What Is the Bram Stoker Award?

Bram Stoker wrote one of the greatest horror stories of our time and gave birth to one of the most iconic horror characters ever, Dracula.

As a founding author of the genre, the award for excellence in horror literature is named in his honor. The Bram Stoker Award is an annual award given out by the Horror Writers Association (or HWA) to honor the year’s biggest achievements in horror writing. The awards have been held since 1988 (for work from the previous year) when the organization was first founded. The idea behind the awards and the HWA has never been one of competition among the writers but of encouragement and support. The Bram Stoker Award, also known as the Stoker Award or just ‘The Stoker”, is not necessarily given the best work for the previous year but to the work that has done the most achievement for horror literature.

The Horror Writers Association

The Bram Stoker Awards are an important ceremony to the Horror Writers Association. The HWA got its start back in the early 1980’s when horror author Robert R. McCammon expressed interest in an organization specifically for his genre. His reasoning was that every genre had its own organization except for horror. With the assistance of author Jon R. Lansdale and his wife Karen, they formed the then fledgling association known as the Horror and Occult Writers League, or HOWL. The group’s early by-laws stated that the goal of Howl was that it was “a non-profit organization of professional writers of fiction and non-fiction pertaining to or inspired by the traditions, legends, development, and history of horror and occult. Its members are together for their mutual benefit in an earnest effort to further a more widespread publicity, promotion, distribution, readership and appreciation of the literature of horror and occult.”


The first full meeting of the HWA happened at the World Fantasy Convention in Tucson, Arizona on November 3, 1985. The name HOWL was changed to the Horror Writers or America for reasons of a better public image and to be taken seriously by writers and fellow organizations. Later in 1993, the name was altered again to the Horror Writers Association to better include international members. Eventually, a board of trustees was set up to oversee the organization’s operations. Then group president, horror writer Dean R. Koontz, suggested an annual award for superior achievement and excellence in the horror field. The first annual Bram Stoker Award and Banquet was then held in New York in 1988. The HWA since has approximately 500 active members from around the globe and consists of both professional and amateur writers in the horror field.

Rules and Requirements for the Bram Stoker Award

The Bram Stoker Award, Also known as The Stoker Award or just ‘The Stokers’, is non-juried. To be eligible for the award, the nominated work must first have been published in English. Any HWA member can nominate a work for consideration. All active members then vote and put selected works onto a preliminary ballot. After that there are two rounds of voting by Active members determine the finalists and then finally the winners. The Bram Stoker winners are announced and presented their awards at the annual HWA conference and banquet held every June.

The Bram Stoker Awards are currently divided into nine separate categories: Novel, First Novel, Long Fiction, Short Fiction, Fiction Collection, Anthology, Non-Fiction, Poetry, and Lifetime Achievement. The award itself is a small replica of a haunted house. It was designed by Harlan Ellison and sculpted by Steven Kirk. Inside the house is a brass plague which is revealed when you open the house’s front door. The name of the author and their winning work is engraved inside.

Bram Stoker Award Winners

Here are the winners of the Bram Stoker Awards since the first annual ceremony in 1987:

1987 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: Misery by Stephen King and Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon (tie)

First Novel: The Manse by Lisa Cantrell

Novelette:The Pear-Shaped Man” by George R.R. Martin and “The Boy Who Came Back From the Dead” by Alan Rodgers (tie)

Short Story:The Deep End” by Robert R. McCammon

Collection: The Essential Ellison by Harlan Ellison

Non-Fiction: Mary Shelley by Muriel Spark

Life Achievement: Fritz Leiber, Frank Belknap Long, Clifford D. Simak

1988 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

First Novel: The Suiting by Kelley Wilde

Novelette:Orange is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity” by David Morrell

Short Story:Night They Missed the Horror Show” by Joe R. Lansdale

Collection: Charles Beaumont: Selected Stories by Charles Beaumont

Life Achievement: Ray Bradbury, Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes

1989 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons

First Novel: Sunglasses After Dark by Nancy A. Collins

Novelette:On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert With Dead Folks” by Joe R. Lansdale

Short Story:Eat Me” by Robert R. McCammon

Collection: Richard Matheson: Collected Stories by Richard Matheson

Non-Fiction: Harlan Ellison’s Watching by Harlan Ellison and Horror: The 100 Best Books Stephen Jones & Kim Newman (tie)

1990 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: Mine by Robert R. McCammon

First Novel: The Revelation by Bentley Little

Novelette:Stephen” by Elizabeth Massie

Short Story:The Calling” by David B. Silva

Collection: Four Past Midnight by Stephen King

Non-Fiction: Dark Dreamers by Stanley Wiater

Life Achievement: Hugh B. Cave, Richard Matheson

1991 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: Boy’s Life by Robert R. McCammon

First Novel: The Cipher by Kathe Koja and Prodigal by Melanie Tem (tie)

Novelette:The Beautiful Uncut Hair of Graves” by David Morrell

Short Story:Lady Madonna” by Nancy Holder

Collection: Prayers to Broken Stones by Dan Simmons

Non-Fiction: Clive Barker’s Shadows in Eden by Stephen Jones

Life Achievement: Gahan Wilson

1992 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: Blood of the Lamb by Thomas F. Monteleone

First Novel: Sineater by Elizabeth Massie

Novelette:Aliens: Tribes” by Stephen Bissette and “The Events Concerning a Nude Fold-Out Found in a Harlequin Romance” by Joe R. Lansdale (tie)

Short Story:This Year’s Class Picture” by Dan Simmons

Collection: Mr Fox and Other Feral Tales by Norman Partridge

Non-Fiction: Cut! Horror Writers on Horror Film by Christopher Golden

Life Achievement: Ray Russell

1993 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: The Throat by Peter Straub

First Novel: The Thread that Binds the Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Novella:The Night We Buried Road Dog” by Jack Cady and “Mefisto in Onyx” by Harlan Ellison (tie)

Novelette:Death in Bangkok” by Dan Simmons

Short Story:I Hear the Mermaids Singing” by Nancy Holder

Collection: Alone With The Horrors by Ramsey Campbell

Non-Fiction: Once Around the Bloch by Robert Bloch

Other Media: Jonah Hex: Two Gun Mojo by Joe R. Lansdale

Life Achievement: Joyce Carol Oates

Special Trustees Award: Vincent Price

1994 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: Dead in the Water by Nancy Holder

First Novel: Grave Markings by Michael Arnzen

Novelette:The Scent of Vinegar” Robert Bloch

Short Story:The Box” by Jack Ketchum and “Cafe Endless: Spring Rain” by Nancy Holder (tie)

Collection: The Early Fears by Robert Bloch

Life Achievement: Christopher Lee

1995 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates

First Novel: The Safety of Unknown Cities by Lucy Taylor

Novelette:Lunch at the Gotham Cafe” by Stephen King

Short Story:Chatting With Anubis” by Harlan Ellison

Collection: The Panic Hand by Jonathan Carroll

Nonfiction: The Supernatural Index by Michael Ashley & William Contento

Life Achievement: Harlan Ellison

1996 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: The Green Mile by Stephen King (Signet)

First Novel: Crota by Owl Goingback (Donald Fine)

Novelette:The Red Tower” by Thomas Ligotti (The Nightmare Factory)

Short Story:metalica” by P.D. Cacek (Hot Blood: Fear the Fever)

Collection: The Nightmare Factory by Thomas Ligotti (Carroll & Graf)

Nonfiction: H.P. Lovecraft: A Life by S.T. Joshi (Necronomicon Press)

Life Achievement: Ira Levin, Forrey Ackerman.

1997 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: Children of the Dusk by Janet Berliner & George Guthrdge

First Novel: Lives of the Monster Dogs by Kirsten Bakis

Novelette:The Big Blow” by Joe R.Lansdale

Short Story:Rat Food” by Edo van Belkom & David Nickle

Collection: Exorcisms and Ecstasies by Karl Edward Wagner, ed Stephen Jones

Nonfiction: Dark Thoughts: On Writing by Stanley Wiater

Life Achievement: William Peter Blatty, Jack Williamson

1998 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: Bag of Bones by Stephen King (Scribner)

First Novel: Dawn Song by Michael Marano (Tor Books)

Long Fiction:Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff” by Peter Straub (Murder for Revenge, Delacorte Press)

Short Fiction:The Dead Boy at Your Window” by Bruce Holland Rogers (The North American Review, Nov/Dec 98)

Fiction Collection: Black Butterflies by John Shirley (Mark V. Ziesing)

Anthology: Horrors! 365 Scary Stories edited by Stefan Dziemianowicz, Martin H. Greenberg & Robert Weinberg (Barnes & Noble Books)

Nonfiction: DarkEcho Newsletter Vol. 5, #1-50, edited by Paula Guran (DarkEcho)

Comic Book, Graphic Novel, or Other Illustrative Narrative: No Award

Screenplay: Gods and Monsters written by Bill Condon (Lion’s Gate Films) and Dark City written by Alex Proyas (New Line Cinema)

Work for Young Readers:Bigger than Death” by Nancy Etchemendy (Cricket Magazine, March 98)

1999 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: Mr. X by Peter Straub

First Novel: Wither by J.G. Passarella

Long Fiction:Five Days in April” by Brian A. Hopkins; “Mad Dog Summer” by Joe R. Lansdale

Short Fiction:Aftershock” by F. Paul Wilson

Fiction Collection: The Nightmare Chronicles by Douglas Clegg

Anthology: 999: New Stories of Horror and Suspense edited by Al Sarrantonio

Nonfiction: DarkEcho Newsletter written and edited by Paula Guran

Comic Book, Graphic Novel, or Other Illustrative Narrative: Sandman: The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman

Screenplay: Sixth Sense written by M. Night Shyamalan

Work for Young Readers: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

Other Media: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (audio) by Harlan Ellison

Lifetime Achievement Award: Edward Gorey and Charles L. Grant

2000 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: The Traveling Vampire Show by Richard Laymon

First Novel: The Licking Valley Coon Hunters Club by Brian A. Hopkins

Long Fiction: The Man on the Ceiling by Melanie and Steve Rasnic Tem

Short Fiction:Gone,” by Jack Ketchum Fiction

Collection: Magic Terror by Peter Straub

Anthology: The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, 13th Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Nonfiction: On Writing by Stephen King

Illustrated Narrative: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (miniseries), by Alan Moore

Screenplay: Shadow of the Vampire by Steven Katz

Work for Young Readers: The Power of Un by Nancy Etchemendy

Poetry Collection: A Student of Hell, by Tom Piccirilli

Other Media: Chiaroscuro edited by Patricia Lee Macomber, Steve Eller, Sandra Kasturi, and Brett A. Savory

Lifetime Achievement Award: Nigel Kneale

Trustees’ Award for Specialty Press Excellence: Subterranean Press, William K. Schafer

2001 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

First Novel: Deadliest of the Species by Michael Oliveri

Long Fiction: In These Final Days of Sales by Steve Rasnic Tem

Short Fiction:Reconstructing Amy” by Tim Lebbon

Collection: The Man with the Barbed-Wire Fists by Norman Partridge

Anthology: Extremes 2: Fantasy and Horror from the Ends of the Earth edited by Brian A. Hopkins

Nonfiction: Jobs in Hell

Screenplay: Memento by Christopher & Jonathan Nolan

Work for Young Readers: The Willo Files 2 by Yvonne Navarro

Poetry Collection: Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes by Linda Addison

Other Media: Dark Dreamers: Facing the Masters of Fear by Beth Gwinn & Stanley Wiater

Lifetime Achievement Award: John Farris

2002 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: The Night Class by Tom Piccirilli

First Novel: The Lovely Bones by Alice Seybold

Long Fiction:El Dia de Los Muertos” by Brian A. Hopkins;
‘”My Work Is Not Yet Done”‘ by Thomas Ligotti

Short Fiction:The Misfit Child Grows Fat on Despair” by Tom Piccirilli

Collection: One More for the Road by Ray Bradbury

Anthology: The Darker Side edited by John Pelan

Nonfiction: Ramsey Campbell, Probably by Ramsey Campbell

Illustrated Narrative: Nightside (issues 104) by Robert Weinberg

Screenplay: Frailty by Brent Hanley

Work for Young Readers: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Poetry Collection: The Gossamer Eye by Mark McLaughlin, Rain Graves and David Niall Wilson

Alternative Forms: Imagination Box (multimedia CD) by Steve and Melanie Tem

Lifetime Achievement Award: Stephen King and Jerry Williamson

2003 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: lost boy lost girl by Peter Straub

First Novel: The Rising by Brian Keene

Long Fiction:Closing Time” by Jack Ketchum

Short Fiction:Duty” by Gary A. Braunbeck

Fiction Collection: Peaceable Kingdom by Jack Ketchum

Anthology: Borderlands 5 edited by Elizabeth and Thomas Monteleone

Nonfiction: The Mothers and Fathers Italian Association by Thomas F. Monteleone

Illustrated Narrative: The Sandman: Endless Nights (collection) by Neil Gaiman

Screenplay: Bubba Ho-Tep by Don Coscarelli

Work for Young Readers: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K Rowling

Poetry Collection: Pitchblende by Bruce Boston

Alternative Forms: The Goreletter (E-mail newsletter) by Michael Arnzen

Lifetime Achievement Award: Martin H. Greenberg, Anne Rice

2004 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: In the Night Room by Peter Straub

First Novel: (tie) Covenant by John Everson and Stained by Lee Thomas

Long Fiction:The Turtle Boy” by Kealan-Patrick Burke

Short Fiction:Nimitseahpah” by Nancy Etchemendy

Fiction Collection: Fearful Symmetries by Thomas F. Monteleone

Anthology: The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, 17th Annual edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link and Gavin Grant

Nonfiction: Hellnotes edited by Judi Rohrig

Illustrated Narrative: Heaven’s Devils by Jai Nitz

Screenplay: (tie) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind by Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry and Pierre Bismuth Winner and Shaun of the Dead by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright Winner (Tie)

Work for Young Readers: (tie) Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker Winner and Oddest Yet by Steve Burt Winner

Poetry Collection: The Women at the Funeral by Corrine De Winter

Alternative Forms: The Devil’s Wine edited by Tom Piccirilli

Lifetime Achievement Award: Michael Moorcock

2005 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: (tie) Creepers by David Morrell and Dread in the Beast by Charlee Jacob

First Novel: Scarecrow Gods by Weston Ochse

Long Fiction:Best New Horror” by Joe Hill

Short Fiction:We Now Pause for Station Identification” by Gary Braunbeck

Fiction Collection: Twentieth Century Ghosts by Joe Hill

Anthology: Dark Delicacies edited by Jeff Gelb and Del Howison

Nonfiction: Horror: Another 100 Best Books by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman

Poetry Collection: (tie) Freakcidents by Michael A. Arnzen and Sineater by Charlee Jacob

Speciality Press Award: Necessary Evil Press

Richard Laymon (President’s Award): Lisa Morton

Lifetime Achievement Award: Peter Straub

2006 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

First Novel: Ghost Road Blues by Jonathan Maberry

Long Fiction:Dark Harvest” by Norman Partridge

Short Fiction:Tested” by Lisa Morton

Fiction Collection: Destinations Unknown by Gary Braunbeck

Anthology: (tie) Retro Pulp Tales edited by Joe Lansdale and Mondo Zombie edited by John Skipp

Nonfiction: (tie) Final Exits: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of How We Die by Michael Largo and Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero’s Visions of Hell on Earth by Kim Paffenroth

Poetry Collection: Shades Fantastic by Bruce Boston

Speciality Press Award: PS Publishing

Lifetime Achievement Award: Thomas Harris

2007 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: The Missing by Sarah Langan

First Novel: Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Long Fiction:Afterward, There Will Be A Hallway” by Gary Braunbeck

Short Fiction:The Gentle Brush of Wings” by David Niall Wilson

Fiction Collection: (Tie) Proverbs for Monsters by Michael A. Arnzen; 5 Stories by Peter Straub

Anthology: Five Strokes to Midnight edited by Gary Braunbeck and Hank Schwaeble

Nonfiction: THE CRYPTOPEDIA: A Dictionary of the Weird, Strange & Downright Bizarre by Jonathan Maberry & David F. Kramer

Poetry Collection: (Tie) Being Full of Light, Insubstantial by Linda Addison and VECTORS: A Week in the Death of a Planet by Charlee Jacob & Marge Simon

Lifetime Achievement Award: John Carpenter, Robert Weinberg Richard Laymon

President’s Award: Mark Worthen, Stephen Dorato, Christopher Fulbright

2008 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Novel: Duma Key by Stephen King

First Novel: The Gentling Box by Lisa Mannetti

Long Fiction:MIRANDA” by John R. Little

Short Fiction:The Lost” by Sarah Langan

Anthology: Unspeakable Horror edited by Vince A. Liaguno and Chad Helder

Collection: Just After Sunset by Stephen King

Nonfiction: A Halloween Anthology by Lisa Morton

Poetry: The Nightmare Collection by Bruce Boston

Lifetime Achievement Award: F. Paul Wilson and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

Specialty Press Award: Bloodletting Press