HWA Scholarship


The Horror Writers Association Scholarship will be open to all horror writers (HWA membership is not a requirement).

The first Scholarships were awarded in 2014. Thereafter, the Scholarships are given annually. Scholarships are designed to assist in the professional development of horror writers.

The application for each Scholarship will be the same – a sub-Committee of the HWA Board will choose the winners, who will be announced each year.

The HWA and Mary Shelley Scholarships are each worth $2500, which may be spent on approved writing education over the two years following the granting of the scholarship.

Those who are interested in applying are advised to review the general rules before proceeding.

Rules — The Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship and the Horror Writers Association Scholarship

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.

These rules also broadly apply to the other scholarships. Please click here for the Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship information, click here for rules for the Dark Poetry Scholarship, click here for the Dennis Etchison Scholarship, click here for the Diversity Grants, click here for the Young Adults Write Now Endowments, and click here for The Scholarship From Hell.

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 those members who identify as women and the Horror Writers Association Scholarship is available for any member, regardless of gender.

  1. Authority — the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship; and the Horror Writers Association Scholarship are established by the authority of the Horror Writers Association Board.
  2. Membership in HWA is not necessary in order to apply.
  3. The application period each year shall be determined by the Scholarship Committees.
  4. Scholarships will be awarded as the result of the same competitive vetting process (see Rule 10). One Scholarship may be awarded to a writer who identifies as a woman — the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship; and the other, the Horror Writers Association Scholarship, may be awarded to any writer.
  5. 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.
  6. The announcement of any winners will occur on a date determined by the Committee each year.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. The sub-committee may use any criteria it sees fit to determine the winners (if any) but should consider the following matters:
    1. The Education Plan the applicant has submitted;
    2. 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);
    3. 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);
    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 financial need of the applicant; and
    7. The broad interests of the HWA and the horror genre.
  10. 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:
    1. Only expenditure that complies with Rule 11 is eligible (whether or not the spend 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.
  11. The following expenditures are eligible under the Scholarship:
    1. 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;
    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. 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 writing 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)
  12. The following expenditures are not eligible under the Scholarship:
    1. General college tuition
    2. Courses offered by any family member of the winner; nor any entity associated with the winner;
    3. Travel, accommodation, meals and related costs, except where those costs are already included in course fees (for instance for ‘live-in’ courses);
    4. Purchases of hardware or software (excepting software noted in 11-2);
    5. HWA membership fees
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

The HWA Scholarship is made possible by monies received by HWA from the Authors Coalition.