Dark Poetry Scholarship

poetryscholarshipThe Horror Writers Association is proud to announce The Dark Poetry Scholarship to supplement its Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and Horror Writers Association Scholarships.

The first Dark Poetry Scholarship was awarded in 2015. Thereafter, the scholarship will be given annually. The scholarship is designed to assist in the professional development of Horror and/or Dark Fantasy Poets.

A sub-committee appointed by the HWA Board will choose the winner, who will be announced each year.

The Dark Poetry Scholarship is worth $1250, which may be spent on approved writing education over the two years following the granting of the scholarship.

Rules – The Dark Poetry Scholarship.

  1. Authority – the Dark Poetry Scholarship is established by the authority of the Horror Writers Association Board.
  2. Anyone with an interest in writing horror/dark fantasy poetry may apply. Membership in HWA is not a requirement.
  3. The application period shall be determined each year by the Scholarship Committee.
  4.  The President will approve a Chairman of the HWA and Shelley Scholarships as well as the Poetry Scholarship sub-committees. Chairman will in turn invite one Board member and one experienced poet member, or previous Bram Stoker Poetry Collection finalist, to serve on the Poetry committee.  During the application period and the month following, the Chairman will meet with committee members for discussion, ultimately ending in applicant selections for all three Scholarships.
  5. Applicants must fill in and submit the Application Form designed for that purpose; the Application Form must be published at www.horror.org but may be also made available in any other way the HWA sees fit.
  6. 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 essay as a separate document uploaded with the Application.
  7. The sub-committee may use any criteria it sees fit to determine the winner but should consider the following matters:
    1. The quality and potential shown in each applicants’ written work to date (including any samples that may be submitted to support the application; and any examples the sub-committee may seek out);
    2. 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);
    3. The likelihood that the applicant is committed to writing and publishing horror and/or dark fantasy poetry;
    4. The likelihood that the applicant is committed to the horror genre;
    5. The likelihood that the applicant will contribute to the development of the genre, including increasing and/or broadening our readership;
    6. The Education Plan the applicant has submitted;
    7. The financial need of the applicant; and
    8. The broad interests of the HWA and the horror genre
  8. On winning a Scholarship a writer should have regard to implementing their Education Plan in spending the Scholarship monies. Expenditures must be in accordance with the following process:
    1. Only expenditures that comply with Rules 9 and 10 are eligible (whether or not the expense appeared in the applicants’ Education Plan);
    2. 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);
    3. 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.
  9. The following expenditures are eligible under the Scholarship:
    1. Course fees for physical or online poetry courses offered by recognized educational institutions; bona fide poets associations; or recognized individual tutors, or groups of poets. 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;
    2. 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);
    3. Poetry Writing Guides and other publications (only where such publications can be demonstrated to assist in the winner’s writing education);
    4. Registration fees for no more than one poetry festival per year and only where that festival includes relevant presentations;
    5. Registration fees for no more than one horror genre convention per year;
    6. Subscription fees to no more than two periodicals per year (and only where the periodical can be demonstrated assist in the winner’s education);
    7. 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).
  10. The following expenditures are not eligible under the Scholarship:
    1. Courses offered by any family member of the winner; nor any entity associated with the winner;
    2. Travel, accommodation, meals and related costs, except where those costs are already included in course fees (for instance for ‘live-in’ courses);
    3. Purchases of hardware or software (excepting software noted in 9-2);
    4. HWA membership fees.
  11. 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.
  12. The Scholarship will be made available annually but the HWA Board has the right to suspend the Scholarship in any given year for the sole reason of limited finances; or to abolish the Scholarship altogether. Notice of such suspension or abolition must be given no later than 31 October each year.
  13. 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.

Please include the following in your application:

  • A maximum of four samples of your horror or dark fantasy poetry in PDF, Word or .RTF formats
  • Your writing resume
  • Your Essay indicating your intent in applying for the Scholarship and how it will benefit your professional writing career.
  • An Education Plan. This Plan should indicate how you would propose to spend the US$1,250 scholarship should you win. It is NOT for general college tuition.
  • A brief statement as to your financial need to make application for this Scholarship, rather than paying these costs personally

Looking for some tips on how to guarantee your Dark Poetry Scholarship application its best shot? Take a look at the advice presented by some of our Scholarship Committee members:

Poetry Scholarship Hints

The Poetry Scholarship may be applied to a Stokercon with the idea of attending panels, workshops taught by poet members on horror or dark poetry. (Usual price $35-$40)

An option: paying for a printing with a small, local press? Some libraries run a small POD thing you have to pay for. It ties you into the local community of writers though, so good for networking and marketing.

Courses in writing poetry (may be part of a writing course) will be evaluated thusly:

+ recognized genre authors or anthologies listed on the syllabus

+ openness to genre poetry explicitly mentioned on the syllabus

+ published genre author/poet instructing the course, such as Horror University.

+ course title in college catalog directly mentioning genre-related topics (gothic poetry, etc.)

Support your outstanding dark poets, past and present, by buying their collections (e-book or print). Yes, you can use some of the scholarship for this. If you aren’t sure who to read, check out the Stoker Winners & Finalists, going back ten years; ask on our Horror Writers FB page. Success comes through reading other successful poets: Bruce Boston, Ann K. Schwader, Charlee Jacob, Kyla Ward, Frank Coffman, Sara Tatlinger, Christina Sng, Alessandro Manzetti, Linda D. Addison, and many more. Whether they write free verse, haiku or Crapsey Cinquain, sonnet, or ghazal, etc. — so many other forms to be had out there, explore them all!

The Dark Poetry Scholarship was originally made possible by a grant from Michael Randolph. It is currently funded by monies received by HWA from the Authors Coalition.