The Board of Trustees of the Horror Writers Association has announced that this year’s Silver Hammer Award is being awarded to Kathryn Ptacek. The Hammer Award is given periodically to an HWA volunteer who has done a truly massive amount of work for HWA, often unsung and behind the scenes. It was instituted in 1996, and is decided by a vote of HWA’s Board of Trustees.

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 award itself is a chrome-plated hammer with an engraved plaque on the handle. The chrome hammer is also a satisfying allusion to The Beatles’ song, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” a miniature horror story in itself.

Kathy Ptacek has been HWA’s newsletter editor for the last decade, overseeing a staff of writers and proofreaders to produce the organization’s informative and entertaining monthly newsletter. Kathy has written novels in the fantasy, romance and horror genres, edited the acclaimed Women of Darkness anthologies, and was a 1989 Bram Stoker Award nominee for her short story “Each Night, Each Year.” Kathy also publishes and edits the popular Gila Queen’s Guide to Markets.

Past winners of the Silver Hammer Award include Lawrence Watt-Evans, Sèphera Girón, Robert Weinberg and Douglas Winter.

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