2012 World Horror Convention Film Schedule

For those of you going to the 2012 World Horror Convention make a point to drop in on the film festival. These are always a neat part of horror conventions. Not only is it a chance to get a sneak peek at new movies you’ve been eagerly awaiting, but also to get in on the ground floor with some films about to make it big time. Hope to see you there.

The following announcement was written by the 2012 World Horror Convention planning committee.

Here is the film festival schedule for WHC 2012. We will be featuring entries from filmmakers across the U.S. as well as England and Australia, with a special emphasis on locally made (Utah) films. The festival will also serve as the world premiere location for “Down the Road” starring Clint Howard, and “Abraham vs. Zombies” from The Asylum. With the exception of “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies” all films will be screened in the Blue Spruce Room:

Film Festival ~ Screening Schedule

Thursday, March 29th

4:00 p.m. “The Bake Street Haunting” (feature film)

6:00 p.m. “Down the Road” (feature film)

Friday, March 30th

1:00 p.m. “Bite Nite” (feature film)

3:00 p.m. International Horror Shorts, featuring “Alistair,” “On Edge,” “Love Bug,” and “Night of the Little Dead”

4:00 p.m. Viscera Film Festival Shorts, featuring 10 horror films from women filmmakers

5:00 p.m. John Skipp Screening, featuring “Stay at Home Dad” and “Rose: Fetching Danny” with filmmaker Q&A

6:00 p.m. “Ground Zero” (feature film) with filmmaker Q&A

Saturday, March 31st

12:00 p.m. “Disembodied” (short) and “Disembodied 2” (feature film) with filmmaker Q&A.

2:00 p.m. Favorite Shorts, featuring “Skye,” “Seance,” and three films from Killship Productions: “Living With Zombies,” “Ben Whitman Hears Voices,” and “Offing Adolf” with filmmaker Q&A

3:00 p.m. Best of Utah Shorts, featuring “Monstrosity,” “4,” “Capital Punishment,” and “Doppelganger” with filmmaker Q&A

4:30 p.m. “The Jar” (short) with filmmaker Q&A

5:00 p.m. “An Evening with My Comatose Mother” with filmmaker Q&A

6:00 p.m. Best of Utah Shorts 2, featuring the premiere of a zombie music video from Amorous, “Amendment,” “Serum X,” “All Night Laundry,” and “The Brink” with filmmaker Q&A

10:30 p.m. “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies” (feature film)

Sunday, April 1st

12:00 p.m. Best Feature Film

2:00 p.m. Best Short Films

3:30 p.m. Awards Ceremony

4:00 p.m. 2012 WHC Film Festival Ends

Bram Stoker Awards On the Web!

I just received the following press release from HWA president Rocky Wood. If you can’t make it to the 2012 World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City you can still catch the presentation ceremony for the Bram Stoker Awards on Saturday night. It’ll be like the Oscars, sort of, except, you know, without all the beautiful people.

For immediate release Contact Lisa Morton, HWA Stoker Event Organizer
March 22, 2012 vp@horror.org

Bram Stoker Awards™ to be webcast live on March 31, 2012

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is proud to announce that it will again webcast the Bram Stoker Awards™ presentation live in 2012. The Banquet is being held in Salt Lake City and the event will begin live on the internet at 9 p.m. (Mountain Daylight Savings Time) on March 31. The ceremony will take about 1 ½ hours to complete.

The webcast will be presented at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bramstokerawards2012.

This year the Bram Stoker Awards celebrate 25 years as the leading writing Awards in the horror and dark fantasy genre: http://www.stokers2012.org/ . The Bram Stoker Awards Banquet is sponsored by Samhain Publishing.

Among the nominees are those for the Vampire Novel of the Century (a special Award to mark the centenary of the death of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula) – they include Richard Matheson for I Am Legend, Stephen King for Salem’s Lot and Anne Rice for Interview with the Vampire. This Award is sponsored by Jeremy Wagner.

Lifetime Achievement Awards will also be conferred on iconic horror writers Joe R Lansdale and Rick Hautala, both of whom will be in attendance to accept the Award. And this year’s presenters include Robert McCammon (Swan Song), one of the HWA’s Special Guests.

Bram Stoker Awards for Poetry, Non-Fiction, Fiction Collection, Anthology, Screenplay, Short Fiction, Long Fiction, Young Adult Novel, Graphic Novel, First Novel and Novel will be presented. Among the nominees in these categories are Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Mike Mignola, Jonathan Maberry and Joe Hill. Episodes of The Walking Dead, American Horror Story and True Blood are nominated in the Screenplay category. A full list of the nominees appears at:

http://www.horror.org/blog/?p=2331.

More information about the Bram Stoker Awards may be found here:http://www.horror.org/stokers.htm .

The HWA is the leading writer’s organization for horror and dark fantasy and has nearly 800 members worldwide. More information here: http://www.horror.org .
Media enquiries to Lisa Morton via vp@horror.org.

Five Reasons Great Horror Stories Work

 

Five Reasons Great Horror Stories Work

There is a fine art to scaring people, and like all art, it is the product of raw talent honed by craft and technique.  No one can teach raw talent, of course.  You either have it or you don’t.  But craft and technique can be taught, and in the following few sections I’m going to walk you through five basic characteristics that all great horror stories share.  Learn to incorporate these into your stories, and you’ll find your stories make more sense and, hopefully, sell better.

Creating Insularity

First, let’s talk about your story’s setting.

The key to good, memorable horror is much the same as it is in the business world – location, location, location.  Many beginning writers come up with potentially great settings, be it an abandoned town, or a graveyard, or a mill, or a big scary house, and then fail to carry through on its potential.  As a result, their great setting never rises above the tired old mainstays of B grade horror.

Think about all the great works of horror you’ve ever read.  My guess is that, in every single one, you can point to the setting and say, “That right there sealed the deal for me.  When the mother and child were trapped in that Pinto in Cujo, I was scared.  When the priests entered Regan’s room in The Exorcist, I felt her bedroom door close behind me.  When Pennywise the Clown spoke to the children ofDerry,Maine through the drains in their bathrooms, I wanted to escape.”

But why does Stephen King’s story about a creepy old hotel in the middle of nowhere get the scares, and Joe Schmoe’s story set in a similar creepy old hotel fail to deliver?  Well, think of some of the words I used in the previous paragraph.  “Trapped.”  “The door close behind me…”  “Escape.”  In every sense, the effect created is one of insularity.  Through the characters in the story, we get a sense that we are closed off from the rest of the world, that we are no longer free or able to run away, that we are shut in with something very bad.

This explains why old graveyards, or cabins deep in the woods, or small towns, are such common destinations for the horror story.  But it doesn’t explain why they work.  The challenge, you see, is to show, through your characters, the setting going through a change.  The way your characters perceive the setting is key.  Think about the movie Jaws for a second.  Remember when Brodie, Quint and Hooper are headed out to sea, and they get drunk and trade sea stories?  They’re laughing and having a great time.  Some might say they’re simply whispering in the dark, but the result is effective nonetheless.  The sea seems a peaceful, welcoming place.  But the next day, as they engage the shark, and it starts to wreck their boat, they begin to feel small and helpless, fighting for their lives in a hostile, brutal environment.  The sea has not changed, obviously.  It’s the same sea that seemed so comforting for them the night before.  What’s changed is their perception of the sea.  The characters in all great horror stories show this changing reaction to the settings in which they find themselves.

To achieve this in your own writing, you need to make readers feel that what was once familiar and comforting has suddenly become oppressive and menacing.  In other words, you need to change your characters’ attitude toward the setting, and you do this by showing the setting before and after the horror takes the stage.  If you’re sending your protagonist into a small town, you might start off by making that small town feel comforting, friendly, perhaps even nostalgic.  Once you’ve established this, you’re free to turn the thumbscrews.

There’s no set rule on how long you have to take to create this feeling of comfort, of normalcy, but you do need to create it.  Horror is, after all, the intrusion of the extraordinary into the ordinary, and if you’re going to make that work you have to first create normalcy.  A comfortable, familiar setting that suddenly becomes hostile and claustrophobic is the best way to do this.

Characters Who Act Scared

Remember the opening to the movie Jeepers Creepers, where the brother and sister are driving their old car across an endless plain of corn fields?  Their banter is light, their mood is easy.  The countryside seems peaceful and inviting.  Within seconds of the opening credits, we feel like we understand this situation.  But then the big black truck comes roaring into view and begins chasing them.  The kids manage to get away from it.  But then, a short distance later, they spot the driver dumping body bags into a sewage pipe, and everything changes.  The setting that once seemed so serene now seems vast and empty, and they are stranded and alone, as though at sea.

Jeepers Creepers is a perfect example of how the setting needs to change to create a sense of horror.  But there’s another side to that equation.  Your setting alone can’t create the horror.  We, the readers, need someone to show us why that change is scary.  In other words, we need viewpoint characters who get scared so that we get scared vicariously through them.  The characters are our surrogates, in other words.

That may seem obvious, but it really is a fundamental component of the horror story.  Look at The Wizard of Oz, for example.  Dorothy encounters a talking lion, a talking scarecrow, a big giant robot-looking thing with an axe, and…well, you get the idea.  The point is, any one of those things should be scary.  Personally, scarecrows creep me out.  But not Dorothy.  She starts signing, links arms with them, and goes skipping down the yellow brick road.  Her reaction informs us as to how to take all this.  If she had run away shrieking in terror, we too, would be horrified.  But she doesn’t.  She starts signing.  And we sing right along with her.

So the trick here is to have your characters tell us how the setting is changing, and why that change is terrifying.  Think about Jack Torrence’s slow slide into insanity at the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s The Shining.  Gradually we realize that the hotel is possessing him, changing him.  We get some of this from Jack himself, but most of it through his wife and young son, Danny.  They witness the change, and because they are afraid of it, our sense of empathy places us right there with them, scared out of our minds.  

A Reason to Stay

While we’re on the subject of characters, let’s talk about why they don’t just up and leave the moment things start getting weird.

Here again, we need to frame our discussion in terms of the setting.

Why is your small town there, out in the middle of nowhere?  Same with your blasted ancestral manor, or your haunted motel, or your big spooky mill outside of town.  Why are they there?  I mean economically.  What is the economic reason for being for your setting?

Give that a lot of thought before you start writing your horror story.

This isn’t just one of those silly writing exercises, either.  Knowing your setting’s economic reason for being is essential to good characterization, especially when the horror gets turned up later in the story.

Consider AmityIslandin Jaws.  The little community exists primarily as a summer tourist destination for the mainlanders.  This little detail develops into a major plot point when Sheriff Brodie tries to convince the town council to shut down the beaches.  We know the shark is out there, killing, and when the council refuses to listen – because, of course, to do so would be to go contrary to their economic interests – we feel our stomachs turn with mounting dread.  We know the town council’s shortsighted greed is about to paint the beaches red with blood.

Think of the house in The Amityville Horror.  Or the house in Poltergeist.  In both cases, the family has a vested economic incentive – no, scratch that; an imperative – to stay.  They are economically tied to the setting.  They have dumped a lot of money into the house, right?  I mean, could you just walk away from your house if you were mortgaged up to your eyeballs?  Remember that Eddie Murphy stand up skit where he makes fun of The Amityville Horror.  He says, “You know, you put a black family in that situation, and the house says, ‘Get out!’ they out the motherfucking door.”  This is what he’s alluding to.  A surprising amount of good horror is built from economic necessity.  There’s a reason why the protagonists can’t, or won’t, just get up and leave.

Now, if you’re setting is a hotel room in a major city – like “1408” – or a little girl’s room – like in The Exorcist – you’re going to have an easy time of this.  Clearly, the hotel room exists for temporary habitation.  The girl’s room, well, that’s her room.

But don’t think that your job stops there.  A key element to effective settings in horror is the feeling of being cut off.  It’s that insularity I was speaking of earlier.

Try to apply that here.

Consider Regan in The Exorcist.  In the early stages of her possession, when Pazuzu is fighting for a way in, she is effectively trapped by her circumstances.  She can’t go to her mom and say, “Look, we need to move because I’m getting possessed.”  She’s powerless.  She’s a kid.  She’s cut off from escape.

The same thing applies to the little kids of Derry, Mainein Stephen King’s IT.  They know they are on Pennywise’s menu, but they can’t do a thing about it because they are economically tied to the town through their parents.

Part of rounding out your characters (that is, making them believable and giving them problems we care about) comes from identifying this economic bind that holds them to the horror.

A Logical Connection

A few years ago a young horror writer asked me to blurb a book he had just written.  I said, “Sure, I’ll take a look.”  It was this story about a guy who goes after a demon who has abducted his girlfriend.  It was well written, full of great action sequences and lots of creepy scenes in this abandoned hospital.  But there was a gaping hole in the narrative.  The hole was so big, in fact, that I couldn’t, in good conscience, blurb the book.

You see, nowhere in those 300 pages had he made a connection between the main character – or his girlfriend, for that matter – and the demon.  Basically, you just had a big ugly demon that swoops out of the blue one day and grabs this girl.  The boyfriend then marches into the ruins of the hospital and starts fighting for his beloved.

Do you see the problem?

There’s no connection between the good guy and the bad guy.  There’s no reason for this bad guy to be involved with that good guy.  Why did the demon want the girlfriend?  Where’s the fully developed connection between them?  What’s the reason for all of this?  Yeah, I realize that bad things sometimes happen seemingly without reason, but that is because we lack the appropriate perspective.  It may seem totally random for a serial killer to scoop children off the street, but that is because we are on the outside of the killer’s pathology.  Notice that the best horror stories give us a glimpse into this pathology.  And it is precisely because the young writer I told you about failed to give us that glimpse that the story felt unfocused.  It failed to resonate.  And as a result, the scares just weren’t there.

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of this relationship.  There has to be a connection between the protagonist and the antagonist.  If they don’t belong together, your story simply won’t make sense.  And if it doesn’t makes sense, it won’t scare anybody.

A Monster with Depth

A convincing and truly frightening villain, be he a person or a demonic force such as a ghost or a monster, is one of the most important components of a horror story because the bad guy generates most of the conflict.

Now I’m saying villain, but really the word is just a convenient catchall.  This is horror we’re writing, after all, so we could be dealing with a human bad guy, or a monster such as a werewolf, vampire, serial killer, or whatever.  Maybe your bad guy is the demonic, long dead presence that haunts your dark old hell house as a ghostly presence.  Or maybe it’s the elements, such as in Algernon Blackwood’s story “The Willows,” or maybe you’re writing about giant rats, whatever.  It doesn’t really matter, at least on the surface, who or what the actual bad guy is because what counts – what makes him, or it, scary – is the human element.  The more human, the scarier.

The best stories are those that bring the villain – the conflict, if you will – into the clearest focus.  This is especially true in horror, but it applies to all the other genres too.  If your story is going to work, your villain must be genuine.  Your monster must have depth.

But what does that mean?  Well, as I’ve already mentioned, your good guy and bad guy, protagonist and antagonist, have to fit together.  There has to be a reason they are going to lock horns.  Randomness isn’t going to scare anyone.

Secondly, your bad guy ought to have some degree of moral authority.  Even if his or her conduct is reprehensible, even unforgivable, there needs to be some logic to why they are doing the evil that they do.  Look at the creature in Frankenstein.  Victor has essentially created life from death, and in the process usurped the role of God.  He has become the creature’s God.  Now imagine yourself as the creature.  Your God stands over you and says, “You are so vile, so wretched, that I refuse to acknowledge your existence.  I turn my back on you.”  Imagine the shock at being denied by God.  The creature, in his rage, strikes out at Victor.  He begins to systematically murder Victor’s family.  He is a smart organism, fluent in seven languages, well-versed in the morality of the Bible, but he deliberately turns his back on that and engages in conduct he knows to be evil because at least that way his God will be forced to acknowledge him.  That is moral authority.  And that is why Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the cornerstone of horror fiction.

Not every monster will lend itself so easily to human moral standards, of course, but everything can be imbued with a motive, a purpose.  As a horror writer, your goal is to give your monster that purpose.

Bad Moon Books and Hippocampus Press Win the HWA’s Specialty Press Award

I just received the following press release from the Horror Writers Association’s president, Rocky Wood.  My hearty congratulations go out to Roy Robbins of Bad Moon Books and Derrick Hussey of Hippocampus Press for earning the HWA’s Specialty Press Award.  This is high honor for two publishers who have done so much for the horror genre over the years.  Nicely done, Roy and Derrick.  This is an honor well-deserved!

By the way, I’m especially excited for Roy, who released my short novel THE RED EMPIRE back in 2010 and will be releasing another short novel of mine called LOST GIRL OF THE LAKE here in the next few weeks.  Way to go Roy!

HWA Specialty Press Award

Bad Moon Books, of Garden Grove, California, and Hippocampus Press of New York, New York will both receive the Horror Writers Association’s Specialty Press Award for 2011. The Award will be presented during the gala Bram Stoker Awards™ Banquet to be held this year in Salt Lake City on March 31. Note: Both the Bram Stoker Awards™ and the Specialty Press Awards will be presented during the Bram Stoker Awards™ banquet at the World Horror Convention. For more information, please visit http://www.stokers2012.org/.

The annual Specialty Press Award recognizes a publisher outside the mainstream New York City publishing community that specializes in dark-themed fiction. Winners are typically “small presses” specializing in limited editions, small print runs, or the work of new and relatively unknown authors. The winner of the award is determined by a majority vote of the HWA Board of Trustees.

Roy Robbins’s Bad Moon Books emphasizes horror and publishes novels, novellas, single-author collections, and poetry. They publish both finely-bound limited editions and trade editions, and their authors have included Clive Barker, Bruce Boston, Kealan Patrick Burke, Michael Louis Calvillo, Scott Edelman, John Everson, Nate Kenyon, Gregory Lamberson, John Little, Lisa Mannetti, Lisa Morton, Gene O’Neill, Gord Rollo, John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow, David Niall Wilson, and many others.

Bad Moon was started by Robbins, who is also a genre specialist bookseller, in 2007; their first title was Vampire Outlaw of the Milky Way by Weston Ochse. Since then, four of their books have won Bram Stoker Awards™, and their books have also received Black Quill Awards and numerous Bram Stoker Awards™ nominations.

Derrick Hussey’s Hippocampus Press specializes in classic horror with an emphasis on the works of H. P. Lovecraft and other pulp writers of the 1920s and 1930s. They publish novels, collections, anthologies, non-fiction and poetry, mostly in trade editions, and they also publish the periodicals Dead Reckonings and the Lovecraft Annual. Authors published by Hippocampus include Algernon Blackwood, Ramsey Campbell, Lord Dunsany, Thomas Ligotti, H. P. Lovecraft, H. L. Mencken, A. Merritt, Adam Niswander, W. H. Pugmire, Clark Ashton Smith, Jonathan Thomas, and other authors, both classic and contemporary.

Hussey started Hippocampus in 1999 with S. T. Joshi’s annotated edition of Supernatural Horror in Literature by H. P. Lovecraft. In 2010, Hippocampus Press received a Nightmare Award, and their publications have also won a Black Quill Award and been nominated for two International Horror Guild Awards, the Spectrum Award, and the Bram Stoker Award. They have also published a five-volume edition of Lovecraft’s essays, the “Lovecraft’s Library” series (classic works which inspired Lovecraft), and the definitive two-volume biography of Lovecraft, I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft, by S. T. Joshi.

Past winners of the Specialty Press Award include Dark Regions Press, Tartarus Press, Delirium Books, Earthling Publications, PS Publishing, and Bloodletting Press. Cemetery Dance won the first Specialty Press Award in 1997.

For more information about Bad Moon Books, please visit for http://www.badmoonbooks.com/; for Hippocampus Press, visit http://www.hippocampuspress.com/.

The text of this release was written by Rocky Wood.

The Event Schedule for the 2012 World Horror Convention is Out!

The 2012 World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City is coming up next week.  I’ve got my plane tickets purchased, hotel room reserved, and bags packed.  It’s going to be a great time.  For those of you still undecided about going, here’s the schedule.  I’m going to be sitting on a panel, attending the HWA events on Saturday, and attending a number of book launch parties for anthologies I’ve taken part in recently.  I hope you can make it!

World Horror Schedule

THURSDAY 29 MARCH

3:00 PM
-Social Networking.  How blogs, facebook, twitter and other social media can help you network with others.
(Loren Rhoads (M), Lawrence C. Connolly, Lincoln Crisler, Derek Clendening)
-Religion in Horror.  It’s more than just exorcism.  Religion has always played an important role in horror.
(John W. Morehead, Eric James Stone, Jaleta Clegg (M), Michael R. Collings)

4:00:
-Poetry of the Weird from the Romantics to Lovecraft. A discussion of the history of “weird poetry” and some of the poets who wrote it.
(G. O. Clark, Michael R. Collings, Stephen M. Wilson (M), Linda Addison)
-Horror Film Festivals.  How to get involved and where to find them.
(Thomas M. Sipos, Blake Casselman (M), Stephen Graham Jones, Jonathan Martin, Mario DeAngelis)

5:00
-Breaking into Comics. The Managing Editor of Dark Horse Comics tells you what you need to know to break into the business.
(Scott Allie)
-A Vampire is NOT your boyfriend.  Why it’s not a good idea to fall in love with the undead.
(Tom Carr (M), Christine Morgan, Carter Reid, Jeff Carter)

6:00
Opening Ceremonies  A brief welcome to SLC.
(P.N. Elrod, hostess)

7:00
Poetry Readings
A stellar lineup of some outstanding horror poets reading their works.
-Book Bombs/Blasts.  How to get your book to shoot up the charts at Amazon and other sites.
(Michaelbrent Collings, Paul Genesse)
-Rev Mayhem Concert

8:00
-Poetry readings, cont.
-Classic Horror Movies.  What you really need to watch – and own.
(Thomas M. Sipos, Norman L. Rubenstein, Michael McCarty, Orrin Grey, Mike Marano
-Cutting Block Press/KillerCon party (what better way to start off a convention?)

9:00 PM
-Buffy and cult TV shows.  We still love ‘em.  Why they resonate with fans and forever live on in syndication, books and comics.
(Scott Allie, Leslie S. Klinger, Dana Fredsti(M), Alice Henderson)
-Why We Love Lovecraft.  His works are more popular than ever.  Come here why we love the grandfather of horror.
(Peter Cannon, Bobbie B. Wilcox, Eric Swedin (M), James Chambers, Ross E. Lockhart)
-Cutting Block Press/KillerCon Party, cont.
-Zombiance Concert

10:00 PM
-Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse: What you need to know when the zombies attack. (Don’t forget your Twinkies!)
(Tom Carr (M), Dana Fredsti, Yvonne Navarro, Weston Ochse, Stephen W. Booth)
-Writing a believable ghost story.  How can you make your paranormal seem, well, real?
(Ellen Datlow, Michaelbrent Collings, Christine Morgan, JoSelle Vanderhooft)
-Cutting Block Press/KillerCon Party, cont.

FRIDAY 30 MARCH

10:00 AM
-Laugh ’till you Die: The “Joys” of Humorous Horror
(Jeff Strand, Jaleta Clegg, Scott Allie (M), Tim Marquitz)
-Stephen King.  He’s gone beyond a genre writer to one of the legends of literature.  Why we read and study him over and over.
(Rocky Wood, Scott Edelman, Jason Brock, Blake Casselman (M), Michael R. Collings)
-Pre-Pitch Preparation Panel
Pitching your project is an art form and a learned skill. The purpose of this panel will be to give “pitchers” an idea of the “Do’s and Don’ts of Pitching Your Project”. So why not get the rules straight from the editors you plan to pitch this weekend? What better edge could you possibly have than hearing what those editors want from authors and the best way to deliver it? Show up early, take some notes, and prepare for the pitch sessions to follow immediately after!
(R.J. Cavender)

11:00 AM
-Understanding the Mind of a Serial Killer.  An expert looks at what makes a killer kill.
(Dr. Al Carlisle, PhD)
-A Short Look at Horror Fiction: why short fiction is still popular
(Gene O’Neill, John Skipp, Ellen Datlow, Stan Swanson (M), Darren O. Godfrey)
-Pre-Pitch Preparation Panel, cont.
Pitching your project is an art form and a learned skill. The purpose of this panel will be to give “pitchers” an idea of the “Do’s and Don’ts of Pitching Your Project”. So why not get the rules straight from the editors you plan to pitch this weekend? What better edge could you possibly have than hearing what those editors want from authors and the best way to deliver it? Show up early, take some notes, and prepare for the pitch sessions to follow immediately after!
(R.J. Cavender)

Noon
-The Art of Mike Mignola
(John Picacio, Mike Mignola)
-Writing Your First Novel: What you really need to know.
(Steven James Searce (M), John R. Little, John Hornor Jacobs, Simon McCaffery, Thomas Roche)

1:00 PM
-Sherrilyn Kenyon: Dark Hunter.  A Q & A with the Queen of Paranormal Fiction
-How Poetry can influence your fiction writing.
(Michael R. Collings, JoSelle Vanderhooft, Charlene C. Harmon, James Dorr, Roberta Lannes

2;00 PM
- The Tapestry of Horror: Words Horrific, Words Hilarious.” It will use examples from Lovecraft and others to talk about how horror writers use language to create horror–or misuse it to create unintentionally comic effects.
How horror as genre uses language to create a sense of the horrific
(Michael Collings)
-Women in Horror.  Some of the top women in their field talk about beign female in the horror industry.
(Ellen Datlow, P.N. Elrod, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lisa Morton, Kim Richards(M))

3:00 PM
P.N. Elrod Q&A
-The Digital Revolution: ebooks and the future of publishing.
(Guido Henkel, Joe Nassise)

4:00 PM
-The craft of writing comics (2-hour workshop)
(Scott Allie)
-Horror Makeup: Making it look good
(Mindy Trim, Michael McCarty,

5:00 PM
-The craft of writing comics (2-hour workshop, cont.)
(Scott Allie)
-What a horror author needs to know to write YA
(Derek Clendening, Lynne Hansen, Dan Wells (M), Jacob Ruby)

6:00 PM
Break

7:00 PM
Break

8:00 PM
Mass Autograph Signing

9:00 PM
Mass Autograph Signing, cont.

10:00 PM
-Cemetery Tour (hosted by Tom Carr and the Residual Hauntings Revived Team).  Space limited.

10:30 PM
-Gross Out Contest!  It’s back and better than ever!  Come root on your favorite readers and crown your champion!
(Hosted by Rain Graves)
-Dark Moon Digest Party
-Damnation Books Party
-Evil Jesters Press Party

SATURDAY, 31 MARCH

9:45 AM:
Introduction to “Celebrate HWA Day”
(6 panels/presentations to celebrate 26 years of the Horror Writer’s Association.)
(Lisa Morton)

10:00 AM
-Q&A with Robert McCammon
-Writing for Comics.  How it differs from other forms of writing and how to work with the art for better storytelling.
(Scott Allie, Mike Mignola, Howard Tayler (M), Brady Canfield)
-Pre-Pitch Preparation Panel
Pitching your project is an art form and a learned skill. The purpose of this panel will be to give “pitchers” an idea of the “Do’s and Don’ts of Pitching Your Project”. So why not get the rules straight from the editors you plan to pitch this weekend? What better edge could you possibly have than hearing what those editors want from authors and the best way to deliver it? Show up early, take some notes, and prepare for the pitch sessions to follow immediately after!
(R.J. Cavender)

11:00 AM
-Presentation by Dacre Stoker
-What an Editor Does
(Scott Allie, Don D’Auria, Ellen Datlow, Dave Wolverton (M))
-Pre-Pitch Preparation Panel, cont.
Pitching your project is an art form and a learned skill. The purpose of this panel will be to give “pitchers” an idea of the “Do’s and Don’ts of Pitching Your Project”. So why not get the rules straight from the editors you plan to pitch this weekend? What better edge could you possibly have than hearing what those editors want from authors and the best way to deliver it? Show up early, take some notes, and prepare for the pitch sessions to follow immediately after!
(R.J. Cavender)

Noon
Q&A with Joe Lansdale
-Vampires Through the Ages. From Bram Stoker’s Dracula to the myriad of modern bloodsuckers.  The on-going fascination with our favorite form of undead.
(Leslie S. Klinger, James Dorr, Hal Bodner (M), Thomas Roche, Ed Erdelac)

1:00 PM

-The Supernatural in Fiction.  Why it fascinates us and its place in horror and other genres of fiction.
(Sherrilyn Kenyon, Michaelbrent Collings (M), Rick Hautala, Michael L. Calvillo, Andrew Fuller,
-Real vs. Fictional Multiple Personalities.  The realities behind Disassociative Identity Disorder.
(Dr. AL Carlisle)

2:00 PM
HWA: Past, Present and Future
(Lisa Morton, Robert McCammon, Joe Lansdale)
-Writing for RPGs and Video Games
(P.N. Elrod, Angel McCoy, Guido Henkel, Travis Heermann,

3:00 PM
Q&A with Rick Hautala
-Music in Horror.  How it influences the “scar” and why we love it.
(Lawrence C. Connolly, Guy Anthony De Marco, John Hornor Jacobs, Rain Graves (M), Rio Youers)

4:00 PM
Horror Publishing
(Don D’Auria, others)
-The Art of John Picacio: A Song of Ice and Fire, Elric and more!
(John Picacio)

5:00 PM
Resonance in Storytelling
(Dave Wolverton)
-Disney’s Haunted Mansion
(Paul F. Anderson)

6:00 PM
Artists’ Reception

7:00 PM
Artists’ Reception

8:00 PM
HWA Bram Stoker Awards Banquet

10:30 PM

SUNDAY 1 APRIL

10:00 AM
-The Good, The Bad And The Ugly in Cover Art.
Industry professionals  Joe R. Lansdale, P.N. Elrod, Scott Allie, John Picacio, and Mike Mignola discuss their favorite recent horror/dark fantasy cover artworks as well as some of their not-so-favorite.
-Screenwriting Techniques.  Or, how to write a screenplay that works.
(Blake Casselman, Michaelbrent Collings (M), David Hayes, Hal Bodner,)
-WHS Board Meeting
World Horror Society meeting.  Want to know more about running WHS?  Want to run a convention?  Come to the meeting!

11:00 AM
-H. P. Lovecraft: The short stories
(Peter Cannon (M), Michael R. Collings, Scott Allie, Travis Heermann, Orrin Grey)
-Residual Hauntings Revived: A Look at Hauted Sies
(Tom Carr, RHR Crew)

Noon
-Scaring ‘em Young: MG horror
(Jacob Ruby, J. Scott Savage, Roh Morgon,
“Zombies, Vigilantes, and Antiheroes: The Ambiguities of Monstrousness in The Walking Dead”
(Kyle Bishop)

1:00 PM
-Collecting Horror.  What is collectable, why to collect and where to find the best stuff.
(Paul Anderson, Nick Montelongo (M), Allen Lewis)
Writing Groups
(Henry and Hollie Snider)

2:00 PM
-Paranormal Romance.
(Aaron Bennett, Kim Richards, JoSelle Vanderhooft, Hal Bodner (M))
-Classic Horror
(P.N. Elrod, Scott Allie, Robert McCammon, Eric Swedin (M), Joe McKinney)

3:00 PM
Da End: Closing Ceremonies and Gothic Belly Dancing

5:00 PM
Dead Dog Party

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