The 2021 Scholarship Winners Announced

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) offers a variety of scholarships and grants to assist writers looking to pursue a career as a writer of horror fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. We also have an endowment program for libraries looking to expand their young adult reading programs.

This year, the HWA awarded 14 scholarships/grants/endowments, with a total value of $10,500 (USD).

The HWA is pleased to announce the winners of each award.

The Horror Writers Association Scholarship

Shannon DeAnne Lawrence

A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes primarily horror and fantasy. Her stories can be found in over forty anthologies and magazines, and her three solo horror short story collections, Blue Sludge Blues & Other Abominations, Bruised Souls & Other Torments, and Happy Ghoulidays are available now. You can also find her as a co-host of the podcast “Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem.” When she’s not writing, she’s hiking through the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings, where, coincidentally, there’s always a place to hide a body or birth a monster. Find her at

The Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship

Amanda Leigh Madrid 

L.L. Madrid lives in the desert, writes in a closet, and occasionally gives herself nightmares. She’s a Pitch Wars alum and a member of the Quokka Crew writing collective. L.L.’s story, Ephemeral Girls, was a Best of the Net finalist and recipient of the Luminaire Award for best prose. Her short stories have appeared in the This Side of the Divide, The Furious Gazelle Presents: Halloween, and She’s Lost Control anthologies. When she’s not writing or trying to sneak in writing at work, L.L. eats sour candy and listens to true crime podcasts at 1.5 speed. L.L. Madrid lurks at

The Dark Poetry Scholarship

Timothy Flynn

Timothy P. Flynn is a dark poet from Massachusetts. His previous poetry resides in Space and Time magazine, Anthocon’s book collections: Anthology Years 1-3, Wicked Tales, Scifaikuest, haikuniverse, Haiku Journal and the HWA Poetry Showcase Vol 5 & Vol 6. He is a member of the New England Horror Writers. Follow him on Twitter: @TimothyPFlynn or on Instagram:

The Dennis Etchison Young Writers Scholarship

We had a winner for the Dennis Etchison Young Writers Award, but as they are a minor, their name and likeness will be unreleased due to privacy laws.

We had a total of 11 excellent applicants from seven states in the U.S., as well as Canada.

From our winner: “I’ll be able to purchase textbooks for my college writing courses, strengthening my active participation in class and discussions with other students. The books will help me enhance my writing skills, interact with different ideas, and corroborate a variety of perspectives so I can further develop my voice and style in creative writing. This will no doubt benefit my career.”

We congratulate this fantastic winner and look forward to their future contributions to the horror field.

The Diversity Grants

Eugen M. Bacon

Eugen M. Bacon (she/her) is African Australian, a computer scientist mentally re-engineered into creative writing. Her work has won, been shortlisted, longlisted or commended in national and international awards, including the Foreword Book of the Year, Bridport Prize, Copyright Agency Prize, Australian Shadows Awards, Ditmar Awards and Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans. Her novella Ivory’s Story was shortlisted in the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Awards. New releases: Danged Black Thing, story collection by Transit Lounge Publishing (2021), Mage of Fools, an Afrofuturistic dystopian novel by Meerkat Press (2022), Chasing Whispers, story collection by Raw Dog Screaming Press (2022). Website: Twitter: @EugenBacon

Somto Ihezue Onyedikachi

Somto Ihezue Onyedikachi (he/him) is an Igbo writer, filmmaker, and wildlife enthusiast. A Nommo Award-nominated writer and Winner of the African Youth Network Movement Fiction Contest, his works have appeared or are forthcoming in Omenana Magazine: A Magazine of African Speculative Fiction, The 2021 Year’s Best Anthology of African Speculative Fiction: Vol 1, The Bridging World’s Anthology, Africa In Dialogue and 20.35 Africa. His works were both shortlisted for the 2021 Ibua Journal Continental Call [Bold: Imagining A New Africa]  and the Akuko Magazine –  [A Repository for African + African Diaspora Creativity] – Inaugural Issue.

Jonathan Kincade

Jonathan Kincade (he/him) is a scholar, artist, musician, and writer. His short fiction has appeared in Anathema: Spec from the Margins and FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction. His research has won him numerous awards and he was shortlisted for the ACLS Emerging Voices Fellowship. When he isn’t writing, Jonathan is probably cooking or riding his bike. He resides in Washington, DC with his partner and their cats. You can find him on Twitter @minustimes.

Tonya Liburd

Tonya Liburd (she/her) shares a birthday with Simeon Daniel and Ray Bradbury, which may tell you a little something about her. She has the honour of having her fiction used in Nisi Shawl’s workshops, and in Tananarive Due’s black horror course at UCLA (the latter of which featured Jordan Peele as a guest lecturer!), both to demonstrate ‘code switching’. She is also an Editor over at The Expanse Magazine. You can find her blogging at or on Twitter at @somesillywowzer, or you can join her Patreon at

Juan Manuel Pérez 

Juan Manuel Pérez (he/him), a Mexican-American poet of Indigenous descent and a Poet Laureate for Corpus Christi, Texas (2019-2020), is the author of several books of poetry including the Elgin Nominated, Space In Pieces (2020) and the new book, Planet of the Zombie Zonnets by Hungry Buzzard Press. The award-winning poet, history teacher, and Pushcart Nominee, is also a member of the Poetry Society of Texas, the Horror Writers Association, the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and the Horror Authors Guild. The former Migrant worker worships his Creator and chases Chupacabras in the South Texas Coastal Bend Area.

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) believes barriers—often unseen but very real—exist which limit the amount of horror fiction being published by diverse voices. The goal of these Grants is to help remove some of the barriers and let those voices be heard.

For more information about the HWA Diversity Grants, please visit

Young Adults Write Now Endowment Program

Each of the following five libraries will receive $250 to help fund teen writing programs as part of the HWA’s ongoing dedication to furthering young adult literacy:

The Scott Community College Library — Bettendorf, IA

Scott Creative Writing Club, administered, by Debra Lowman, Ashley Elliott, and Anthony Abboreno

The Cuesta College Library — San Luis Obispo, CA

Teen Writers Workshop: Writing Horror, Weird, & Dark Fantasy Short Fiction, administered by Lauri Bucholz, Sally Demarest, and Wes Martin

The Racine Public Library — Racine, WI

Young Writers Guild, administered by Carrie Richmond, Teen Librarian

The New York Public Library, Inwood Branch — New York, NY

Frightening, Fantastic, and Far-Out: Teen Genre Writing Group, administered by Michelle Vacchio, Young Adult Librarian

The Solano County Library— Fairfield, CA

Teen Writing Program, administered by Elizabeth Bell, Teen Librarian

The Young Adults Write Now program is currently open to United States libraries, but will be expanded in the future to include other countries, as part of the HWA’s global presence. Membership in the HWA is not a requirement.

For complete rules, visit or contact [email protected].

Congratulations to all the recipients!

The HWA is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it. The HWA aims to encourage public interest in and foster an appreciation of horror and dark literature — as well as reading, in general — for adults, teens, and children.

For more information about our scholarship program, please visit our scholarship website.