StokerCon 2016 was the inaugural convention sponsored by the Horror Writers Association, highlighting the genre with panel discussions, readings, writing workshops, booksignings and presentations… culminating in the Bram Stoker Award banquet, awarding the genre’s top practitioners with the coolest trophy in the world.
It was a blast. Lots of great writers were up for and won the trophy, including some of my closest friends in the business from Raw Dog Screaming Press and Seton Hill U’s MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. My workshop on “Making the Reader Squirm” went very well, engendering plenty of squirmy moments and good writing by the class. I (somehow) did a 9am poetry panel the next day too. As always, there’s too much to remember, too many good things to recount, and many things forgotten until someone reminds me later on. Instead, I’ll just share some photos I managed to take that weren’t too blurry or incriminating, and share them below with some sloppy captions. I regret that I did not get photos of everyone I spent time with, so a lot is unfortunately not here. I enjoyed laughing with everyone; you know who you are.
Look fun? You should come to the next one, to be held in Long Beach on the Queen Mary, with George R.R. Martin headlining. Better yet, join the Horror Writers Association.
It awakens. Arrival in Vegas.
Chatting with Jeff Strand, Patrick Freivald and Kya Aliana at the registration table. Great people.
Jimmy Z Johnston and his son had lots of StokerCon gear in a stock. I said I’d buy a hoodie if I won at the tables. I lost.
I appreciated the dark way they used flamingos in the pocket program.
Kristin Dearborn has a cool tattoo.
John Palisano at the Madhouse signing with John Skipp… photobombed!
Dark Regions sponsored a signing of the Madhouse book. It was… well you know… a Madhouse.
Roy Robbins gave me these rare galleys of The Bitchfight. I held a giveaway for one copy (“find me at the con IRL and tell me the code”) on twitter — and Stephanie Wytovich won!
A great gang to chat with at the after party.
Lunch with Bill Nolan, Steve Tem, Jason Brock…and everyone else not pictured here…at Margaritaville. It was fun until it was too much fun.
Catching up with Bitchfight publisher, Roy Robbins.
There really are flamingos at the Flamingo. They are all pathological gamblers.
I taught a workshop in “Making the Reader Squirm.” It started by making THEM squirm into the corner of the room.
Notes from “Squirm Theory” at the “Making the Reader Squirm” workshop.
Cousteau Christopher reads a sick scene he wrote involving a squid in the Squirm class.
What happened in this conference room will not stay in this conference room.
Oh, and yes people actually worked in my workshop on “Making the Reader Squirm.” They read these stories… great stuff.
Tim Waggoner, Jonathan Maberry, Steve Rasnic Tem at the “Scary Out There” book signing.
A funny selfie at Caeser’s with Raw Doggers Jen Barnes and Stephanie Wytovich. I spent a lot of time with these guys, and enjoyed every second.
Spotted this postcard on the registration table. I wonder what this coloring book is about? Oh! Back it.
Joe Borelli meets the awesome Nikki Guerlain outside the Stoker Banquet.
Publisher Jennifer Barnes and future Raw Dog Screaming writer Kristin Dearborn.
Jason Brock was a rockstar in this jacket.
RDSP at the Stoker Banquet: Maria Alexander, Jennifer Barnes, Michael Arnzen, Stephanie Wytovich, Lucy Snyder.
Lucy Snyder and Nicole Cushing with their Stoker trophies from the night! Hurrah!
Visiting the poet’s table: Mary Turzillo, David Cowen, Arnzen, and guest of honor Marge Simon.
Michael Bailey won a Stoker and then sealed it in this nifty golden box!
A stolen shot of Maria’s notes for the First Novel award presentation. (Amen, it speaks the truth!)
Mentor of the year, Tim Waggoner
R.L. Stine shakes John Dixon’s hand for winning the YA Stoker award.
Jeff Strand and Kelly Laymon … and Richard Laymon’s ashes.
Lucy Snyder with her SECOND trophy for Fiction Collection.
Venessa, Joe and Wyto… a formidably fun gang of writers.
The Dowdys! What a great time I had, getting to meet Joe-la and her husband Steve.
John Palisano with his freshly minted Stoker trophy for Short Fiction.
Winner of the Poetry Stoker: Alessandro Manzetti, from Italy!
Stephen Jones, Jason & Sunni Brock, and Arnzen at the afterparty.
Great people: Matt Schwartz, Lynne Hansen, John Urbancik