I know I’ve said this before, but I’m going to say it again: I wouldn’t be a published author if it wasn’t for the Australasian Horror Writers Association (AHWA).
I happened across the AHWA online way back in 2009, just when I was starting to find I had a penchant for writing dark stories. The AHWA was just what I needed. Not only did I discover that there was quite a large community of horror writers, there was also a burgeoning small press industry dedicated to getting horror into the hands of readers.
What’s more, the AHWA wanted to help fresh authors get their work published. The AHWA’s mentor program was a godsend and I applied immediately and was extremely lucky to make the cut. Paired with Melbourne author Brett McBean, I managed to get my first two novellas published with a small press in the US in 2011 and I haven’t looked back. A chance discussion with another member led me to connect with late author and friend Rocky Wood, who I eventually worked with on Witch Hunts. It also turned out he was president of the Horror Writers Association, so I truly was in the right place at the right time.
After the success of the mentor program, I always wanted to give back to the AHWA for the assistance they gave me, and in 2014 I joined its committee as a general member. As we are all volunteers, it wasn’t always an easy task. The last few months have been particularly tough for the AHWA, but I didn’t want to see it fail.
To that end, I recently decided to taken on the role of President of the AHWA. It’s going to be a massive job to get the organisation back on mission, but I have an incredible group of people on the revitalised committee coming along for the ride. I’d even go so far as to say that the members of the horror community are the some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet (despite their dark predilections). I’ve been absolutely blown away by the support and generosity of the members.
I hope to do my utmost to keep the AHWA growing, but most of all, I hope to see other authors in the future telling people that they wouldn’t be where they are if it wasn’t for the Australasian Horror Writers Association.
A new call for membership in the AHWA will be going out soon. If you are an emerging Australasian horror author I hope you’ll take the next step and join our community. To those who are continuing to support the AHWA I say thank you. With your help, the AHWA will only get stronger.