Guide to Applying for HWA Scholarships
The Horror Writers Association (HWA) has established two $2500 Scholarships to assist in the professional development of horror writers:
- The Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship,
- and the Horror Writers Association Scholarship.
ALL SCHOLARSHIPS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED TO APPLICATION. THEY WILL OPEN AGAIN ON MAY 1, 2021.
These rules also broadly apply to the Dark Poetry Scholarship. Please click here for the Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship information.
The Scholarships are effectively two facets of the same award; applicants enter the same competition using the same application form. A sub-committee of the HWA Board chooses the scholarship winners from that pool of applicants. The Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship is available for a female member and the Horror Writers Association Scholarship is available for any member, regardless of gender. Other information you need to know:
- The Scholarships are open to all applicants. Membership in HWA is not a requirement.
- The Scholarship Sub-Committee will focus primarily on the applicant’s Education Plan, but they may also consider: the quality and potential shown in each applicants’ written work to date; the likelihood that the applicant’s career would benefit from further writing education; the likelihood that the applicant is committed to the horror genre; the likelihood that the applicant will contribute to the development of the genre, including increasing and/or broadening our readership; the applicant’s financial need; and the broad interests of the HWA and the horror genre.
- The HWA and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarships are worth $2500. The Dark Poetry Scholarship is worth $1,250. The Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship for Nonfiction Writing and The Scholarship From Hell offer flexible amounts.
- The winners of each Scholarship (except The Scholarship From Hell) have two years in which to spend the funds, which may be allocated to enhance their professional horror writing career on such things as – Course fees for physical or online writing courses; Resources such as textbooks, Guides, etc.; Registration fees for writing festivals that include relevant presentations; Registration fees for one horror genre convention per year; Subscription fees to appropriate periodicals; etc. Certain exclusions also apply.
- The scholarships will open in June and close in August (exact dates will be determined each year and posted on the front page).
- All applicants must use the online application forms, filling in all sections and uploading the documents requested. Failure to include any information may invalidate the entry
- The winners will be announced around September 1 (except for The Scholarship From Hell, which will be announced earlier).
- This is an Annual Program of Scholarships (no individual may win more than one of these Scholarships, with the exception of the Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship for Nonfiction Writing – previous winners may apply ONLY for this Scholarship); however the sub-committee is empowered not to award any of the Scholarships in any given year if the quality of the applicants and their submissions is deemed insufficient.
- There are a set of Rules that govern the Scholarships, below. We suggest you read them carefully before submitting your application.
- Questions can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. However, please review the below rules carefully or visit our FAQ first, since your questions can probably be answered here!
- One of our Scholarship Committee members have prepared an article discussing some of the reasons that applications are rejected – we highly recommend reading this before you apply! CLICK HERE.
Rules — The Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship and the Horror Writers Association Scholarship
- Authority — the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship; and the Horror Writers Association Scholarship are established by the authority of the Horror Writers Association Board.
- Membership in HWA is not necessary in order to apply.
- The application period each year shall be determined by the Scholarship Committees.
- Scholarships will be awarded as the result of the same competitive vetting process (see Rule 10). One Scholarship may be awarded to a female writer — the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship; and the other, the Horror Writers Association Scholarship, may be awarded to any writer.
- The Board will appoint a sub-committee of no less than three members, who will be the sole determinants of the winners of each Scholarship. The sub-committee has the discretion not to announce a winner if it feels no applicant is up to the required standard. The sub-committee may not allocate joint winners of any Scholarship. They may not give multiple Scholarships to the same person in one year. They may not give any Scholarship to a writer who has previously won a Scholarship.
- The announcement of any winners will occur on a date determined by the Committee each year.
- Definition of a female. For the purposes of allocating the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship, a person claiming to be female must meet one of the following criteria:
- Be born as a female; or
- Be a transgendered, hermaphrodite or intersex person living publicly as a female. Those transgendered persons living publicly as a male are not eligible for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship but are eligible for the Horror Writers Association Scholarship.
- Applicants must fill in and submit the Application Form designed for that purpose; the Application Form must be published at HWA’s Submittable account but may be also be made available in any other way the HWA sees fit.
- The Applicant must outline how the Scholarship Funds would be spent (an ‘Education Plan’) and how that would benefit the applicant’s career development, and submit this Plan as a separate document uploaded with the Application.
- The sub-committee may use any criteria it sees fit to determine the winners (if any) but should consider the following matters:
- The Education Plan the applicant has submitted;
- The quality and potential shown in each applicants’ written work to date (including any samples that may be submitted to support the application, which should be limited to 3,000 words; and any examples the sub-committee may seek out);
- The likelihood that the applicant’s career would benefit from further writing education (in respect of this the sub-committee will consider writers with any experience, background or body of work — from aspiring unpublished writers through to those who already have an extensive publishing record — the key here is the likelihood of the applicant benefitting from further writing education);
- The likelihood that the applicant is committed to the horror genre;
- The likelihood that the applicant will contribute to the development of the genre, including increasing and/or broadening our readership;
- The financial need of the applicant; and
- The broad interests of the HWA and the horror genre.
- On winning a Scholarship a writer should have regard to implementing their Education Plan in spending the Scholarship monies. Actual expenditures must be in accordance with the following process:
- Only expenditure that complies with Rule 12 is eligible (whether or not the spend appeared in the applicants’ Education Plan);
- If the expenditure appeared in their Education Plan and is eligible the applicant will ask the Treasurer to make payment on their behalf; or they will seek reimbursement from the Treasurer for a payment they have made, providing receipts for that expenditure (noting that no payments made before the Scholarship was announced may be reimbursed under any circumstances). Under no circumstances will advances or prepayments be made direct to the Scholarship winner — where the HWA contribution is only part of a payment being made the applicant must either seek reimbursement; or the HWA will make a co-payment with the applicant);
- If the expenditure appeared in their Education Plan and is eligible the applicant must seek approval from the Board Scholarship Sub-Committee. Such approval must be made promptly (certainly within 30 days); must not be withheld unreasonably; and the applicant has the right to appeal to the full Board if not satisfied with the sub-committee’s decision. The Board should make any appeal decision promptly, and in any case, within 30 days of the original appeal being lodged.
- The following expenditures are eligible under the Scholarship:
- Course fees for physical or online writing courses offered by recognized educational institutions; bona fide writers associations; or recognized individual tutors; or groups of writers. The HWA scholarship sub-committee shall be the sole determinant of whether a course is recognized or bona fide but such recognition should not be unreasonably withheld;
- Resources such as textbooks, software etc. required of each person attending the course (the HWA will only reimburse relevant software purchases to a maximum of $250);
- Writing Guides and other publications (only where such publications can be demonstrated to assist in the winner’s writing education)
- Registration fees for no more than one writing festival per year and only where that festival includes relevant presentations;
- Registration fees for no more than one horror genre convention per year;
- Subscription fees to no more than two periodicals per year (and only where the periodical can be demonstrated assist in the winner’s education);
- Membership fees in non-genre writers’ groups or associations to a maximum of $100 per year (and only where such membership can be demonstrated to assist in the winner’s writing education)
- The following expenditures are not eligible under the Scholarship:
- General college tuition
- Courses offered by any family member of the winner; nor any entity associated with the winner;
- Travel, accommodation, meals and related costs, except where those costs are already included in course fees (for instance for ‘live-in’ courses);
- Purchases of hardware or software (excepting software noted in 12-2);
- HWA membership fees
- The winners have a maximum of two calendar years from the announcement to spend the total funds of their Award. Any monies not spent by the expiry of that time period are forfeited. Any monies spent within the two year but not claimed with 90 days of the end of the two year period will not be reimbursed.
- The Scholarships will be made available annually but the HWA Board has the right to suspend the Scholarship program in any given year for the sole reason of limited finances; or to abolish the Scholarships altogether. Notice of such suspension or abolition must be given no later than 31 October each year.
- Scholarship recipients agree to provide bios and photographs to HWA for use in promoting the Scholarships; and recipients will also agree to reasonable requests for interviews regarding the educational experiences provided by the scholarship.