Horror writing prize to honour James Herbert

Pan Macmillan is to launch a horror writing prize in memory of author James Herbert.

The prize will tie in with the 40th anniversary of the first publication of Herbert’s debut The Rats, for which Pan Macmillan will be releasing special anniversary paperback and collectors’ hardback editions in May and September respectively with an exclusive new introduction by Neil Gaiman.

Herbert, author of 23 novels, died in March 2013. His novels have sold over 1.7m copies via Nielsen BookScan.

The James Herbert Award for Horror Writing will be awarded annually, and aims to discover and publicise a new generation of horror authors. The winner will receive a cheque for £2,000 and a specially designed commemorative statuette.

The inaugural award, to be judged by a panel chaired by Herbert’s daughter Kerry, is open to horror novels written in English and published in the UK and Ireland between 1st January 2014 and 31st December 2014.

Jeremy Trevathan, Herbert’s long-time editor and publisher, said: “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.”

Herbert’s wife Eileen said: "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.”

The first year of the award will be overseen in partnership with the Serendip Foundation, the administrative organisation behind the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

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."

Entries should be submitted to Pan Macmillan via the online submission form by 1st October 2014.

A judging panel will be announced this summer, and a shortlist of five novels will be announced in January 2015 with the winner announced at an awards ceremony in March 2015.

Image by Julie Dennison