Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Horror Writers Association President Rocky Wood (1959-2014)

Saddened to learn of the passing of Rocky Wood, the president of the Horror Writer Association, an author and one of the world's leading experts on Stephen King. He was a great shining spirit of the world and an excellent leader. He was on the committee that reviewed and approved my status as a professional member of the international Horror Writers Association. Thanks for everything, Rocky. You were one of a kind.

The Horror Writers Association (HWA), recently made the following official announcement of "the creation of the Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship in honor of the organization’s late president, who passed away on December 1, 2014 as a result of complications from Motor Neurone Disease (MND) or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The new scholarship, which joins the existing Horror Writers Association and Mary Shelley Scholarships, will focus on non-fiction. Rocky Wood, a two-time recipient of the Bram Stoker Award®, was best known for his extensive work involving the writings of Stephen King. The scholarship was proposed by HWA Treasurer Leslie Klinger, who will also oversee its implementation.

In addition to the scholarship, the HWA announced that Lisa Morton will succeed Wood as the organization’s President. For the last two-and-a-half years, Morton served as Vice President. A screenwriter, author of non-fiction books, and an award-winning prose writer, Morton is a six-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award®. Her expertise on Halloween has led to appearances on both The History Channel and The Discovery Channel, as well as an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

“It’s daunting for me to now step into the Presidential shoes, but I also consider it an honor to continue the great work Rocky started. Because he was such a master at organization, he’s left behind manuals and instructions and a trained corps of volunteers, and together we look forward to continuing his legacy,” Morton said.

During his tenure, Wood grew the HWA membership to record levels, put in place policies and documentation, built a volunteer force of around 180 persons, added events and sponsorships, created scholarships, and launched the highly successful “Horror Selfies” campaign.

Nancy Holder, a multiple award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author, has agreed to serve as Vice President. Morton stated, “Nancy has been involved with the HWA for decades and she brings a wealth of experience and innovation to the position.”

THE HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION 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 formed in 1985 with the help of many of the field’s greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe Lansdale. Today, with over 1250 members around the globe, it is the oldest and most respected professional organization for the much-loved writers who have brought you the most enjoyable sleepless nights of your life.

One of HWA’s missions is to encourage public interest in and foster an appreciation of good Horror and Dark Fantasy literature. The organization offers public areas of its site, www.horror.org; sponsors or takes part in public readings and lectures; publishes a monthly newsletter for members; maintains outreach to booksellers, librarians, fans and readers; facilitates readings and signings by horror writers; offers scholarships; and maintains an official presence at the major fan-based horror and fantasy conventions, such as the World Horror Convention, and literary festivals.

The HWA sponsors the annual Bram Stoker Awards® for superior achievement in horror literature. Named in honor of the author of the seminal horror novel Dracula, the Awards are presented for superior writing in eleven categories including traditional fiction of various lengths, poetry, screenplays, and non-fiction. In addition, HWA presents an annual Lifetime Achievement Award to living persons who has made significant contributions to the writing of Horror and Dark Fantasy over the course of a lifetime."

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