The Horror Writers Association (HWA) has recently launched the Horror Selfies campaign, just in time for the Halloween season, in an effort to highlight the exceptional work, both literary and cinematic, produced by the horror genre.
Inspired by the popular “Say it with a Sign” meme—used by everyone from Ellen DeGeneres and Jon Bon Jovi, to David Beckham and Princes William and Harry—the HWA is utilizing the vast reach of social media to provide a platform through which people can tell the world why they love horror.
The HWA put out the call to authors and readers, actors and directors, fans and followers, to submit a selfie in which they hold a sign encouraging others to read horror/dark fantasy, to watch horror movies, or to write horror. Additionally, the HWA is also encouraging people to promote literacy/reading among children and young adults, or supporting a local library in their Horror Selfies.
THE HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION (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. HWA was formed in 1985 with the help of many of the field’s greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe Lansdale. With over 1250 members around the globe it is the oldest and most respected professional organization writers in the genre.
“Writing is a solitary profession,” says HWA President Rocky Wood, “and we believe that horror and dark fantasy writers benefit from the support and networking the HWA provides. We cater for all writers, from aspiring to best-sellers, and traditionally published as well as self-published. Indeed, we were the first major genre writers’ association to welcome self-published authors.”
One of HWA’s best known properties is the annual Bram Stoker Awards for superior achievement in horror literature. The awards, named in honour of the author of Dracula cover writing in eleven different categories that include novel, young adult, first novel, short fiction, poetry, screenplay and non-fiction.
“In addition,” Wood says, “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 – previous winners include Stephen King, R L Stine, Anne Rice and Peter Straub.”
Regarding this fun selfie campaign, Wood says that HWA takes its mission to expand horror readership and viewership very seriously. “We have many promotional channels, blogs and social media, and horrorselfies.com is part of that. For the first time our readers and fans have an opportunity to display their enthusiasm for the genre by uploading their own selfies, as well as sharing selfies that grab their attention. Our members, celebrities and even non-member horror writers also have the chance to upload their own selfies.”
The campaign has attracted folks from across the horror spectrum, including the master Stephen King, and the posts have included all kinds of incredibly creative messaging and staging in order to get across the key messages.
“We are hoping that people will be creative with these selfies,” Wood says. “Write their messages not only on paper, but alternative display methods like whiteboards, hands, walls, etc. Maybe they’ll be in iconic horror locations. Maybe they’ll be in costume, or pictured with their favorite horror author or actor. We particularly welcome messages promoting literacy and the use of libraries. Maybe they can show themselves using their Kobo? Or hard at work writing their horror novel.”
“We expect www.horrorselfies.com to become an iconic site for horror fans, and for many of the selfies to go viral, thus helping create new horror audiences for both the page and the screen.”
So are you reading something scary right now? Are you writing something that is quite chilling? Why not participate and share your enthusiasm for either writing or reading something in the horror genre. (If you’re looking for something a little chilling to read and need a place to start, check out this great list of FREE eBooks available through Kobo – scroll down to the HORROR listing and have some fun)