superior achievement in horror literature. Named in honor of the author of the seminal horror novel Dracula, the Bram Stoker Awards® are presented for superior writing in eleven categories including traditional fiction of various lengths, poetry, screenwriting, graphic novels, young adult, and non-fiction. In addition, HWA presents an annual Lifetime Achievement Award to a living person who has made significant contributions to the writing of Horror and Dark Fantasy over the course of a lifetime.


The Horror Writers Association is a recognized public charity under the IRS 501(c)3 tax code.

Ohio, March 6, 1987, 501(c)(6)
Federal Filing Date: November 19th, 2012, 501(c)3 Public Charity

Who Can Join HWA?

Anyone can join the HWA, though we have different membership levels based on your experience. You must apply for the level you fit into and prove your experience with proper documentation. If you’re a lapsed member, you can rejoin at your previous level without having to provide the documentation again.


To learn more about how to join the Horror Writers Association, click here!

How Can Joining HWA Help You?

Networking, mentoring, information about the craft and the business of writing, promotional resources, etc.

At all membership levels, you will:

  • receive HWA’s monthly newsletter and our members-only emails,

  • be eligible to:

    • recommend works for the Bram Stoker Awards®

    • get involved with the HWA’s local chapters

    • participate in the Mentor Program

Marketing and Promotion

Do editors care if you’re an HWA member? Here’s what Martin H. Greenberg, bestselling editor of over 100 anthologies and winner of the coveted Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award has to say: “When I see that a writer is a member of HWA, I know he takes his work and his profession seriously.”











Ready? Click here to start the process of joining now!

Charitable Work

  • HWA also works to expand appreciation of the genre and literature in general by promoting education. We’ve donated memberships to writing workshops, and worked with universities to provide genre experts as guest lecturers. We’re always looking for ways to expand our educational outreach.

  • In the past, HWA has worked with literacy programs to provide books and guest authors at various events.

In Times of Trouble

There are times when writers must pull together to solve mutual problems or come to each other’s aid. HWA can be a friend to turn to when things get rough. Here’s how we can help.




You made it all the way to the end! You must be a true Horror aficionado. Click here to start the process of joining now! You don’t have to be a writer to join!


Thank you for your interest in HWA!

Write to if you still have questions about HWA.


Questions About Joining the HWA?

Send us a message today.

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