Shirley Jackson Award Nominees 2015


May 9, 2015 by Laird

Congratulations to those appearing on this year’s Shirley Jackson Awards slate. The Jackson is a great award and, by design, it’s no easy feat to make the ballot. I had the honor of writing forewords to Burnt Black Suns and Unseaming, two horror collections that take strikingly different vectors in their approach. These are books that exemplify the state of weird fiction and horror, circa 2015. I’m disappointed that Scott Nicolay’s Ana Kai Tangata didn’t make the ballot as I think it’s probably the strongest weird fiction debut in years. However, the universe is in balance as Simon Strantzas is finally accorded some of the recognition he is due from US awards committees.

My other favorite in the collection category is After the People Lights Have Gone Off. Stephen Graham Jones is at the top of my list when it comes to contemporary horror. And finally, congratulations to Lockhart & Steele for the Children of Old Leech. I had serious reservations, but the authors and editors knocked it dead. My thanks to those involved for working so hard to make it a terrific anthology.

From the official Shirley Jackson Awards page:

Boston, MA (May 2015) – In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.

The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.

The nominees for the 2014 Shirley Jackson Awards are:


  • Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals)
  • Bird Box, Josh Malerman (Ecco)
  • Broken Monsters, Lauren Beukes (Mulholland)
  • Confessions, Kanae Minato (Mulholland)
  • The Lesser Dead, Christopher Buehlman (Berkley)
  • The Unquiet House, Alison Littlewood (Jo Fletcher Books)


  • The Beauty, Aliya Whiteley (Unsung Stories)
  • Ceremony of Flies, Kate Jonez (DarkFuse)
  • The Good Shabti, Robert Sharp (Jurassic London)
  • The Mothers of Voorhisville, Mary Rickert (, April 2014)
  • We Are All Completely Fine, Daryl Gregory (Tachyon)


  • “The Devil in America,” Kai Ashante Wilson (, April 2014)
  • “The End of the End of Everything,” Dale Bailey (, April 2014)
  • “The Husband Stitch,” Carmen Maria Machado (Granta)
  • “Newspaper Heart,” Stephen Volk (The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, Spectral Press)
  • “Office at Night,” Kate Bernheimer and Laird Hunt (Walker Art Center/ Coffee House Press)
  • “The Quiet Room,” V H Leslie (Shadows & Tall Trees 2014, Undertow Publications/ChiZine Publications)


  • “Candy Girl,” Chikodili Emelumadu (Apex Magazine, November 2014)
  • “The Dogs Home,” Alison Littlewood (The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, Spectral Press)
  • “The Fisher Queen,” Alyssa Wong (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May/June 2014)
  • “Shay Corsham Worsted,” Garth Nix (Fearful Symmetries, ChiZine Publications)
  • “Wendigo Nights,” Siobhan Carroll (Fearful Symmetries, ChiZine Publications)


  • After the People Lights Have Gone Off, Stephen Graham Jones (Dark House)
  • Burnt Black Suns:  A Collection of Weird Tales, Simon Strantzas (Hippocampus)
  • Gifts for the One who Comes After, Helen Marshall (ChiZine Publications)
  • They Do The Same Things Different There, Robert Shearman (ChiZine Publications)
  • Unseaming, Mike Allen (Antimatter Press)


  • Letters to Lovecraft, edited by Jesse Bullington (Stone Skin Press)
  • Fearful Symmetries, edited by Ellen Datlow (ChiZine Publications)
  • The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, edited by Mark Morris (Spectral Press)
  • Shadows & Tall Trees 2014, edited by Michael Kelly (Undertow Publications/ChiZine Publications)
  • The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron, edited by Ross E. Lockhart and Justin Steele (Word Horde)

Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) wrote such classic novels as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, “The Lottery.” Her work continues to be a major influence on writers of every kind of fiction, from the most traditional genre offerings to the most innovative literary work.

Congratulations to all the nominees.

7 thoughts on “Shirley Jackson Award Nominees 2015

  1. tom fattorusso says:

    LB are you planning a singular collection of all Jessica Mace stories and also without giving too much away is there somewhere this character is going i.e. an actual narrative arc?

    BTW- SGJ rightly in the mix- anthology is killer and that cover is chill- inducing !

    Love and Blood (LB)

  2. Laird says:


    Yes. It will be two or three years down the road. There is a developing arc. I’m working on, or have written, about a dozen Mace-related stories.

  3. Mike Allen says:

    Flattery will get you everywhere! Thanks, Laird!

    Seriously, I’m thrilled to be in since excellent company.

  4. Jonathan Sprague says:

    Mr. Baron, you expressed your disappointment about Scott Nicolay’s “Ana Kai Tangata” not making a ballot. (By the way, I agree. The anthology was first rate.) That got me wondering: excluding your own work when, if ever, were you most disappointed (or even outraged) that a work of weird fiction was not nominated for a ballot position or, if nominated, not selected as a winner?

  5. Laird says:

    I am often dissatisfied with the Stokers as the HWA hypes itself as the face of horror. Having served as a Jackson juror, I know it’s impossible to acknowledge every story or book that deserves a nod–and tagging something as award-worthy is perilously divisive. However, year after year the Stoker ballot is provincial. The Locus Reading List is damned insular as well.

  6. Thank you Laird, for your (continuing) kind words about my work. I have a great respect for the Shirley Jackson Awards, as I do for Shirley Jackson, and I would be very honored to find my work nominated someday, but the final ballot is so strong that I can no more complain than I could pick a favorite. I wish all the nominees all the best.

  7. Thank you, also, Jonathan. I am so very glad you enjoyed Ana Kai Tangata as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Swift to Chase

Man with No Name

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 14,703 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: