Today I have a HUGE announcement about a program that Grady Hendrix, JG Faherty, and I dreamed up at StokerCon last year. It is called Summer Scares and the HWA is partnering with Library Journal/School Library Journal, United for Libraries, and Book Riot to encourage everyone to read some horror this summer.
Read the press release below, but the gist is a panel of experts [listed below] will be creating a recommended reading list of nine titles, spread across all reading levels. Titles will be announced in February and the authors will be available for in person and virtual appearances at public and school libraries.
The committee will also be providing annotated lists of horror titles that are appropriate for each reading level [middle grade, young adult, adult] that you can use at your libraries to help encourage some scary reading.
We are very excited to share this with everyone. Today is just the beginning.
Below is our official press release which you will also see being released by our partners as the day goes on.
Horror Writers Association Announces Summer Scares Reading Program
The Horror Writers Association (HWA), in partnership with United for Libraries, Book Riot, and Library Journal/School Library Journal, is developing a reading program that will provide libraries and schools with an annual list of recommended horror titles for adult, young adult (teen), and middle grade readers. The goal is to introduce new authors and help librarians start conversations with readers that will extend beyond the books from each list and promote reading for years to come.
Award-winning author, Grady Hendrix and a committee of four librarians will be selecting three recommended fiction titles in each of three reading levels— Middle Grade, Teen, and Adult— for a total of nine Summer Scares selections. The goal of the program is to encourage a national conversation about the entire horror genre, across all age levels, at libraries all over the country and ultimately get more adults, teens, and children interested in reading. Official Summer Scares designated authors will also be making themselves available to appear, either virtually or in person, at public and school libraries all over the country, for free.
“Horror is one of those genres that is incredibly popular,” Grady Hendrix says. “But people look at you funny when you say you like reading horror. We want to use this opportunity to showcase the best of what’s out there today. These stories won’t just scare readers, but they’ll make them laugh, make them cry, and make them cringe. There’s more to horror than just saying ‘boo’.”
The committee’s final selections will be announced on February 14, 2019— National Library Lover’s Day. Some or all of the authors of those titles will appear on a panel to kick off Summer Scares at Librarian’s Day during StokerCon 2019 May 10, 2019 in Grand Rapids, MI.
Between the announcement of the titles and the kick off event, the committee and its partners will be publishing lists of even more suggested titles for further horror reading, content by committee members about the genre, and interviews with the selected authors. Official Summer Scares podcasting partner, Ladies of the Fright Podcast, will also be recording episodes in conjunction with Summer Scares.
The HWA is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals with members located around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it and read it. It is the oldest and most respected professional organization for the much-loved writers who have brought you the most enjoyable sleepless nights of your life. One of HWA’s missions is to encourage public interest in, and foster an appreciation of, Horror and Dark Fiction literature, through extensive programming and partnerships with library and literacy-based organizations. The Summer Scares reading program is one example of this.
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: www.horror.org.
For more information, contact JG Faherty, HWA Library Committee Chair (email@example.com) or
Becky Spratford, HWA Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summer Scares Committee Members:
Grady Hendrix is a best selling author whose novels include Horrorstör, My Best Friend's Exorcism – which he describes as "basically Beaches meets The Exorcist" — and most recently, We Sold Our Souls. He's also the author of the Bram Stoker Award winning, Paperbacks from Hell, a history of the horror paperback boom of the '70s and '80s, and Mohawk, a horror movie about the War of 1812.
Becky Spratford is a library consultant and the author of, most recently, The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror, second edition. She reviews horror for Booklist Magazine 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 of 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 (bookriot.com), where she runs the weekly "What's Up in YA?" young adult newsletter, the biweekly "Check Your Shelf" newsletter for librarians, and cohosts the "Hey YA" podcast about young adult literature Her books include (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 (stackedbooks.org). 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.