the-rats-cover_1For 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!


For immediate release, Monday 7 April 2014

Horror Writing Prize in memory of James Herbert is launched     

 ‘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 available at www.jamesherbertaward.com 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."

For more information, please contact Liz Sich or Jane Acton at Four Colman Getty; 020 3697 4241/020 3697 4247; [email protected]; [email protected]


Notes to Editors

Submission forms and full details of Terms & Conditions are at www.jamesherbertaward.com

  1. The James Herbert Award is open to publishers established in the UK to submit any full-length horror novel for adults that is first published by them in the English language in the UK between 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014 inclusive. Works which comply with that criteria are still eligible even if they may have been previously published in other territories whether in English or other languages.
  2. Works must be submitted by an eligible publisher and works are only eligible for entry if they are not self-published and/or the author has not contributed to the cost of publication. Entry is limited to submission of a maximum of three (3) works per eligible publisher imprint.
  3. Entries should be submitted for consideration by midnight on 1st October 2014.
  4. Entries must be registered online via jamesherbertaward.com.
  5. In addition to online registration via the Website, publishers must submit a total of seven non-returnable print copies of each work in either publication version or advance proof. All copies must be sent to The James Herbert Award, Communications Dept., Pan Macmillan, 20 New Wharf Road, London, N1 9RR.
  6. Where digital copies of works are available these should also be submitted via the submission form in addition to the print copies to facilitate the judging process.
  7. Digital-only publications will be accepted subject to condition 2, and must be supplied in multiple e-reader formats including Mobi, ePub and PDF.
  8. Where a work is to be released in digital only format one year, and print the next, the publisher may choose which year to submit the work, but it can only be considered once.
  9. The shortlist of five authors will be announced in January 2015 with the winner shall be announced at an Award ceremony in March 2015.

About James Herbert

James Herbert, who died on 20 March 2013, was the author of twenty-three novels, published in 34 languages including Russian and Chinese and which have sold over 70 million copies worldwide.  They include The Fog, The Dark, The Survivor, The Magic Cottage, Sepulchre, Haunted, Fluke and Creed, and of course The Rats trilogy, all considered to be classics of the genre.  His later bestsellers included Portent, The Ghosts of Sleath, '48, Others, Once..., Nobody True and The Secret of Crickley Hall all of which enhanced his considerable reputation as a writer of depth and originality.

His last novel, Ash, was published in hardback in 2012 and in paperback in 2013, just a week before his death.

James Herbert was born in London’s East End on 8 April 1943.  At the age of ten, he won a scholarship to St. Aloysius Grammar School, Highgate, and aged sixteen started studying graphic design, print and photography at the renowned Hornsey College of Art.  He then found work in an advertising agency where he rose to the rank of Art Director and Group Head.

He began writing his first novel when he was 28.  Ten months later he had completed The Rats, conjuring a London overrun by mutant, flesh-eating rodents.  He submitted the manuscript to six publishers, three of whom replied.  Of those, two rejected the novel and one accepted it.  On its publication in 1974, the first printing of 100,000 copies sold out in three weeks, firmly establishing him as Britain’s leading writer of horror and one of the country’s greatest popular novelists.

James Herbert was awarded the OBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours list, the same year he was made the Grand Master of Horror by the World of Horror Convention. 

James and his wife, Eileen, married in 1967 and had three daughters, Kerry, Chair of Judges for The James Herbert Award for Horror Writing, Emma, and Casey.