Though he may come from a prominent family of authors, with his father Stephen King standing out as the most prominent member of the brood, writer Joe Hill entered the world of fiction determined to succeed on his own merits. Seeking to avoid both the favoritism and criticism that he may attract based on his family name, Hill created his pen name in part based on a shortened version of his given name, Joseph Hillstrom King, and partly as an homage to famous labor rights activist Joe Hill, for whom the writer was named. After attending Vassar College to attain a degree in English, Hill started publishing short stories beginning with 1997's "The Lady Resists," and within two years, Hill won the A.E. Coppard Long Fiction Prize for his third published story, "Better Than Home." Tending toward darkly fantastical themes, Hill found an audience for his works in outlets like Subterranean Press, Postscripts, and literary journals like The Clackamas Literary Review. After publishing several more stories over the next few years, Hill compiled many of these works into a 2005 book entitled 20th Century Ghosts. The tome would prove especially successful for Hill, garnering him a Bradbury Fellowship, a Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection, the British Fantasy Award for Best Collection, and the International Horror Guild Award for Best Collection. Rumors began to circulate as to Hill's family background, and in 2006, Vanity Fair published an article effectively "outing" him as the son of famed horror author Stephen King. Hill had proved his abilities by this point, and publicly acknowledged his parentage the following year. He would publish his first novel, Heart Shaped Box, in 2007, followed by another, Horns, in 2010. The latter was adapted into a feature film in 2013 by horror director Alexandre Aja, with Daniel Radcliffe in the leading role.