Science Fiction Awards Watch

Bram Stoker Awards

Presented by

The Horror Writers’ Association. The winners are announced and the awards presented at a gala banquet held in conjunction with HWA’s annual conference, usually in June.


One round of recommendations by all HWA members to form long lists, followed by two rounds of voting by Active Members of the Association to determine short lists and winners.

The awards web site says, “the rules are deliberately designed to make ties fairly probable”. Indeed, the whole idea of competition is somewhat contentious with regard to the Stokers. The award administrators told us:

The Stoker Awards were instituted immediately after the organization’s incorporation in 1987. While many members, including HWA’s first President, Dean Koontz, had reservations about awards for writing – since the point of HWA was for writers to cooperate for their mutual benefit, not to compete against one another – the majority of members heavily favored presenting awards, both to recognize outstanding work in the horror field and to publicize HWA’s activities. To ameliorate the competitive nature of awards, the Stokers are given “for superior achievement,” not for “best of the year.”


Any work of horror first published in English in the year of eligibility.


Between 2001 and 2004, the awards were presented in twelve categories: Novel, First Novel, Short Fiction, Long Fiction, Fiction Collection, Poetry Collection, Anthology, Nonfiction, Illustrated Narrative, Screenplay, Work for Young Readers, and Alternative Forms. Beginning with works published in 2005, however, the awards are given in eight categories:

  • Novel
  • First Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Long Fiction
  • Fiction Collection
  • Poetry Collection
  • Anthology
  • Non-Fiction

Lifetime achievement awards may also be given.

A Specialty Press award is administered and presented alongside the Stokers, but is apparently not actually a Stoker.

Winner receives

An eight-inch replica of a fanciful haunted house, designed by Steven Kirk. The door of the house opens to reveal a brass plaque engraved with the name of the winning work and its author

Submissions method

None. You just have to make your work well known to people likely to nominate.

Data Sources

  • Award web site – Aug 2007
  • Adward Administrators – May 2008

One Question to “Bram Stoker Awards”

  1. on 29 Mar 2009 at 8:15 ammikek999

    You might want to check on the official name of the HWA. You render it above as “Horror Writers’ Association” whereas their web site uses both “Horror Writers Association” and (less often) “Horror Writer’s Association” — though the former seems to be the styling used in the official logo.

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