Summer Scares 2019 Resources

Click here to immediately access the Summer Scares FAQ and Resource page so that you can add some professionally vetted horror titles into your reading suggestions and fiction collections for all age levels.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Becky's April Library Journal Horror Review Column

I have a new column with 8 reviews in the April issue of Library Journal.  Here is the link to the full text, but below are the the titles and my "three words." This is so they can be searchable here on the blog, but please note, all 8 titles have also been added to the Horror Reviews Index.

Eight Spring Horror Titles to Scare Your (Winter) Socks Off

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Resource Updates on This Blog

Today I have updated the Becky's Original Horror Lists, Articles and Presentations page of the blog by adding to the archive my two best lists from the end of 2019-- Becky's Best Horror of the Year and my Top 20 of the 2010s.

I have also updated the permanent link I keep on that page which links you to my most current Horror Presentation Slides to include the brand new presentation I will be giving later tonight. Details on that here. Slides on the page or here.

Finally, I have updated the Horror Review Index page which is listed by author. At some point I need to hire someone to make that a searchable database, but AFTER I finish writing my book.

Below are the recently added reviews. Click here for the full index:

Friday, March 13, 2020

HWA Librarians' Day COVID-19 Statement:

HWA Librarians' Day COVID-19 Statement:

Like everyone, the HWA Librarians' Day planners are following the events unfolding around the globe surrounding COVID-19.  Based on the information currently available, we presently intend for HWA Librarians's Day to take place as scheduled. We will keep you informed if that decision changes.  

We have confirmed with our host venue, Naperville Public Library, and they are constantly assessing the situation. As of now they have cancelled no programs, either their own internal ones or those scheduled by outside groups such as ourselves. 

That said, we believe strongly that everyone should make their own informed decisions regarding whether to attend our event, and you should not rely on us to advise you one way or another. We encourage you to visit for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. If you do not wish to attend the conference for any reason, we will provide you with a full refund of your purchase price.

To claim your refund, visit the "My Tickets page of Eventbrite" and click “Request a Refund.” You must request your refund within one business day prior to the conference.

If you have any questions about the conference, please feel free to email the organizers: Becky Spratford, bspratford [at] hotmail [dot] com or Karen Toonen, ktoonen [at] naperville-lib [dot] org

-- HWA Librarians' Day Planning Committee

On a side note, I would like to assure everyone that Librarians' Day will not be outright canceled forever. ARRT and the HWA are committed to holding a Librarians' Day sometime in 2020. So if you are registered, consider NOT canceling until you can see if you can come to a rescheduled date.

Monday, March 2, 2020

HWA and ARRT Librarians' Day Registration is LIVE

Click here to register
The Horror Writers Association and ARRT present the 4th Annual HWA Librarians' Day!

REGISTER HERE! Space is limited

About this Event

The Horror Writers Association and ARRT present the 4th Annual HWA Librarians' Day, a day long continuing education event featuring authors, reviewers, publishers, and librarians from all over the country. Whether you are a fan of horror or find it petrifying, all library workers will learn about matching books with readers.

All attendees get lunch, swag and free books.

Sponsored by: NoveList, Library Reads, Flame Tree Press, Sourcebooks, and Cemetery Dance

Tickets $65/HWA or ARRT Member, $75/Nonmember

Schedule of Events:

8:30-9am Registration, Coffee/Tea, Welcome

9-10am  The Scary Truth About Horror Reviews: Featuring New York Times Book Review Horror Columnist Danielle Trussoni, Booklist and Library Journal Horror Reviewer Becky Spratford, Cemetery Dance reviewer and owner of Night Worms Sadie Hartmann, and authors Melissa Prusi and Steven Hopstaken. Moderated by Ashley Rayner from the Chicago Public Library

10:15-11:15am  Horror and Libraries: A Not So Scary Partnership: Featuring authors J.H. Moncrieff and John Everson, academic librarians Gillian Cargile-King from Northern Illinois University and Christopher Clark from Southern Utah University, Konrad Stump from Springfield-Greene [MO] County Library, and a representative from NoveList. Moderated by Lila Denning from the St. Petersburg [FL] Public Library

11:30am-12:30pm  Summer Scares 2020: How to Feature Horror for All Ages at Your Library: Featuring members of the Summer Scares Committee and authors of the selected titles including author Stephen Graham Jones, Andy Davidson, author of the 2020 Adult Selection In the Valley of the Sun, Summer Scares programming coordinator Konrad Stump, librarian Lila Denning, and more. Moderated by Summer Scares coordinator Becky Spratford

12:30pm-1:15pm Buffet Lunch

1:15-2pm  One on One with the Business Man in Horror for All Aged Readers: Daniel Kraus and Becky Spratford in Conversation. Every attendee will go home with a copy of Kraus's forthcoming collaboration with the late George Romero, The Living Dead

2:15-3:15pm  Short Scares: Horror Novellas, Stories and Poetry: Featuring authors Stephen Graham Jones, J. G. Faherty, Cina Pelayo, and Sarah Read. Moderated by Christopher Clark

3:15-4:30pm  Meet Flame Tree Press: Editor Don D'Auria and Flame Tree Press authors John Everson, J.G. Faherty, J.H. Moncrieff, Melissa Prusi and Steven Hopstaken in conversation with Emily Vinci of the Schaumburg Public Library. Discussion will include their work, their favorite authors and horror for a public library audience.

A courtesy guest-room hotel block has been set aside at the Hotel Indigo Naperville Riverwalk at a rate of $165.00. The cut-off date to receive this discounted rate is April 10, 2020. The link below will bring you to the discounted block rate.

Once you click the link, click "Book Now" and the rate should load automatically. If it does not load automatically, plug the group code "HWA" into the Group Code Box and select the dates of stay in the Check-In and Check-Out sections. You may also call the hotel at 877-846-3446 and refer to the HWA code to receive the discounted rate.

If you have any questions, or get a notification that the hotel room block is sold out, email Becky Spratford at bspratford [at] hotmail [dot] com.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Women in Horror Month Interview with Me

I'm in Nashville at PLA but due to the work of past Becky and horror reviewer extraordinaire Sadie Hartmann, today I can bring you this interview she posted with me on the Cemetery Dance website.

Click here to read it.

I am happy not only to share what I do for horror promotion specifically but what all of us library workers do to help readers every single day.

Thanks for asking Sadie.

click here to read the interview

Friday, February 21, 2020

2019 Bram Stoker Award Finalists

Click here for the full press release. Congrats to everyone!


The 2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Final Ballot Special Internet Mailer
The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is pleased to release the Final Ballot for the 2019 Bram Stoker Awards®. The HWA (see is the premier writers organization in the horror and dark fiction genre, with over 1,600 members. We have presented the Bram Stoker Awards® in various categories since 1987 (see
The HWA Board of Trustees and the Bram Stoker Awards® Committee congratulate all of those appearing on the Final Ballot. Notes about the voting process will appear after the ballot listing.
2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Final Ballot
Superior Achievement in a Novel
Goingback, Owl – Coyote Rage (Independent Legions Publishing)
Malerman, Josh – Inspection (Del Rey)
Miskowski, S.P. – The Worst is Yet to Come (Trepidatio Publishing)
Murray, Lee – Into the Ashes (Severed Press)
Wendig, Chuck – Wanderers (Del Rey)
Superior Achievement in a First Novel
Amor, Gemma – Dear Laura (Independently Published)
Guignard, Eric J. – Doorways to the Deadeye (JournalStone)
Lane, Michelle Renee – Invisible Chains (Haverhill House Publishing)
Read, Sarah – The Bone Weaver’s Orchard (Trepidatio Publishing)
Starling, Caitlin – The Luminous Dead (Harper Voyager)
Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel
Bérubé, Amelinda – Here There Are Monsters (Sourcebooks Fire)
Dávila Cardinal, Ann – Five Midnights (Tor Teen)
Gardner, Liana – Speak No Evil (Vesuvian Books)
Marshall, Kate Alice – Rules for Vanishing (Viking Books for Young Readers)
Nzondi – Oware Mosaic (Omnium Gatherum)
Salomon, Peter Adam – Eight Minutes, Thirty-Two Seconds (PseudoPsalms Press)
Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel
Bunn, Cullen – Bone Parish Vol. 2 (BOOM! Studios)
Gaiman, Neil – Neil Gaiman’s Snow, Glass, Apples (Dark Horse Books)
Liu, Marjorie – Monstress Volume 4: The Chosen (Image Comics)
Manzetti, Alessandro – Calcutta Horror (Independent Legions Publishing)
Tanabe, Gou – H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness Volume 1 (Dark Horse Manga)
Superior Achievement in Long Fiction
LaValle, Victor – Up from Slavery (Weird Tales Magazine#363) (Weird Tales Inc.)
Manzetti, Alessandro – The Keeper of Chernobyl (Omnium Gatherum)
Taborska, Anna – The Cat Sitter (Shadowcats) (Black Shuck Books)
Tantlinger, Sara – To Be Devoured (Unnerving)
Warren, Kaaron – Into Bones Like Oil (Meerkat Shorts)
Superior Achievement in Short Fiction
Chapman, Greg – “The Book of Last Words” (This Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Stories) (Things in the Well Publishing)
Kiste, Gwendolyn – “The Eight People Who Murdered Me (Excerpt from Lucy Westenra’s Diary)” (Nightmare MagazineNov. 2019, Issue 86) 
Landry, Jess – “Bury Me in Tar and Twine” (Tales of the Lost Volume 1: We All Lose Something!) (Things in the Well Publishing)
O’Quinn, Cindy – “Lydia” (The Twisted Book of Shadows) (Twisted Publishing)
Waggoner, Tim – “A Touch of Madness”(The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias) (LVP Publications)
Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection
Chiang, Ted – Exhalation: Stories (Knopf)
Jonez, Kate – Lady Bits (Trepidatio Publishing)
Langan, John – Sefira and Other Betrayals (Hippocampus Press)
Read, Sarah – Out of Water (Trepidatio Publishing)
Tremblay, Paul – Growing Things and Other Stories (William Morrow)
Superior Achievement in a Screenplay
Aster, Ari – Midsommar (B-Reel Films, Square Peg)
Duffer Brothers, The – Stranger Things (Season 3, Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt) (Netflix)
Eggers, Robert and Eggers, Max – The Lighthouse (A24, New Regency Pictures, RT Features)
Flanagan, Mike – Doctor Sleep (Warner Bros., Intrepid Pictures/Vertigo Entertainment)
Peele, Jordan – Us (Monkeypaw Productions, Perfect World Pictures, Dentsu, Fuji Television Network, Universal Pictures) 
Superior Achievement in an Anthology
Brozek, Jennifer – A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods (Pulse Publishing)
Datlow, Ellen – Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories (Gallery/Saga Press)
Golden, Christopher and Moore, James A. – The Twisted Book of Shadows (Twisted Publishing)
Guignard, Eric J. – Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly, Monsters, and Hot Rod Horror (Dark Moon Books)
Wilson, Robert S. – Nox Pareidolia (Nightscape Press)
Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction
Beal, Eleanor and Greenaway, Jonathan – Horror and Religion: New Literary Approaches to Theology, Race, and Sexuality (University of Wales Press)
Earle, Harriet E.H. – Gender, Sexuality, and Queerness in American Horror Story: Critical Essays (McFarland)
Heller-Nicholas, Alexandra – Masks in Horror Cinema: Eyes Without Faces (University of Wales Press)
Kachuba, John B. – Shapeshifters: A History (Reaktion Books)
Kröger, Lisa and Anderson, Melanie R. – Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction(Quirk Books)
Superior Achievement in Short Non-Fiction
Kiste, Gwendolyn – “Magic, Madness, and Women Who Creep: The Power of Individuality in the Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman” (Vastarien: A Literary Journal Vol. 2, Issue 1)
Liaguno, Vince A. – “Slasher Films Made Me Gay: The Queer Appeal and Subtext of the Genre” (LGBTQ+ Horror Month: 9/1/2019, Ginger Nuts of Horror)
Renner, Karen J. – “The Evil Aging Women of American Horror Story” (Elder Horror: Essays on Film’s Frightening Images of Aging) (McFarland) 
Robinson, Kelly – “Film’s First Lycanthrope: 1913’s The Werewolf” (Scary Monsters Magazine #114)
Weich, Valerie E. – “Lord Byron’s Whipping Boy: Dr. John William Polidori and the 200th Anniversary of The Vampyre” (Famous Monsters of Filmland, Issue #291)
Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection
Addison, Linda D. and Manzetti, Alessandro – The Place of Broken Things (Crystal Lake Publishing)
Cade, Octavia – Mary Shelley Makes a Monster (Aqueduct Press)
Lynch, Donna – Choking Back the Devil (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
Scalise, Michelle – Dragonfly and Other Songs of Mourning (LVP Publications)
Simon, Marge and Dietrich, Bryan D. – The Demeter Diaries (Independent Legions Publishing)
Wytovich, Stephanie M. – The Apocalyptic Mannequin (Raw Dog Screaming Press) 
Works appearing on this Ballot are Bram Stoker Award® Nominees for Superior Achievement in their Category, e.g., Novel, and everyone may refer to them as such immediately after the announcement.
Important Notes for those Appearing on the Final Ballot:
If your work appears on the Final Ballot (i.e., you are the author, agent, editor, publisher, or publicist) and you wish to provide a link allowing Voting Members to read the work, there will be a SPECIAL FINAL BALLOT INTERNET MAILER issued on or around February 25.
If your work was listed on the Special Preliminary Ballot Internet Mailer it will be relisted automatically and you need not email or query.
If it was not on the Special Preliminary Ballot IM, please email the Internet Mailer editor at with the details as soon as you can, but no later than February 24 (links will not be accepted for this Special IM after February 25). You may offer to send electronic copies; provide reading copies on a website; or provide physical copies. Anyone validly representing a work appearing on the Final Ballot may submit via this method, whether or not they are HWA members (this includes the author, agent, editor, publisher, or publicist of the work).
Do NOT spam Voting Members; this is a severe breach of etiquette – Active and Lifetime (voting) members tend to notice such breaches and may consider them when determining which works to vote for on the Ballot.
If your work appears on the Final Ballot, you may also post the fact that your work is available to be read for Bram Stoker Award® consideration ONCE, and only once, here: Stoker Eligible Work). Note: Only members may post at this Forum but members are encouraged to post on behalf of non-members who may appear on the Ballot. You may also offer your work for Bram Stoker Award® consideration ONCE, and only once, here: Listed in the Wild Apricot menu as “Works for Consideration”. 
February 28: Stoker Final ballot dispatched – please note only Active and Lifetime Members can vote. If you are an Active or Lifetime Member and do NOT receive your electronic ballot link by March 1, please first check your spam/junk mail filter, make sure your email address is updated in Wild Apricot, then write the Ballotmaster with a brief message about the issue. Note that Ballots are sent to the same email address as the Newsletter and the Internet Mailer. It is the responsibility of Members to keep their email address up to date in Wild Apricot or by advising the administrator of any issues with your membership account at Late Ballots cannot be accepted under any circumstances.
March 15: The 2020 Bram Stoker Awards® Recommendation sheet goes live and the 2020 Bram Stoker Awards® Juries open to Submissions. Members should hold any Recommendations for works published in the calendar year 2020 until the HWA Bram Stoker Award® Recommendations list is live.
Members wishing to submit work published in 2020 to the relevant Jury should read the information at the Bram Stoker Awards® website before doing so here:
March 15: The Bram Stoker Awards® final ballot closes at 11:59pm U.S. Pacific Standard Time. Any ballots received after this time will be discarded.
April 18: The 2019 Bram Stoker Awards® announced during the Annual Bram Stoker Awards Banquet® held during the StokerCon™ 2020 in Scarborough, England.
Bookings and information at: Note: Banquet Tickets are separate from the Convention Membership and should be purchased directly from the website.
Please direct any questions regarding the Final Ballot announcement to
Any questions regarding your voting ballot to 
Your membership/account information to
If your work appears on the Final Ballot and you have any questions or want to provide information for the Special Preliminary Ballot Internet Mailer write to