Bram Stoker Award
Each year, the Horror Writer's Association presents the Bram Stoker Awards for Superior Achievement, named in honor of Bram Stoker, author of the seminal horror work, Dracula. 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," and the rules are deliberately designed to make ties fairly probable. The award itself is an eight-inch replica of a fanciful haunted house, designed specifically for HWA by sculptor Steven Kirk. The door of the house opens to reveal a brass plaque engraved with the name of the winning work and its author.
The Stoker Awards, like the Oscars, are non-juried awards. Any work of Horror first published in the English language may be considered for a Stoker during the year of its publication. The HWA membership at large recommends worthy works for consideration. A preliminary ballot is compiled using a formula based on recommendations. Two rounds of voting by our Active members determine first the finalists, and then the winners. The winners are announced and the awards presented at a gala banquet held in conjunction with HWA's annual conference, usually in June.
Beginning with works published in 2001, the awards are 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. In addition, Lifetime Achievement Stokers are occasionally presented to individuals whose entire body of work has substantially influenced Horror.