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.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Library Journal Horror Review Column: January 2020

2020 brings with it more jobs for me and expanded horror coverage for all of you. Library Journal has hired me to provide a horror review column 4x a year beginning with the January 2020 issue. I will also have columns in the April, June and August issues as well as continuing to provide a comprehensive horror preview article in July as I have done over the last two years, and continue to provide a fun list in the October issue for Neal Wyatt's Reader's Shelf column. [I like that one a lot because I get to choose the topic and the books don't have to be new.]

I am also working to include some bonus content with each column, more of a deep dive into a topic, author, or title with each column. This month I have a profile on Australian horror best seller, Darcy Coates and her flurry of titles coming to America in 2020. And, I already have a great interview planned for the April column too. The bonus content will be determined by trends, issues, news, etc... for each column; it will be flexible and give me a space to addresses timely content in the magazine.

I am very excited about this new venture and I am actively seeking titles to include in the column. Please contact me if you want to send me titles to consider for the column, especially if you are from a small press. I am NOT accepting manuscripts directly from authors at this time. Please have your publisher contact me and put "Library Journal" in the subject or go through my editor, Kiera Parrott.

I would also like to remind everyone that I am still reviewing horror for Booklist. For example, I have a review of the upcoming Grady Hendrix title combine in that publication soon. I will NEVER review a title in both places. This means some big name titles may not be in my Library Journal column but they will appear in Booklist.

Since these Library Journal horror reviews drop all at once, I will be posting the link to the column here on the blog as well as the bibliographic info for each title. This will also be the only place where my "Three Words" will appear. These reviews will also be cataloged in my Horror Review Index on the horror blog. Access is the key here. I want you to be able to find quality horror for your libraries and patrons through as many platforms as possible and as easily as possible. In my 2020 Reading Resolutions I talked about not making excuses anymore when it comes to horror coverage and I mean it.

Now let's do this. Bring on the horror...

or see below for links to individual reviews

The reviews from this column, in alphabetical order, with my "Three Words" are as follows:
  • Carson, Scott. The Chill. Emily Bestler: Atria. Feb. 2020. 448p. ISBN 9781982104597. $27. Horror
    • Three Words That Describe This Book: historical, fast paced, thriller-esque
  • STAR REVIEW: Graham Jones, Stephen. The Only Good Indians. Saga: S. & S. May 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781982136451. $26.99. Horror
    • Three Words That Describe This Book: lyrical, revenge, heartbreakingly beautiful
  • STAR REVIEW Katsu, Alma. The Deep. Putnam. Mar. 2020. 432p. ISBN 9780525537908. $27. Horror
    • Three Words That Describe This Book: menacing, historical details, occult
  • STAR REVIEW: Lullabies For Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror. Wicked Run. Jan. 2020. 258p. ed. by Mark Matthews. ISBN 9780578588841. pap. $14.99. Horror
    • Three Words That Describe This Book: chilling, thought provoking, timely issues
  • Marsh, Richard. The Beetle. Poisoned Pen: Sourcebooks. (Haunted Library of Horror Classics). Apr. 2020. 400p. ed. by Chelsea Yarbro & Les Klinger. ISBN 9781492699712. $14.99. Horror
    • Three Words That Describe This Book: forgotten classic, thought provoking, bugs!
  • Parker, K.J. Prosper’s Demon. Jan. 2020. 104p. ISBN 9781250260512. pap. $11.99. Horror
    • Three Words That Describe This Book: engaging narrator, demonic possession, great world building
  • Trussoni, Danielle. The Ancestor. Morrow. Apr. 2020. 400p. ISBN 9780062912756. $27.99. Horror
    • Three Words That Describe This Book: strong world building, timely issues, claustrophobic 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Becky's Top 20 Horror for Libraries of the 2010s

As part of the updated edition to my book, on which I am currently working, I have created a top 20 list of horror for libraries published from 2010-2019.

I want to be clear about the "for libraries" part. Those of you out there reading this from the general horror fiction world may have some disagreement with my choices, and I would say to you, you are absolutely correct.

This is NOT a list of the very best horror written by any person in these last 10 years, rather, it is a list of titles that are important to libraries for a variety of reasons, reasons I will expand upon in the book [I mean I have to give you a reason to buy it].

As the library world's horror expert, consider this a "must have" collection development list. If you have neglected your horror sections over the last decade, this list can help you get back in horror shape.

I will give a little bit of commentary on some of the titles and have comments about the overall state of horror over the last decade afterwards. Links go to my review where possible on Goodreads.

Finally, please note, I have no Stephen King listed here. He did have some great novels in the last decade, but you don't need me to tell you to buy his books. For the most part, they come into your collections automatically. I am here to help you improve and learn, not to tell you what you already know.

Here, from 20 to 1, is Becky's Top 20 Horror for Libraries of the 2010s

20. In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson
19. Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste
  • These are 2 important debuts from the last 2 years and it is why I put them at the start of the list. Davidson and Kiste are names that will continue to reverberate in the next decade. Get their books in your collections now. Davidson's second novel is out early 2020.
18. Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
  • Yes a YA title, but for libraries, this is the perfect entry zombie novel for adults who are curious about the trope but are also a little nervous about it being "too much." Also, this novel has one of the most beautiful endings to any book I have ever read. Seriously. 
17. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
  • When writing the second edition of my book, I argued with one of my editors that horror was moving to include science fiction, and not just fantasy, as the speculative origin of the horror. I stood my ground on that change and I think it is safe to say, I have been proven right many times over the last 10 years. The Shining Girls is an excellent example. This is a terrifying serial killer novel, but the fear is increased and amplified by the time travel. 
16. Children of the Dark by Jonathan Janz
  • The title that got him into library collections. This decade Janz established himself as the new "King of Pulps," and libraries should carry every title he puts out to serve this readership.
15. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
  • Historical horror of the previous decade was dominated by Dan Simmons, but Katsu is now the leader in this subgenre, one that also happens to have a wide cross over appeal with those who do not consider themselves horror readers.
14. The Troop by Nick Cutter
  • A brilliant pulp horror modern classic, also with a SF origin to the monster. But also here because it is an example of well respected literary authors who feel the need to use a pseudonym in order to write horror. This is a trend that is still going strong. Cutter is actually Craig Davidson. Another title I loved this decade, The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell is the pseudonym for Joshua Gaylord. And in early 2020 a new title The Chill will come out by Scott Carson who is really Michael Koryta. In this article, Koryta shares why he thought he needed a pseudonym for a supernatural story. It's a sad state that I hope the next decade fixes. I hope people are loud and proud about the horror they are writing. But that doesn't take away the fact that The Troop is awesome pseudonyms or not.
13. Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin
  • A short novel [technically a novella?] that reads exactly like the title says it will. You will read it in one or two sittings because you won't be able to stop. And it will never leave you.... Another title that pairs well with Fever Dream is The Grip of It by Jac Jemc
12. Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
  • Dutch horror master whose first novel in English was a huge hit. It came out of nowhere to claim the top spot on the 2017 RUSA CODES READING LIST for Horror. It used techniques from classic horror of the past and incorporated new technology very well. Also, looking back, it was one of the first examples of the reemergence of the popularity of the witch trope. And it is scary as heck.
11. Bird Box by Josh Malerman
  • If you work in a library you know this book needs to be on the list somewhere. It was a phenomenon both when it came out and then a few years later when it was a movie. Malerman is now one of the best known authors in the genre.
10. The Passage by Justin Cronin
  • Another example of the growing use of science fiction in horror during the decade. The first in a trilogy and, in my opinion, the best in the trilogy. When The Passage came out it was so different than anything that came before it. And it has since inspired many more like it, most recently, Wanderers. This is the big horror novel that began the decade and it is still having reverberations.
9. The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron
  • Barron's stories are technically brilliant and immersive for the reader. He is also one of the most influential writers for today's new voices. This is one a few story collection he released in the decade, but it is also his most accessible.
8. My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
  • Hendrix has to be on this list somewhere. Not only have his books been ubiquitous throughout the decade but he has also become on the the genre's spokespeople to the wider world. From his award winning Paperbacks from Hell to his essays on, on NPR, and all over social media, Hendrix proudly beats the drum for horror and its importance to all. I have chosen this title, his second because I feel like it proved that HorrorStor wasn't a one-hit-wonder. 
7. The Drowning Girl by Caitlin Kiernan
  • Kiernan is a horror master. One of the genre's greatest living writers. She is also one of its best practitioner of Lovercraftian and weird fiction. She has many novels, novellas, and story collections over the course of this decade but The Drowning Girl, is one of her best novels, period. It also is a great example of how she writes, both technically and the themes she explores.
6. Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones
  •  It's a werewolf tale yes, but it is also a coming of age story and about the underclass in America. This is the novel that brought Jones into libraries. 2020 will be his breakout year, but Mongrels foreshadowed this.
5. The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
  • The best horror novella has put out in the last decade, and they have put out a lot of them [Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones is a close second]. LaValle is becoming one of the biggest and most critically acclaimed horror novelists of our time, but this novella is also an example of the trend of the reclaiming of Lovecraft by people of color and women. In this case, LaValle is retelling an actual Lovecraft story from the POV of a black man. As I like to say about this novella [you can hear me say it here too], it is as if LaValle is giving Lovecraft the middle finger while at the same time acknowledging his importance and influence.
4. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
  • Hill has to be on this list somewhere, and NOS4A2 was what he called, his "horror thesis." I know this book is divisive. Personally I love it, but that is not why it is so high on the list. It's here because it is THE epic horror novel of the decade and Hill is one of the decades biggest names. 
3. The Fisherman by John Langan
  • A near perfect example of cosmic horror. Universally proclaimed the best horror novel of the year when it came out. A great introduction to modern cosmic/Lovercraftian horror for both readers and writers.
2. Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
  • I mean it was a finalist for the National Book Award and it 100% horror stories. Do I need to say more? This book was dark, weird, sexy, thought provoking, scary, and imaginative. 
1. A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
  • While this novel came out right in the middle of the decade, I feel like it marks a HUGE turning point for the genre. It is a story that harkens back to the genre's classics [most obviously We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Exorcist, but also many other titles are referenced here] and yet is also completely new. The way Tremblay crafts a horror story is gut wrenching. He breaks you, the reader throughout the course of the story and yet, you are glad you read it. You also never know if what you read was 100% real or if there was supernatural elements, and that is on purpose. I charged myself with picking THE NOVEL of the decade by creating this list and I honestly didn't argue with myself on this one.
Some general commentary about the make up of the list and what is says about the genre as a whole; again most of these topics will be explored in much greater detail in the new book:
  • It is 30% women and 30% own voices. However, one of the biggest trends in horror that I am seeing is the rise of women and diverse voices producing some of the best work in the genre today. I predict that in 10 more years, these numbers will inch toward 50%.
  • There are 2 works in translation on this list [Hex and Fever Dream] and one foreign author who writes in English [Beukes]. American audiences are going to start seeing a lot more horror from all over the world.
  • Stories are still important in horror. As are novellas.
  • Lovecraftian/Weird fiction got its foothold in this decade and has only continuing to grow. It is the most common trope right now.
  • I will not use the term "literary horror" because it is a term that demeans all horror in its assumption that only select titles within the genre have literary merit, when in fact every single horror book has literary merit. Instead, I think it is important to note that the "literary" world is finally noticing horror as worthy of their esteem. This list contains multiple titles that have been nominated for or won national literary awards.
I will have much more about this list and the current state of horror in the new book. It will be done by the end of 2020 and out for libraries to purchase in mid 2021. But this is a lot of useful information for you to use right now.

Finally, I would also like to thank librarian and horror author Corey Farrenkopf, for giving this list the once over and giving me invaluable feedback that improved this list.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Reviews Index Update

Here is a list of the reviews I have recently added to the Horror Review Index:

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Becky's Top 10 Horror of the Year

This post lists my Top 10 Horror titles that came out in 2019 with the caveat that I read them. This means there are some great books from 2019 that I did not get to, books which probably would have made it on the list if I had read them.

I will include some commentary and include some also rans in my descriptions. But the top 10 itself was revealed by me in this thread as part of #LibFaves19 on Twitter from December 9 through 18.

All titles are linked to my longer review [click on the title] which also have more readalike options and I have included my "Three Words That Describe This Book" to make it easier for you to book talk each title.

10. The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher [claustrophobic, psychologically intense, found book frame]: this title is based upon a book that influenced Lovecraft and has aspects of the folk horror subgenre. It hits on a lot of trends, yes, but it is also a compelling and intense read on its own

9. The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz [unsettling, book about reading, thought provoking]: the best pulp horror I read all year. It is also a horror book about what a good book means to its reader. And it has an ending that is like a dream come true for hard core readers. If you love to read and can handle some gore, this book is for you.

8. A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs [cosmic, disorienting, thought provoking]: This is a volume of 2 novellas packaged as one book. Novellas are very popular right now, and these are two of the best of the year.

7. Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories edited by Ellen Datlow [full range of horror, modern ghost stories, coming of age themes]: A diverse TOC with 27 new stories and only 3 reprints, these are the best voices of horror today writing 21st century ghost stories as good as the classics we have recycled for years.

6. Tinfoil Butterfly by Rachel Eve Moulton [disturbing, character centered, beautiful writing about evil]: Every year I include at least 1 first novel somewhere in my list and this is it. I have a longer post with my top 15 debut horror novels in alphabetical order here.

5. Violet by Scott Thomas [awesome world building, steadily building terror, character centered]: A just about perfect horror story that is so original. Just read my review and then read this book.

4. Wanderers by Chuck Wendig [epic, intense, character centered]: a story so unsettling it makes you physically uncomfortable and yet, written in a way that you literally cannot stop yourself from reading just a little bit more. One of the best "End of a World" stories I have ever read.

And now my top 3, two of which are a little unconventional.

3. Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa [Orwell updated, character centered, thought provoking]: technically this is a dystopian SF title, but there is true terror here and much of it inspired by a significant body horror story line. I wanted to include this title in any best horror list precisely because many of you have seen it on more traditional "best lists" or on best translated lists already. It is being marketed [rightly so] to literary fiction readers, but this is also a horror book. Don't forget that. You could give readers who enjoyed this title, The Rust Maidens by Kiste, last year's winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel.

2. The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O'Meara [biography/memoir mashup, lost history, impassioned]: This is a nonfiction title, but it is all about horror, especially the beginnings of the horror movie industry. There is also the real life horror of being a woman in the genre film industry, both in the past and up to the current day.

1. Growing Things by Paul Tremblay [strong narrative voice, uncomfortable, thought provoking] two years in a row for Tremblay! This collection, like the novel Cabin at the End of the World, has appeared on many overall best lists. I was one of the first people to read and review this book professionally [Booklist review] and I will be honest, I was tough on it going in because how could he top Cabin? But I could not deny how perfect it is.  I think this screen shot from my longer review on the main blog sums up the reading experience of this collection:
I did want to mention 2 other story collections that were top notch this year, one you have heard of and one you haven't. Links go to my Booklist review:

I am sure you already have the Hill, but do yourself a favor, go order the Chambers. It is excellent. 

So that's a wrap on my Top Horror for Libraries for 2019. I will be posting my overall "Best Books I Read in 2019" over on RA for All and my best Horror Horror fo the Decade here on the horror blog both on 12/27, my last work day of the year.

In the meantime, go read a scary book. Goodness knows I have given you plenty of worthy options.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Previewing 2020 Horror via Nightfire

As I am still working on wrapping up all of the end of the year Horror lists for you, why not get a head start on 2020?

Click here for an excellent preview of the 2020 Horror titles that Nightfire is most excited about. I have read a bunch already and can concur. Overall, this is a great pre-order list for most public libraries.

Horror is only growing in popularity and you want to be prepared for the increase in readers and requests.

Click here for the full article

Monday, November 18, 2019

Library Journal's 2019 Best Horror

In my role as the new Horror Columnist for Library Journal, I was part of the team that got to pick the Best Horror of the Year 2019.

Last year was the first time LJ pulled Horror out from Science Fiction and Fantasy, but they only consulted me quickly for my opinion and they only picked 5.

This year, I was part of the entire process and they gave us 10 books.

These authors showcase what makes horror such a popular genre right now. These are stories dealing with important issues, making readers think about their world. These are tales that are terrifying, but that are also really fun and enjoyable to read.

This is also a diverse group of titles and authors, covering all types of scares from he subtle to the terrifying. You will find stories, novels, collections, and anthologies, from presses big and small.

Below is the list of titles we decided upon. I am very proud to present this list and highly suggest you add every title to your library. In fact, I bet you have many of them already.
Best Horror 2019
by Stephanie Klose, Kiera Parrott, Becky Spratford Nov 18, 2019 | Filed in Reviews+
Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories. ed. by Ellen Datlow. Saga: S. & S. ISBN 9781534413467.
Best-selling authors Richard Kadrey, Nathan Ballingrud, Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Tremblay, Alice Hoffman, and others offer up ghost stories perfect for a dark and stormy night. 
Iglesias, Gabino. Coyote Songs. Broken River. ISBN 9781940885490.
In this mosaic novel set on la frontera, various characters confront the darkness at the heart of modern America—evils both supernatural and all too real. 
Jacobs, John Horner. A Lush and Seething Hell: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror. Harper Voyager. ISBN 9780062880826.
Jacobs offers two novellas—both of which revolve around the discovery of hidden works—that mine the deepest, darkest reaches of the human mind. Lyrical, hallucinatory prose captivates and terrifies. 
Janz, Jonathan. The Dark Game. Flame Tree. ISBN 9781787581876.
Best-selling author Roderick Wells hosts ten aspiring authors at a writers’ retreat. Everyone has secrets and their host may be a madman. Janz uses a well-mined genre trope to craft something unique and gloriously twisted. 
Kingfisher, T. The Twisted Ones. Saga: Gallery. ISBN 9781534429574.
While cleaning out her deceased grandparents’ home, Mouse discovers a journal describing the diabolic creatures who live in the surrounding woods—and soon encounters them herself. A modern, menacing Lovecraft-inspired tale. 
McMahon, Jennifer. The Invited. Doubleday. ISBN 9780385541381.
Helen and Nate move into a new home in Vermont, adjacent to a bog. Things get weird after Helen begins collecting artifacts from the town’s past, including a beam hewn from the tree used to hang a witch. Meanwhile, neighbor Olive searches for the haged witch’s hidden treasure in the bog. A thriller inside a murder mystery inside a ghost story. 
Moulton, Rachel Eve. Tinfoil Butterfly. MCD x FSG Originals. ISBN 9780374538309.
An intense and chilling story of a troubled woman and a young boy as they face down their demons and a coming snowstorm in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Moulton crafts a violent yet beautiful exploration of love, guilt, and pure evil. 
Thomas, Scott. Violet. Inkshares. ISBN 9781947848368.
After the tragic death of her husband, Kris returns to the place she first experienced pain and grief—her hometown of Lost Lake. The town is decaying and something evil grows at its core. The sense of dread builds slowly in this atmospheric, character-driven tale. 
Tremblay, Paul. Growing Things and Other Stories. Morrow. ISBN 9780062679130.
Tremblay tackles a range of mysterious subjects in this collection, from the title story about two young girls “Growing Things” in their basement to a tale in which a novelist’s fiction become fact. Tremblay’s unnerving creations leave just enough room for readers’ own imaginations to fill in the gory details. 
Wendig, Chuck. Wanderers. Del Rey. ISBN 9780399182105. 
After a comet passes over the Earth, dozens—and soon hundreds—of people begin sleepwalking toward an unknown destination. Responses across the world range from religious zealotry to apocalyptic ravings. Wendig shatters the boundaries of genre and literary fiction in this deeply unsettling saga.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

31 Days of Horror: Day 31-- Summer Scares 2020 and Librarians Day!

Happy Halloween! Today marks the end of 31 Days of Horror and the beginning of Summer Scares 2020. Below is the official press release, but I wanted to pull out a few pieces from that release and add a few extra details for my readers ONLY!

First, we are excited to announce that 2019 Summer Scares selected author Stephen Graham Jones has agreed to join our team as the 2020 Spokesperson for the program.

This means that Jones will be working to help us select the titles and prepare supplementary materials for the program. You can read more from Jones about his involvement in the full press release below. It was a pleasure to work with him after Mongrels was selected for the 2019 program, and we are thrilled that he is able to serve as our spokesperson for 2020.

This also means that Jones will be appearing at the 4th Annual HWA Librarians Day, which is also announced in the press release below. That event will be a stand alone event this year because StokerCon is in the UK. As many of you know, their library situation is very different than ours, so getting library workers to attend would be difficult.

Instead, Librarians Day 2020 will take place on May 7, 2020 at the Naperville Public Library 95th Street Branch. Details and signups will begin in January, however, I can confirm that along with Stephen Graham Jones, Summer Scares Programming Consultant, Konrad Stump will be in attendance, as well as author Daniel Kraus, who has confirmed with his publisher that every attendee will receive an advance copy of his hotly anticipated, sure to be a bestseller, summer release, The Living Dead, which he co-wrote with the late George A. Romero [and his estate] from a manuscript that was left behind when Romero passed away.

Happy Halloween! We have definitely given you many reasons to celebrate.

I hope you have enjoyed the last 31 Days as much as I have. Remember you can relive the October glory from this year or any year by clicking here to access past 31 Days of Horror posts, and you can do that all year long, not only in the month of October.

Now go eat some candy and get ready for another year of Summer Scares.




Los Angeles, California, October 30, 2019
The Horror Writers Association (HWA), in partnership with United for Libraries, Book Riot, and Library Journal/School Library Journal, is proud to announce the second annual Summer Scares Reading Program. Summer Scares is a reading program that provides libraries and schools with an annual list of recommended horror titles for adult, young adult (teen), and middle grade readers. It introduces readers and librarians to new authors and helps start conversations extending beyond the books from each list and promote reading for years to come.

Award-winning author Stephen Graham Jones and a committee of four librarians will select three recommended fiction titles in each reading level, totaling nine Summer Scares selections. The goal of the program is to encourage a national conversation about the horror genre, across all age levels, at libraries nationwide and ultimately attract more adults, teens, and children interested in reading. Official Summer Scares designated authors will also make themselves available at public and school libraries.

“The first stories told around campfires forever ago,” Jones says, “were about monsters the hunting party had seen one valley over, and when the hunter describing this creature raised their arms to re-enact this scary encounter, the shadow the flames threw back from those upraised arms went for millennia. We're still cowering in that shadow. To be afraid is to be human. Horror gifts that back to us with each story, each book, each movie, each story told around all our many campfires.”

The committee’s final selections will be announced on February 14, 2020 — National Library Lover’s Day. Jones, along with some of the selected authors, will appear on a panel to kickoff Summer Scares at a special stand-alone Librarians Day on May 7, 2020 at the Naperville, IL Public Library. Details on the event and sign up materials will be available in January, 2020. 

Between the announcement of the titles and the kickoff event, the committee and its partners will publish lists of more suggested titles for further reading. Official Summer Scares podcasting partner, Ladies of the Fright Podcast, will also record episodes in conjunction with Summer Scares.

Look for more information coming soon in Library Journal, School Library Journal, and Book Riot, as well as from United for Libraries and at the HWA’s website: For more information about Summer Scares, contact JG Faherty, HWA Library Committee Chair (, or Becky Spratford, HWA Secretary (

In addition, this year the Summer Scares program is pleased to welcome Konrad Stump as the new Summer Scares Library Programming consultant. Konrad is the Local History Associate for the Springfield-Greene County Library District in Missouri. Library workers and authors who are interested in cultivating horror programming can contact Konrad at for free assistance.

Summer Scares Committee Members:

Stephen Graham Jones is a former library worker and the author of sixteen or seventeen novels—including Mongrels, a previous Summer Scares selection—six collections, some comic books and novellas, and better than three-hundred short stories. Next are The Only Good Indians, Night of the Mannequins, and Memorial Ride. Stephen lives in Boulder, Colorado, where he's a Professor of Distinction and the Ivena Baldwin Professor of English at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has won the Texas Institute of Letters Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in fiction, the Bram Stoker Award, and four This is Horror awards.

Becky Spratford is a library consultant and the author of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror, second edition, and is currently working on the third edition. She reviews horror for Booklist Magazine, is the horror columnist for Library Journal and runs the Readers’ Advisory Horror blog, RA for All: Horror. Becky is also a Library Trustee member of United for Libraries and is currently serving as Secretary for the Horror Writers’ Association.

Carolyn Ciesla is a library director and academic dean at Prairie State College in the Chicago suburbs. She has worked as a teen librarian and reference librarian, and reviews horror titles for Booklist Magazine. She’s currently enjoying providing all the scary books to her teen daughter, and revisiting a few along the way.

Kiera Parrott is the reviews director for Library Journal and School Library Journal, where she oversees the review of more than 14,000 titles annually. Before joining the Journals, Kiera was head of children’s services at Darien Library (CT), and began her career as a librarian at the New York Public Library. Kiera is a lifelong horror fan and loves nothing more than curling up with a blood-curdling read on a rainy day. You can find her on Twitter @libraryvoice.

Kelly Jensen is a former librarian who works as an Editor for Book Riot (, where she runs the bi-weekly "What's Up in YA?" young adult newsletter and cohosts the popular "Hey YA" podcast about young adult literature Her books include the award-winning (Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health and Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, both from Algonquin Young Readers. She's also a well-known and long-time co-blogger at Stacked ( A life-long lover of all things scary, she finds herself eager to scream about horror reads for teens with those who love good thrills and chills.