I had a great time in New York last weekend, participating in the 2011 Stoker Weekend put on by the Horror Writers Association. The “Stoker Weekend” is an annual professional writer’s conference that centers around the Bram Stoker Award ceremony, featuring business/professional meetings, public book signings, panel discussions for the national writer’s organization, the Horror Writers Association. I took lots of photos this time around, to try to capture the spirit of the event. Here are some of the highlights from my trip to Long Island:
+ Was greeted by many old friends and new readers at the massive autograph session that began the second I arrived at the hotel. I had tons of copies of my new book, Many Genres, but for some reason most folks seemed intrigued by my tiny bilingual chapbook, Skull Fragments (which sold out). Photos here.
+ Ran a great writing workshop called ‘Horror Unbound: Pushing Your Reader Off the Ledge’. I used an old comic strip I’ve always adored by Peter Kuper as a central motif in the class, where we discussed the “cautionary tale” and how to structure your story to generate surprises in readers…and I challenged everyone to “flaunt the license” that the genre gives a person.
+ On the “Pushing the Boundaries” panel, I got to shock the audience by reading a poem from Freakcidents (“Mutant Marcus”). We also had a pretty amazing conversation about various experiments with form that poetry offers genre writers. It was great sitting on this panel with Linda Addison, Kurt Newton, Chad Helder and Marge Simon.
+ Had lunch with Dacre Stoker, manager of the Bram Stoker Estate, and talked about his next book and the extreme efforts he’s taking to try to get a Stoker statue erected in Ireland.
+ Got to share “Don’t Stop Bleeding” and the traditional folk poem I made up from “The Ghost Bike on Childer’s Road” (from the book Legends of the Mountain State IV) on another poetry panel (called “Pellets of Poison”), and had fun sitting alongside Christopher Conlon, Bruce Boston, Marge Simon, Jill Bauman and Kurt Newton who also read some viciously potent and moving work.
+ Hung out a bit here and there with the wonderful Michael Knost, editor of Writers Workshop of Horror. Also had really good extensive conversations with all sorts of folks, like S.G. Browne (who taught me a lot about new media and has just released a cool book, Fated), RJ Cavender (who is doing great things for authors over at the editorialdepartment.com), and Jonathan Maberry (who is working on an exciting new book!).
+ Got to sample a fantastic Blue Point Toasted Lager from a gigantic baseball-bat-sized dispenser (sitting a top a giant baseball) with RJ Cavender and Boyd Harris from Horror Library/Cutting Block Press.
+ Ran a great book discussion and signing for my latest release (co-edited with Heidi Ruby Miller), Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction. Photos and report here.
+ Saw Lawrence Connolly masterfully run a panel on trends in new media for writers in the genre. Learned a lot here from the witty and hyper-intelligent folks on the panel — Matt Schwartz, SG Browne and Jonathan Maberry. What I learned made me feel good about my decision to start up the Michael Arnzen Social Network and encouraged me to expand some things beyond focusing so much on The Goreletter newsletter…though I really need to get the next issue out! Subscribe to get yours in the near future.
+ Attended the official book launch for Christopher Conlon‘s latest (and amazing) poetry anthology, A Sea Of Alone: Poems For Alfred Hitchcock (Dark Scribe Press, 2011). Everyone at the session read from the book — I may post a recording from this in the near future, if I’m able. All the poetry was mind-blowingly good. In addition to my reading of “Marnie Checks In,” I heard poems from Michael Calvillo, Kurt Newton, Christopher Conlon, Norman Prentiss, Lisa Morton, Martel Sardina, and Marge Simon. Photos here. And here’s an audio recording of Kurt Newton reading his poem “The 39 Steps” live.
+ During a free moment before the Stoker Award ceremony, I visited the famous Amityville house with all the Seton Hill alumnae (Sally Bosco, Kristin Dearborn, Paul Popiel) and faculty (me and Lawrence Connolly) from the Writing Popular Fiction MFA program who were in attendance. We stopped at Amity Harbor Spots Shop and found some cool team t-shirts. We now call ourselves “The Amityville Club” Photos here.
+ Attending the Stoker Awards banquet is always a blast. The food was phenomenal. I got to sit with my compadres from Seton Hill’s writing program, along with writer Tracy Sharp and her partner Jeff Van Worden. During the ceremony, I presented the poetry award along with the always-amazing Linda Addison, which was unforgettable. We read snippets from all the nominee’s work, before announcing the winner (Bruce Boston for his great book, Dark Matters). I was also later “surprisingly” called to the stage by emcee Jeff Strand for a funny skit with him that involved giving him a mock “instigation” series of prompts when he suffered from “presenter’s block”…I’ve posted a transcript of this goofery to the Instigation department here on gorelets.com.
Below is the winner’s list of all this year’s Stoker Awards. Be sure to visit my event gallery to see all the photos I took over the weekend.
HWA Announces 2010 Bram Stoker Award Winners
Superior Achievement in a NOVEL:
A DARK MATTER by Peter Straub
Superior Achievement in a First Novel (tie):
BLACK AND ORANGE by Benjamin Kane Ethridge
CASTLE OF LOS ANGELES by Lisa Morton
Superior Achievement in Long Fiction:
INVISIBLE FENCES by Norman Prentiss
Superior Achievement in Short Fiction:
THE FOLDING MAN by Joe R. Lansdale
Superior Achievement in an Anthology:
HAUNTED LEGENDS edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas
Superior Achievement in a Collection:
FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King (Simon and Schuster)
Superior Achievement in Nonfiction:
TO EACH THEIR DARKNESS by Gary A. Braunbeck
Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection:
DARK MATTERS by Bruce Boston
HWA 2010 SPECIALTY PRESS AWARD GOES TO DARK REGIONS PRESS
ANGEL LEIGH McCOY AWARDED 2010 SILVER HAMMER AWARD
MICHAEL COLANGELO AWARDED 2010 RICHARD LAYMON AWARD