Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship Fund for Non-fiction Writing


The Horror Writers Association (HWA), the premier organization of writers and publishers of horror and dark fantasy and home of the iconic Bram Stoker Awards®, offers the Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship Fund for Non-fiction Writing, an endowed fund providing grants for research and writing nonfiction relating to horror and dark fantasy literature. The Fund will provide grants annually (the amount is flexible). Membership in HWA is not a requirement.

Wood, the former President of the HWA, passed away in December of 2014 from complications with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

“Not only was Rocky one of the world’s leading authorities on the work of Stephen King,” said Lisa Morton, former HWA President, “but he was also much beloved for his tireless support of upcoming writers. We are delighted to be able to honor him by offering this scholarship in his name.”

“Rocky was extremely dedicated to the HWA,” said former Board of Trustees Chairperson Marge Simon. “It is fitting that a new generation of horror writers will be supported through a grant bearing his name.”

PLEASE NOTE: This Scholarship Fund is NOT a general scholarship, but is intended to advance the writing of a specific nonfiction project related to the horror field. Applications to the Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship Fund that seek general educational funds will be immediately declined.

The Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship Fund for Non-fiction Writing (the “Wood Scholarship”) is established by the authority of the Horror Writers Association Board with the generous support of individual donors.


1.    Membership in HWA is not necessary in order to apply.

2.    The application period each year shall be determined by the Scholarship Committee.

3.    Funds will be awarded as the result of the competitive vetting process described below in Rule 8.

4.    The Board of Trustees of HWA will appoint a sub-committee of no less than three members, including at least two published non-fiction authors, who will be the sole determinants of the recipient of the Wood Scholarship. The sub-committee has the discretion not to announce a recipient if it feels no application justifies a Wood Scholarship. Previous winners of the Wood Scholarship may apply again. However, one cannot be eligible for the scholarship two years in a row.

5.    The announcement of any recipients will occur on a date determined by the Committee each year.

6.    Applicants must submit their Plan via HWA’s Submittable account; however, application may also be made available in any other way the HWA sees fit.

7.    The Applicant must outline how the Scholarship would be used (a ‘Plan’) and how such use would benefit the field of non-fiction writing regarding horror and dark fantasy literature. That Plan must be submitted with the Application.

8.    The sub-committee may use any criteria it sees fit to determine the recipients (if any) but should consider the following matters:

a.    In selecting the recipients, the sub-committee shall focus primarily on advancing the writing of nonfiction relating to horror and dark fantasy literature and not on advancing the career of the applicants;

b.    Works that are likely to have a broad impact and significance shall be favored over works that are likely to have a limited interest;

c.    Proposed works may focus on an individual author or book, historical, scientific, or cultural events or developments, or serve as reference tools for researchers and writers in the field.

9.    On receiving a Wood Scholarship, a recipient should have regard to implementing their Plan in spending the Scholarship monies. Actual spending must be in accordance with the following process:

a.    If the expenditure appeared in their 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 recipient– where the HWA contribution is only part of a payment being made, the recipient must either seek reimbursement; or the HWA will make a co-payment with the recipient.

b.    If the expenditure did not appear in their Plan but is otherwise eligible, the recipient must seek approval for such expenditure from the sub-committee. Such approval must be made promptly (certainly within 30 days); must not be withheld unreasonably; and the recipient has the right to appeal to the Board of Trustees of HWA if not satisfied with the sub-committee’s decision. The Board will decide all appeals promptly, and in any case, within 30 days of the original appeal being lodged.

10.    The following expenditures are not eligible to be paid or reimbursed under the Scholarship:

a.     Services offered by any family member of the winner; nor any entity associated with the winner;

b.    HWA membership fees.

c.    Travel, accommodations, conference fees, or any other expense related to presentation of papers at a specific conference.

11.    Wood Scholarship recipients have a maximum of two calendar years from the announcement to spend the total funds of their Scholarship. 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 Wood Scholarships will be made available annually but the HWA Board of Trustees has the right to suspend the Wood Scholarship program in any given year if funds are unavailable or to abolish the Scholarships altogether. Notice of such suspension or abolition shall be given no later than 31 October each year. However, no action by the Board shall affect Wood Scholarships previously granted.

13.    Wood 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 Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship for Non-fiction Writing is made possible by the generous donations of Aeroflex Foundation and Hippocampus Press as well as individual donors.