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, 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

Monday, February 17, 2020

Women in Horror Month: The Women Are Coming For You. Are You Ready?

As I mentioned in this post, Dead Head Reviews is running an excellent series of Women in Horror Month guest posts.

Sunday, they featured my piece entitled: "The Women Are Coming for You. Are You Ready?" It is essentially my assessment of the genre's best first novels over the last few years and the trend I have seen toward women writing a larger number of the best of these novels. I didn't even have time to dig into the novella and short story form, but there is evidence there [both with awards and critical acclaim] that women are also taking over. In general, women, and horror readers, are not longer worried about female authors being unladylike, rather they are starting to find their own voices in horror, and those voices are original and terrifying.

Click here to see my essay and here to read more in Dead Head Reviews wonderful series. They aren't just providing lists of women authors to read. They have curated interesting and useful information and content about the state of horror today, from the female perspective.

I am proud to have been a part of it.

Dead Head Reviews

Click here to read the entire essay

Friday, February 14, 2020

Announcing Summer Scares 2020

In celebration of National Library Lover’s Day, the Horror Writers Association (HWA), in partnership with United for Libraries, Book Riot, and Library Journal/School Library Journal, is delighted to announce the second annual Summer Scares Reading List, which includes titles selected by a panel of authors and librarians and is designed to promote horror as a great reading option for all ages, during any time of the year.

Each year, three titles will be chosen in the Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade categories, and for 2020 they are:

ADULT [links to my reviews]

In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson (Skyhorse, 2017)

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (Tor.Com, 2016)

She Said Destroy: Stories by Nadia Bulkin (Word Horde, 2017)

YOUNG ADULT [links to Goodreads]

The Agony House by Cherie Priest, Illustrated by Tara O’Connor (Scholastic 2018)

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova (Sourcebooks Fire, 2017)

Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics (Harlequin Teen, 2015)

MIDDLE GRADE [links to Goodreads]

Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh (HaperCollins, 2017)

Case Files 13: Zombie Kid by J. Scott Savage (HarperCollins, 2012)

Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith (Clarion Books, 2015)

The goal of the Summer Scares program is to introduce horror titles to school and public library workers in order to help them start conversations with readers that will extend beyond the books from each list and promote reading for years to come. Along with the annual list of recommended titles for readers of all ages, the Summer Scares committee will also release themed lists of even more “read-alike” titles for libraries to use when suggesting books to readers this summer and all year long. And, in order to help libraries forge stronger connections between books and readers, the Summer Scares committee will be working with both the recommended list authors and horror authors from all over the country, to provide free programming to libraries. From author visits (both in person and virtual) to book discussions to horror themed events, Summer Scares is focused on connecting horror creators with libraries and readers all year long.

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) will also be hosting a Library Day special stand alone program May 7, 2020 at the Naperville, IL Public Library. Authors from the Summer Scares reading list, as well as the committee members, will be in attendance. Authors and committee members will also be available throughout the year for on-site and/or remote appearances to libraries and schools to promote the Summer Scares program and discuss the use of horror fiction as a tool to increase readership and nurture a love of reading.

The Summer Scares program committee consists of award-winning author Stephen Graham Jones (Mongrels, The Only Good Indians, Night of the Mannequins), Becky Spratford (library consultant, author of The Readers Advisory Guide to Horror, 2nd Ed.), Carolyn Ciesla (library director, academic dean, book reviewer), Kiera Parrott (reviews director for Library Journal and School Library Journal), Kelly Jensen (editor, Book Riot, author of [Don’t] Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Health), and JG Faherty (HWA Library Program director, author of Sins of the Father, The Cure, and Ghosts of Coronado Bay).

The HWA is a non-profit organization of writers and publishing professionals, and the oldest organization dedicated to the horror/dark fiction genre. One of the HWA’s missions is to foster an appreciation of reading through extensive programming and partnerships with libraries, schools, and literacy-based organizations.

For more information about the Summer Scares reading program, including how to obtain promotional materials and schedule events with the authors/committee members, visit the HWA’s Libraries web page (, Becky Spratford’s Reader’s Advisory Horror Blog RA for All: Horror (, or the Book Riot, School Library Journal, Library Journal, or United for Libraries websites and social media sites.

You can also contact JG Faherty, HWA Library Program Director (libraries [at] horror [dot] org) or Becky Spratford, HWA Secretary (bspratford [at] hotmail [dot] com).

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Stephen Graham Jones Primes Us for the Second Wave of Summer Scares

Tomorrow at 10am eastern, we will be announcing the 9 titles selected for Summer Scares 2020. If you want to learn more about Summer Scares, including access to last year's information and resources click here for the Summer Scares Resources and FAQ page.

While you wait, impatiently, to learn exactly which horror titles we are recommending for the coming year, our 2020 Author Spokesperson, Stephen Graham Jones, is here to prime us all for another wave of Summer Scares.

However, before I hand over the reigns to Jones, I wanted to remind you all that he has a new book coming out in May, The Only Good Indians. I gave this book a star in the January issue of Library Journal.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you that this book will not only be on every single best list of 2020, but it will also go down as a modern classic. It is that good. Those of you who follow my reviews know that I do not take saying this lightly, and you also know I have a VERY good track record on calling these things.

So while you wait for Summer Scares to begin in earnest tomorrow, go preorder The Only Good Indians and read this short essay by Jones himself below.


Someone’s always ringing the death knell for horror. It’s not a chainsaw like you might think, either, and it’s not the Wilhelm Scream like would make sense, and it’s not even John Carpenter’s 5/4 theme for Halloween. What I want this death knell to be is that Peterbilt from Duel, of course, shifting up into maximum overdrive, or Jack Torrance calling Wendy’s name in that vast lonely space, but this sound I’m looking for, that I keep hearing, it’s a lot more insidious, a lot more sinister, and, finally, it’s got bigger jaws. 

What I’m talking about is what I heard real distant-like about . . . was it four years ago already? But then it really came on strong with the success of Get Out, followed shortly by Stephen King having a heyday that’s been more like a tidal wave we’re all riding: everybody’s talking about how horror’s booming again, everybody’s trying to be first to convince everybody else that horror rises in times of unrest, that it reflects our anxieties back to us, that horror is the perfect mirror for now, just like it was in the last golden age, long about the eighties.

That’s not wrong, either. Horror can and does serve society just in that way—not on purpose, necessarily, but just because it’s a genre built on dread and terror, and it’s natural for writers to write the dread and terror they’re caught in onto the page, either as exorcism (you vomit up what’s ailing you) or because the way you kill the flies is to smush them onto the table you’re already sitting at.

Horror is the perfect vehicle for our current set of concerns, horror is most definitely booming. 

But built into every boom is a bust, right?

That’s the death knell I keep hearing. That’s the evil snicker that follows all those claims that horror is right for right now: horror’s current domination will end like it did last time, staggering under the weight of its own excess. Without a hard reset, an escalation this persistent will just become a steady shriek, won’t it? The kind you learn to tune out? Or, to say it cleaner: all love affairs cool down. 

By definition, and going along with what history would teach us, yeah, this might be the case. But there’s another way, too. There’s all of us writing the horror so well and so permanent that, once this bubble of ‘now’ has passed, the audience’s taste for horror will linger. The love affair doesn’t have to end, does it? Sometimes a love affair becomes a marriage, and goes until death do us part, and, since this is horror, death isn’t really even that much of a barrier, is it? 

Michael Myers is back, I mean. Danny Torrance just bellied up to that bar to shoot the important bull with Lloyd. And the shelves, man, they are on fire. No, no—this is horror. Those shelves are running red, and they’re not scabbing over anytime soon. And now, with Summer Scares we’ve managed to pull a few necessary books from that gorefest, and respectfully submit them for your reading, um, pleasure. 


---Stephen Graham Jones
    February 13, 2020

Monday, February 3, 2020

Women in Horror Month Begins

February is the 11th annual Women in Horror Month. Many people are doing things every day, all month long to celebrate. Below are two events that I think will help you to highlight female authors of horror and learn about tittles to add to your collections. In fact, it is the best time of year to learn more about trends and authors of note since so many horror resources are focusing on women writers.

The first is from the Ladies of Horror Fiction, a resource that works all year long to highlight women in horror. While they have special programming planned for the entire month here, they have many resources for you that they have been creating regularly here.

The LoHF also put an emphasis on EDI  making sure to be inclusive in their selections. They are committed to not only highlighting white, straight ladies. They gather the best of women writing horror from all walks of life and across the globe. Reviews, author profiles, special topic articles [a recent focus on horror in translation is a great example], new releases, a podcast, and a blog. Always turn to the Ladies of Horror Fiction, but in February especially.

The second is a guest post blog-a-thon in which I am participating over on Dead Head Reviews. Dead Head Reviews is a collaborative effort of horror bloggers, reviewers, BookTubers, and authors who work together to create useful horror fiction content. Click here to see everything they create.

But specifically, they reached out to many women in the horror community, myself included, asking us to share something for their month long spotlight. I will post my piece when it runs, but what I really liked about this project is that they asked the contributors to pitch what we wanted to write about, and they asked a wide variety of people in the horror community to share their knowledge. I am excited to see everyone's posts.

Here is the awesome poster that was created to promote it too:

Over the course of the month I will be on the horror blog making sure you know about the most useful information that comes out of the month.

But for now, use the links I have provided today, especially the Ladies of Horror Fiction to get up a display for the month. All you need is a quick sign that says February is Women in Horror Month and put up a few titles at a time, making sure to add more as they get checked out.

Don't have enough horror by women  to fill demand? Well then, buy some more. Trust me, there are plenty of titles here on my blog and at the Ladies of Horror Fiction which are perfect for all library collections. In fact, my piece for Dead Head Reviews is all about how some of the best horror right now is being written by women.

But also, I think that you will be surprised by the number of women in horror you do own when you sit down with the resources.