Named in honor of the author of Dracula, the Bram Stoker Awards have been given every year since 1987 by the Horror Writers Association in celebration of horror writing in eleven categories, including novels, novellas, poetry, and screenplays. Previous winners include Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, and Neil Gaiman.
Superior Achievement in a Novel
The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road.
One afternoon, as Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen but he is young, friendly, and he wins her over almost instantly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologizes and tells Wen, “None of what’s going to happen is your fault”. Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: “Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world.”
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Superior Achievement in a First Novel
The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste
It’s the summer of 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio, and Phoebe Shaw and her best friend Jacqueline have just graduated high school, only to confront an ugly, uncertain future. Across the city, abandoned factories populate the skyline; meanwhile at the shore, one strong spark, and the Cuyahoga River might catch fire. But none of that compares to what’s happening in their own west side neighborhood. The girls Phoebe and Jacqueline have grown up with are changing. It starts with footprints of dark water on the sidewalk. Then, one by one, the girls’ bodies wither away, their fingernails turning to broken glass, and their bones exposed like corroded metal beneath their flesh. As rumors spread about the grotesque transformations, soon everyone from nosy tourists to clinic doctors and government men start arriving on Denton Street, eager to catch sight of “the Rust Maidens” in metamorphosis. But even with all the onlookers, nobody can explain what’s happening or why—except perhaps the Rust Maidens themselves. Whispering in secret, they know more than they’re telling, and Phoebe realizes her former friends are quietly preparing for something that will tear their neighborhood apart. Alternating between past and present, Phoebe struggles to unravel the mystery of the Rust Maidens—and her own unwitting role in the transformations—before she loses everything she’s held dear: her home, her best friend, and even perhaps her own body.
Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything—except a friend.
Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable—and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.
But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.
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Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel
Destroyer by Victor LaValle
From award-winning novelist Victor LaValle and illustrator Dietrich Smith comes an intense, unflinching story exploring the legacies of love, loss, and vengeance placed firmly in the tense atmosphere and current events of the modern-day United States. When the last descendant of the Frankenstein family loses her only son to a police shooting, she turns to science for her own justice… putting her on a crash course with her family’s original monster and his quest to eliminate humanity.
Book | Digital Comic
Superior Achievement in Long Fiction
The Devil’s Throat by Rena Masonm from Hellhole: An Anthology of Subterranean Terror
Legends tell of a hollow earth, a world beneath our own. A world filled with wonders… and danger. But what if the legends are true?
Delve into dark worlds in Hellhole, where death lurks around every corner, and come face to face with creatures from your worst nightmares in this collection of dark thrillers. New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry and Bram Stoker Award winner Rena Mason headline a cast of bestselling and award-winning authors.
Superior Achievement in Short Fiction
“Mutter” by Jess Landry, from Fantastic Tales of Terror
These Fantastic Tales explore the secret history that has been hidden in the shadows of the world, and even alternative histories from other worlds. Tales such as a young man seeking the secret of immortality from none other than Bela Lugosi. The tragic story of how the Titanic really sank. The horrifying lengths the people of New York city would go to raise above the Great Depression, rather in seeking fame or trying to feed the city. And many more Fantastic Tales of Terror.
Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection
That Which Grows Wild by Eric J. Guignard
That Which Grows Wild collects sixteen dark and masterful short stories by award-winning author Eric J. Guignard. Equal parts whimsy and weird, horror and heartbreak, this debut collection traverses the darker side of the fantastic through vibrant and harrowing tales that depict monsters and regrets, hope and atonement, and the oddly changing reflection that turns back at you in the mirror.
Discover why, after only several years, Eric J. Guignard has developed an ardent following and earned praise by masters of the craft such as Ramsey Campbell and Rick Hautala.
Superior Achievement in a Screenplay
The Haunting of Hill House: The Bent-Neck Lady written by Meredith Averill
Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it in the Netflix series inspired by the writing of Shirley Jackson.
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Superior Achievement in an Anthology
The Devil and the Deep: Horror Stories of the Sea by Ellen Datlow
Stranded on a desert island, a young man yearns for objects from his past. A local from a small coastal town in England is found dead as the tide goes out. A Norwegian whaling ship is stranded in the Arctic, its crew threatened by mysterious forces. In the nineteenth century, a ship drifts in becalmed waters in the Indian Ocean, those on it haunted by their evil deeds. A surfer turned diver discovers there are things worse than drowning under the sea. Something from the sea is creating monsters on land.
In The Devil and the Deep, award-winning editor Ellen Datlow shares an all-original anthology of horror that covers the depths of the deep blue sea, with brand new stories from New York Times bestsellers and award-winning authors such as Seanan McGuire, Christopher Golden, Stephen Graham Jones, and more.
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Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction
It’s Alive: Bringing Your Nightmares to Life by Joe Mynhardt and Eugene Johnson
Book two in Crystal Lake Publishing’s The Dream Weaver series picks up where the Bram Stoker Award-nominated Where Nightmares Come From: The Art Of Storytelling In The Horror Genre left off. It’s Alive focuses on learning the craft in order to take your story from concept to completion.
With an introduction by Richard Chizmar and cover art by Luke Spooner. Featuring interior artwork from horror master Clive Barker!
Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection
The Devil’s Dreamland: Poetry Inspired by H.H. Holmes by Sara Tantlinger
H.H. Holmes committed ghastly crimes in the late 19th century. Many of which occurred within his legendary “Murder Castle” in Chicago, Illinois. He is often considered America’s first serial killer.
In her second book of poetry, Sara Tantlinger takes inspiration from accounts and tales which spawned from the misdeeds of one Herman Webster Mudgett, better known as Dr. Henry Howard Holmes. Fact and speculation intertwine herein, just as they did during the man’s own lifetime.