Silver Hammer Award

The Horror Writers Association periodically gives The Hammer Award (also known as the Silver Hammer Award) to an HWA volunteer who has worked diligently for the organization, often unsung and behind the scenes. The award was instituted in 1996, and is decided by a vote of HWA’s Board. The award is so named because it represents the careful, steady, continuous work of building HWA’s “house” — the many institutional systems that keep the organization functioning on a day-to-day basis. The chrome hammer is also a satisfying allusion to The Beatles’ song, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” a miniature horror story in itself.

michael-knostThe 2015 Silver Hammer Award winner is Michael Knost, who provides one of HWA’s most beneficial opportunities to new members by chairing the organization’s Mentorship Program, which matches up newer writers with experienced pros for a year-long intensive training.

Michael Knost is a Bram Stoker Award®-winning editor and author of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and supernatural thrillers. He has written in various genres and helmed several anthologies. His Writers Workshop of Horror (Woodland Press) won the 2009 Bram Stoker Award® in England for superior achievement in non-fiction. His critically acclaimed Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy (Seventh Star Press) is an Amazon #1 bestseller. His novel, Return of the Mothman (Woodland Press) was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award® for superior achievement in first novel.

Currently the Mentorship Program chair for the Horror Writers Association, Michael has taught writing classes and workshops at several colleges, conventions, and online. He resides in Chapmanville, West Virginia with his wife, daughter, and a zombie goldfish. To find out more, visit

PAST RECIPIENTS of The Hammer Award include:

2014 – Rena Mason
2013 – Norman Rubenstein
2012 – Charles Day
2011 – Guy Anthony de Marco
2010 – Angel Leigh McCoy
2009 – Kathryn Ptacek
2008 – Sephera Giron
2006 – Donna K. Fitch
2005 – Stephen Dorato
2004 – Robert Weinberg (second time)
2003 – Douglas E. Winter
2001 – Nancy Etchemendy
1998 – Sheldon Jaffery
1997 – Lawrence Watt-Evans; Robert Weinberg