[Edit 7/7/22: Check out this great panel – Horror & Hope: Mental Health & Writing, with Angela Yuriko Smith, Lee Murray, and Dave Jeffery for HWA’s Mental Health Initiative!]
It’s already Week 3 of Write-a-thon 2022 – we can’t believe how fast it’s flying by! We hope the words have been flowing, and that the community, events, and partners have inspired you in new directions. For those just learning about Write-a-thon, it’s never too late to explore all of our free offerings by registering here: https://secure.qgiv.com/event/clarionwestwriteathon/
This week we are partnering with the Horror Writers Association (HWA)! Horror can sometimes feel like a passed-over genre in the speculative fiction community, so we are looking forward to exploring deeper. Stay tuned to our Write-a-thon Discord server for special video writing prompts from HWA.
We had a chance to chat with John Palisano, President of HWA, about the organization’s vision and work:
What is the mission and vision of your organization?
The 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.
How long have you been doing this amazing work?
HWA was founded in the early 1980s.
What is the coolest thing that has happened for your organization? This can be anything from award recognition, to celebrity mentions, to a new program you’ve started.
The coolest thing that’s happened is seeing our membership expand and witnessing their growing successes and recognition. As a mostly volunteer-run nonprofit, we are experiencing a wonderful new group of authors of so many varying backgrounds literally remaking and repositioning the HWA as their own.
What is the best horror fiction book or story you’ve read recently?
This is very subjective, of course. I’ll steer readers and authors to several resources where they can discover great new works, right on our site:
- The Seers’ Table is a great place to look for new, diverse authors.
- Poetry is showcased here.
- Young Adult horror has a place.
- Our Bram Stoker Awards have their own website, with lists of all our nominees and winners, as well as the history and everything else anyone would be curious to know about the Stokers!
What do you see as the role of horror and speculative fiction across media such as literature, TV, games, comics, film, etc. in making our world a better place?
Horror is a safe space for so many readers, writers, and other practitioners. It offers an area to explore fears, confront large issues, and can often be a very empowering and cathartic genre, especially for those who feel disenfranchised. Not all horror is the same. There are many sub-genres and styles to explore.
Lastly, how can Write-a-thon participants get involved with your organization and your programming?
And with that, we say happy Week 3 everyone – you’re nearly halfway done! May you find avenues to explore the dark and spooky elements of your work in these coming days, no matter your genre.