Pan Macmillan Announces The James Herbert Award for Horror

For anyone who loves horror there are a couple of stalwarts of the genre that you won’t have missed reading—and James Herbert is one of them. With novels like The Rats, The Fog, and The Secret of Crickley Hall, he kept a whole generation and more enthralled with his supernatural stories of things that went ‘bump’ in the middle of the night. As a teenager he was one of my stable of horror authors along with Stephen King and I was so thrilled to have been able to meet him a few times after joining Pan Macmillan. We were all devastated by his loss last year.

Many of you will know that Pan Macmillan has a proud history of publishing horror from its Pan Book of Horror Stories through to August Derleth winner Adam Nevill. I personally, have a huge passion for horror so I can’t tell you how I excited I am to be involved with this particular project which we announced this morning!

I didn’t plan to write horror; it just poured out of me’ –James Herbert

To celebrate the life and career of one of the world’s best and most loved horror writers, Pan Macmillan and the estate of James Herbert have announced the launch of The James Herbert Award for Horror Writing.

The announcement coincides with the fortieth anniversary of the first publication of The Rats for which Pan Macmillan will be releasing special anniversary paperback and collectors’ hardback editions in May and September respectively and which will contain an exclusive new introduction by Neil Gaiman.

The prize, which will be awarded annually, aims to discover and publicise a new generation of horror authors working today and celebrate the boldest and most exciting talent in the genre. The winning author will receive a cheque for £2,000 and a specially-designed commemorative statuette.

The inaugural award will be open to horror novels written in English and published in the UK and Ireland between 1st January 2014 and 31st December 2014. Entries should be submitted to Pan Macmillan via their online submission form by 1st October 2014.

James Herbert’s daughter, Kerry, will head up the panel of five judges whose names will be announced in the summer.

A shortlist of five novels will be announced in January 2015 with the winner announced at an awards ceremony in March 2015.

Eileen Herbert, James Herbert’s wife, says,

“I was thrilled when Jeremy talked to me about this Award. Throughout his years as a storyteller Jim encouraged new and upcoming writers and I know he would be delighted and honoured that his name will continue this tradition.

“Thank you Pan Macmillan.”

Jeremy Trevathan, James Herbert’s long-time editor and Publisher, comments,

“Whenever a giant in their field passes away it’s up to those left behind to find an appropriate way to mark the memory. I’m so pleased that we will be remembering Jim in this way and I hope he would be happy and proud.”

Year one of the award will be overseen in partnership with the Serendip Foundation, the administrative organisation responsible for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. Serendip will work closely with Pan Macmillan and the judging panel as neutral third party organisers to establish and promote the award and ensure transparency throughout.

Serendip Director Tom Hunter said:

“Being asked to be involved with the inaugural James Herbert Award is a huge honour for Serendip and a personal pleasure for me as a long-time fan of James Herbert’s work. Serendip’s mission has always been to promote great books, and we welcome the opportunity to help launch a major new award in this way.”


More information is available on the TorUK blog, and the submission guidelines for the James Herbert Award can be found here.

Julie Crisp is the Editorial Director of Tor UK. She discovered the joys of science fiction after reading Dune at age ten and hasn’t looked back since. Enjoys reading and publishing all styles of fantasy, horror and mind-bendingly good science fiction. Loves single malts, discussions about covers, and red pens. Is quietly determined to take over the universe one book at a time. You can follow her on Twitter @julieacrisp.


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