The Scholarship From Hell


The Scholarship From Hell is the only scholarship offered by HWA that puts the recipient right into the intensive, hands-on workshop environment of Horror University. Horror University takes place during HWA’s annual StokerCon. The winner of the Scholarship From Hell will receive domestic coach airfare (contiguous 48 states) to and from the StokerCon venue, $50 for luggage reimbursement, a 4 night stay at the convention,  free registration to StokerCon, and as many workshops as you’d like to attend! Be sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter so you don’t miss out!

The Scholarship From Hell is open from December 17th, 2023 to March 1, 2024.

Previous instructors included:

  • Gretchen McNeil: Character-Driven Plotting and the 3-Act Horror Novel
  • Jonathan Maberry: Act Like a Writer
  • Linda Addison: Scary Forms: The World of Structured Poetry for All Writers
  • Nicole Cushing: How to Give a Great interview
  • Joe Nassise: Story Engines
  • John Skipp: How to Write Like a Scenarist (And Adapting to Stage, Screen and Comics)
  • Josh Finney / Kat Rocha: Writing for Comics and Graphic Novels
  • James Chambers: Picturing Fear: Writing Horror Comics and Graphic Novels
  • Tim Waggoner: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Horror
  • Ace Antonio Hall: Lord of the Flies: Fitness for Writers
  • Patrick Freivald: Saying More with Less
  • Sèphera Girón: Tarot Cards and Writing 101
  • Hank Schwaeble: Saying More With Less
  • Johnny Worthen: Mistakes Were Made
  • Michael Arnzen: Making Readers Squirm
  • Tom Leveen: How to Write Awesome Dialog
  • Kate Jonez: Editing Intensive

For a complete list of the most recent workshops and instructors, please visit the StokerCon 2024 website.

The Scholarship From Hell has been established by the authority of the Horror Writers Association Board.

Rules for The Scholarship From Hell

  1. Membership in HWA or StokerCon is not necessary in order to apply.
  2. The application period each year shall be determined by the Scholarship Committee.
  3. Scholarships will be awarded as the result of the vetting process described below.
  4. The chairs of the yearly StokerCon will act as the committee that selects the winner of The Scholarship From Hell.
  5. The committee has the discretion not to announce a winner if it feels no applicant has met the required standard. The committee may not allocate joint winners of the Scholarship. They may not give The Scholarship From Hell to anyone who has won another HWA-funded scholarship in the past twelve months from the date the scholarship will be awarded.
  6. Applicants must fill in and submit the application form designed for that purpose (please see link below).
  7. The application form must include a section for the applicant to supply an essay of no more than 250 words in which they describe the educational opportunities they hope the scholarship will provide for them. This essay should include what they hope to gain from attending StokerCon, and how they hope the award will advance their writing career.
  8. The committee should rely primarily on the applicant’s essay when making their selection, but may also consider the following:
    1. The quality and potential shown in the applicant’s written work to date.
    2. The likelihood that the applicant’s career would benefit from further writing education.
    3. The likelihood that the applicant is committed to the horror genre.
    4. The likelihood that the applicant will contribute to the development of the genre, including increasing and/or broadening our readership.
    5. The financial need of the applicant.
  9. The winner will work with HWA’s administrator to make all arrangements. The winner may either request reimbursement if they choose to make their own arrangements, or may ask the administrator to make all arrangements on their behalf.
  10. The Scholarship From Hell must be used in the same year it is awarded.
  11. The Scholarship From Hell 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 scholarship altogether. Notice of such suspension or abolition must be given no later than 31 October each year.
  12. 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.
  13. In years where it is possible, a virtual scholarship will also be awarded. This may be used for a free registration to that year’s virtual StokerCon, if the convention is held virtually, and may only be used by someone who is attending virtually. The award has no cash value; therefore, it may not be exchanged for cash nor used to cover the cost of any portion of an in-person attendance. Separate submission is not necessary. If awarded, the convention chairs will choose someone from the pool of candidates who have submitted for the main Scholarship From Hell.

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