HWA announces two new annual scholarships

The Horror Writers Association has announced two annual scholarships for writers.  The Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship and the Horror Writers Association Scholarship.  Each are worth $2500.

The Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship is open to female members of the HWA.  The HWA scholarship is open to all HWA members.  Both will be awarded in early 2014.

As HWA President Rocky Wood states:

“It is very clear to the HWA that there are unseen, but real, barriers limiting the amount of horror fiction being published by women. There are many fine women writers being published in our genre but we also see potential for the percentage of horror fiction being published by women to increase. This Scholarship, named after the great female horror writer, aims to encourage more female writers to enter our genre and to aid in the development of those already working within it.  At the same time the HWA exists to extend the horror genre in all its aspects, so we are also establishing Horror Writers Association Scholarship, which is open to all our members, regardless of gender.”

Applications open on November 1st and close at midnight PST on December 13th.  You can find more information on both scholarships here.

HWA to attend PNWA Summer Conference

Glad to pass along the news — the Horror Writers Association confirmed they’ll be at this summer’s Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s conference in Seattle.  Great to have the HWA in house (btw, the 2013 Bram Stoker Award recommendations are currently open).  In case you hadn’t heard, the Stokers and the World Horror Convention are in New Orleans this year, June 13-16th.

This July the PNWA’s keynote speaker will be Greg Bear, author of many novels including the recent Hull Zero Three (Orbit), Halo: Cryptum and Halo: Primordium (Tor) and co-founder of San Diego’s Comic Con.  You can find out more about Greg here.  Be sure to check out his bio.

This past year the HWA gave lifetime achievement awards to Clive Barker and Robert McCammon.   You can find out more about the HWA here and the PNWA here.  Early registration for the PNWA conference runs until April 1st.


Been too long…

So updating the site to the cloud took me MUCH longer than I had thought.  Whew.  Just figuring out how to log on took forever.  phpmyadminhell.  But I’m back.

Quick updates:  Slaving away on Book Two and its coming along very well.  Also, looks like I’ll be heading up the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Conference Agent/Editor side of things again.  You can find out more info on this summer’s conference here.  Early registrant deadline is April 1st.

I’ve also been asked to be chair again for the PNWA’s annual literary contest.  They’re doing away with the Screenwriting Category and I’ve been asked to head the Middle Grade part of things.  YA had gotten so big they had to split into a new category.  Should be fun.  You can find out more about the contest here.  Deadline for entries is Feb. 22nd.

That’s it.  Sorry it’s been so long since I posted anything.  Overestimated my ability to move the old site to the new cloud site as requested by the server.  I may have been the last client to migrate everything over.  Probably sent me warnings for a year before I took care of things…

PNWA Summer Conference postmortem

Wrapped up the 2012 PNWA summer conference yesterday. Had a chance to catch up with authors Boyd Morrison, C.C. Humpreys, Bob Dugoni and others. Great crew of agents and editors, too. Nice getting to meet Penguin’s Meghan Stevenson and Sourcebook’s Peter Lynch.

Managing Director Kelli Lidane runs a tight ship. If you haven’t had a chance to attend the conference, I’d recommend it. President Pam Binder and the board changed the pitch format this year to a speed pitching, “Power Block” format. For attendees, it allows for a greater exposure to agents and editors. Twenty-eight at a time, over an hour and a half block. Three minute pitch and move on at the buzzer. If they keep the format, I’m guessing we’ll see some modifications. One thing was for certain, the format spared the agents and editors from too many elevator and hallway pitches.

Nothing official yet, but I heard rumors the PNWA is going to remove the Screenwriting category from the Literary Contest. I’d chaired the category for the last couple of years but the numbers were down and it wasn’t paying for itself. However, Trustee Darcy Carson announced at the awards banquet that because of rising submissions, they plan to give YA its own category next year.

Thanks to all the volunteers for helping with the Power Pitch Blocks. Hats off to Amy Waeschle and Susan Bogert. It gets slightly crazy in there, but we had a stellar group. All the hard work was much appreciated.

Bradbury’s writing group shares poem

Sad news yesterday to hear about the passing of author Ray Bradbury at 91. Few authors understand theme and prose as well as Bradbury did, and to have him write Science Fiction was even greater treat, as such talented writers cross genre with such ease.

Author SL Stebel — my mentor in graduate school at USC — had been very close friends with Bradbury over the last 70 years. When I learned of Bradbury’s passing, I e-mailed Sid (SL) to offer my condolences. Oddly enough, when I was in LA a few months back visiting Sid, Ray had phoned, asking Sid for advice on an eulogy for a close friend of theirs. In reply to my e-mail yesterday, Sid shared a poem written by Ray, which was being e-mailed between members of their writing group. The poem touched me so much, I thought I’d share it with you.

Somewhere a band is playing
Oh listen, oh listen, that tune!
If you learn it you’ll dance on forever
In June…
And yet June…
And more…June…
And death will be dumb and not clever
And death will be silent forever
In June and June and more June.

—“Somewhere A Band Is Playing”, Ray Bradbury

I remember when I moved back to Seattle from LA years ago, and a member of Cornish School for the Arts contacted me because they were performing a play based on one of Bradbury’s stories. They wanted permission from Ray to perform the play, so I got them in touch with Ray via Sid. And, of course, the play went on. We get to read the words from writers like Bradbury far too seldom. To me, only the poet Robert Frost had such similarly sweet control of prose. Over the last few months, I’ve often picked Ray’s novel Halloween Tree from the shelf as reference for my current manuscript. The next time I pick it up, it just won’t be the same.