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Horror Writer’s Association Announces 2021 Bram Stoker Awards® Winners

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Summer is coming, and, for horror fans who love a spine-tingling page-turner, it’s the perfect time to catch up on some reading. If you’re looking for some books to add to your summer reading list, the Horror Writer’s Association (HWA) recently announced this year’s Bram Stoker’s Award® winners. 

The Bram Stoker Awards® is an annual event to recognize exceptional works of all types in the horror and dark fantasy genre. There are 11 categories including poetry, screenplays, non-fiction, and traditional fiction of any length. Previous Bram Stoker Award® winners include George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and Jordan Peele.

Book Trib quotes HWA President John Palisano:

The horror genre continues its amazing renaissance. We are truly in a golden period, with every category overflowing with tremendous works […] The winners and finalists show a diverse group of amazing voices from new and veteran creators. Our HWA members and awards juries have shown dedication and objectivity to the selection process for outstanding works of literature, cinema, non-fiction, and poetry.

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Here is the list of this year’s winners.

Superior Achievement in a Novel 

Winner: Stephen Graham Jones—My Heart is a Chainsaw (Gallery/Saga Press) 

Also nominated:

  • Castro, V.—The Queen of the Cicadas (Flame Tree Press)
  • Hendrix, Grady—The Final Girl Support Group (Berkley)
  • Pelayo, Cynthia—Children of Chicago (Agora Books)
  • Wendig, Chuck—The Book of Accidents (Del Rey)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Winner: Hailey Piper—Queen of Teeth (Strangehouse Books)

Also nominated:

  • Martinez, S. Alessandro—Helminth (Omnium Gatherum)
  • McQueen, LaTanya—When the Reckoning Comes (Harper Perennial)
  • Miles, Terry—Rabbits (Del Rey)
  • Quigley, Lisa—The Forest (Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing)
  • Willson, Nicole—Tidepool (The Parliament House)

*Due to a tie in fifth place, there are six nominees in this category.

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Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel 

Winner: Erica Waters—The River Has Teeth (HarperTeen)

Also nominated:

  • Blake, Kendare—All These Bodies (Quill Tree Books)
  • Boyle, R.L.—The Book of the Baku (Titan Books)
  • Lewis, Jessica—Bad Witch Burning (Delacorte Press)
  • Sutherland, Krystal—House of Hollow (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Winner: Alessandro Manzetti (author) and Stefano Cardoselli (author and artist)—The Inhabitant of the Lake (Independent Legions Publishing)

Also nominated:

  • Ahmed, Saladin (author) and Kivelä, Sami (artist)—Abbott 1973 (BOOM! Studios)
  • Garcia, Kami (author); Suayan, Mico (artist); Badower, Jason (artist); and Mayhew, Mike (artist)—Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity (DC Comics)
  • Morrison, Grant (author); Child, Alex (author); and Franquiz, Naomi (artist)—Proctor Valley Road (BOOM! Studios)
  • Panosian, Dan (author) and Ignazzi, Marianna (artist)—An Unkindness of Ravens (BOOM! Studios)
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Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Winner: Jeff Strand—“Twentieth Anniversary Screening” (Slice and Dice) (Independently published)

Also nominated:

  • Castro, V.—Goddess of Filth (Creature Publishing, LLC)
  • Khaw, Cassandra—Nothing But Blackened Teeth (Tor Nightfire)
  • LaRocca, Eric—Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke (Weirdpunk Books)
  • Piper, Hailey—“Recitation of the First Feeding” (Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy) (The Seventh Terrace)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Winner: Lee Murray—“Permanent Damage” (Attack From the ’80s) (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Also nominated:

  • Gyzander, Carol—“The Yellow Crown” (Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign) (Hippocampus Press)
  • O’Quinn, Cindy—“A Gathering at the Mountain” (The Bad Book) (Bleeding Edge Books)
  • Taborska, Anna—“Two Shakes Of A Dead Lamb’s Tail”(Terror Tales of the Scottish Lowlands) (Telos Publishing)
  • Ward, Kyla Lee—“A Whisper in the Death Pit” (Weirdbook #44) (Wildside Press)

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection 

Winner: Gemma Files—In That Endlessness, Our End (Grimscribe Press)

Also nominated:

  • Fracassi, Philip—Beneath a Pale Sky (Lethe Press)
  • Maberry, Jonathan—Empty Graves: Tales of the Living Dead (WordFire Press LLC)
  • Tuttle, Lisa—The Dead Hours of Night (Valancourt Books)
  • Wise, A.C.—The Ghost Sequences (Undertow Publications)
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Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Winner: Mike Flanagan; James Flanagan; and Jeff Howard—Midnight Mass, Season 1, Episode 6: “Book VI: Acts of the Apostles” (Intrepid Pictures)

Also nominated:

  • Chaisson, C. Henry; Antosca, Nick; and Cooper, Scott—Antlers (Searchlight Pictures)
  • Dong-hyuk, Hwang—Squid Game, Season 1, Episode 1: “Red Light, Green Light” (Siren Pictures)
  • Graziadei, Phil and Janiak, Leigh—Fear Street: Part One – 1994 (Chernin Entertainment)
  • Peele, Jordan; Rosenfeld, Win; and DaCosta, Nia—Candyman (Universal Pictures)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology 

Winner: Ellen Datlow—When Things Get Dark: Stories Inspired by Shirley Jackson (Titan Books)

Also nominated:

  • Chambers, James—Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign (Hippocampus Press)
  • French, Aaron J., and Landry, Jess—There is No Death, There are No Dead (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Guignard, Eric J.—Professor Charlatan Bardot’s Travel Anthology to the Most (Fictional) Haunted Buildings in the Weird, Wild World (Dark Moon Books)
  • Johnson, Eugene—Attack From the 80’s (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Superior Achievement in Non-fiction 

Winner: Michael Knost—Writers Workshop of Horror 2 (Hydra Publications)

Also nominated:

  • Olson, Danel—9/11 Gothic: Decrypting Ghosts and Trauma in New York City’s Terrorism Novels (Lexington Books)
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew, and Hansen, Regina M.—Giving the Devil His Due: Satan and Cinema (Fordham University Press)
  • Wetmore Jr., Kevin J.—Eaters of the Dead: Myths and Realities of Cannibal Monsters (Reaktion Books)
  • Woofter, Kristopher—Shirley Jackson: A Companion (Peter Lang Publishing)
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Superior Achievement in Short Fiction 

Winner: Angela Yuriko Smith—“Horror Writers: Architects of Hope” (The Sirens Call, Halloween 2021, Issue 55) (Sirens Call Publications)

Also nominated:

  • OgnjanovićDejan—“The Three Paradigms of Horror” (Vastarien Vol. 4, Issue 2) (Grimscribe Press)
  • O’Quinn, Cindy—“One and Done” (Were Tales: A Shapeshifter Anthology) (Brigids Gate Press)
  • Verona, Emily Ruth—“A Horror Fan’s Guide to Surviving Womanhood” (
  • Wetmore Jr., Kevin J.—“Devil’s Advocates: The Conjuring” (Auteur Publishing/Liverpool University Press)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection 

Winner: Christina Sng; Angela Yuriko Smith; Lee Murray; and Geneve Flynn—Tortured Willows: Bent. Bowed. Unbroken. (Yuriko Publishing)

Also nominated:

  • Lansdale, Joe R.—Apache Witch and Other Poetic Observations (Independent Legions Publishing)
  • McHugh, Jessica—Strange Nests (Apokrupha)
  • Simon, Marge, and Turzillo, Mary—Victims (Weasel Press)
  • Snyder, Lucy A.—Exposed Nerves (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

HWA Lifetime Achievement Awards: Nancy Holder, Koji Suzuki, and Jo Fletcher.

The Specialty Press Award: Valancourt Books

The Richard H. Laymon President’s Award: Sumiko Saulson

The Silver Hammer Award for service: Kevin J. Wetmore

The Mentor of the Year Award: Michael Knost

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The Seventh Annual Final Frame Horror Short Competition winners are:

Best Writing in a Short Film

“Becoming Emma Braintree”

  • Written and Directed by Joshua Koske
  • Based on a short story by Aaron Dries

Second Runner-up to Grand Prize:

“Every Time We Meet For Ice Cream Your Whole F**king Face Explodes”

  • Written and Directed by Anthony Cousins
  • Based on a short story by Carlton Mellick III

First Runner-up to Grand Prize:

“The Thing That Ate The Birds”

  • Written and Directed by: Sophie Mair and Dan Gitsham

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Written by MD Bastek

Just a person who loves horror and writes about unusual things

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