The Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement is presented annually by the Horror Writers Association for the categories described below. Six of those represent books available for purchase and are presented here. Eligible books must be published in English.
Since 1987, the nominees have been recommended and selected by the a HWA membership. In 2011, jury selections were added to the voting process. A preliminary ballot is voted on by the membership, and it contains two shortlists for each category: one compiled by a jury, and one compiled from membership recommendations. The final ballot contains (up to) 3 works from each of these two shortlists.
Winners receive an eight-inch haunted house with a front door that opens to reveal a brass plaque.
- Novel Category: 1987.
- First Novel: 1991, 2004, 2010.
- Collection: 2012, 2007.
- Nonfiction: 2006.
- Poetry: 2007.
- Young Readers: 2004, 2011.
- The Young Readers Category was discontinued in 2005, and continued in 2011 as the Young Adult category.
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About the Stoker Awards
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 first awards were presented in 1988 (for works published in 1987), and they have been presented every year since. 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.
- 2013/06/16: Blog:Winners of the 2012 Bram Stoker Awards
- 2013/02/23: Blog:Nominees for the 2012 Bram Stoker Awards
- 2012/04/01: Blog:Winners of the 2011 Bram Stoker Awards
- 2012/02/20: Blog:Nominees for the 2011 Bram Stoker Awards
- 2011/06/19: Blog:Winners of the 2010 Bram Stoker Awards
- 2011/04/13: Blog:Nominees for the 2010 Bram Stoker Awards