The preliminary ballot for the 2014 Bram Stoker Awards has been announced by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) – and don’t be confused by the dating, as the Awards cover the calendar year 2014 but are judged and awarded in 2015. Voting is already open and “our voting members will vote on these Preliminary Ballots, with voting closing on February 15 (only Active and Lifetime Members are eligible to vote).”

As the HWA says, it is “the premiere writers organization in the horror and dark fiction genre, with over 1,300 members. We have presented the Bram Stoker Awards® in various categories since 1987.” Despite the recent debut of the Shirley Jackson Awards, the Stokers are still regarded as a gold standard in horror and dark fiction writing.

It will be interesting to see what this year’s Stokers produce, given that we are in what most commentators agree is an exceptionally strong period for the genre. But enthusiasts for some of the titles or figures on the list, be warned: “Works appearing on the Preliminary Ballot are NOT “Bram Stoker Award nominees” and authors, editors, publishers, and others should not refer to any of these works as such – doing so is a severe breach of etiquette – voting members tend to notice such breaches and may consider them when determining which works to vote for on the Ballot.” So I’ll only note in passing, with pleasure, the presence of David Cronenberg’s Consumed and Michael Bailey’s Inkblots and Blood Spots on the list.

The Final Ballot, which does actually constitute the Bram Stoker Award nominees for 2014 calendar year, will be announced on February 23.





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