Announcing the StokerCon 2021 Schedule of Events

We’re thrilled to announce the programming lineup for StokerCon 2021, in partnership with the Horror Writers Association! Check out the lineup below, and start getting excited–it’s gonna be a scary good time. And don’t miss the Nightfire panel–11am EST on Saturday, May 22nd!


Live Programming

The following live panels, readings, and presentations will as scheduled below in the Breakout Sessions section of the entire convention. They may also be found listed on the master schedule in the Reception area of StokerCon 2021 on Hopin. Please note, all times given are EASTERN STANDARD TIME (EST) and plan accordingly. Hopin will adjust these for your time zone.

Thursday, May 20th (Live)

TimePanelPanelistsDescription
1pmThe Current State of PublishingKristin Nelson, Angie Hodapp, Becky LeJeune, Cherry Weiner, Beverly Bambury (moderator)Our panelists discuss the current trends in publishing and what we may see in the future.
2pmWriting Horror for the StageTeel James Glenn, Brad Hodson, Lisa Morton, Kevin Wetmore (moderator)Horror writers discuss the ins and outs and techniques of writing horror stories for dramatic productions.
4pmA Genre by Any Other NameJoe R. Lansdale, Larissa Glasser, Jewelle Gomez, Maurice Broaddus, Kate Maruyama  (moderator)Panelists discuss how to break out of the limitation the word “genre” imposes on writers.
5pmGuest of Honor Reading: Lisa MortonLisa MortonLive reading and Q&A with Guest of Honor Lisa Morton
6pmProfessional Etiquette: The Business Side of WritingEllen Datlow, Jonathan Maberry, Lisa Morton, Meghan Arcuri, James Chambers (moderator)Panelists will discuss what works and what doesn’t work when interacting with other professionals.
8pmOpening CeremonyMaurice Broaddus, Meghan Arcuri, Joe R. Lansdale, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Steve Rasnic Tem, Lisa Morton, John Palisano (moderator)Meet your StokerCon guests of honor and learn about our first virtual convention!

Friday, May 21st (Librarian’s Day, Live)

TimePanelPanelistsDescription
10amThe Appeal of a Good Scare (Librarian’s Day)Grady Hendrix, Violet Castro, Jessica Guess, John Fram, Tim Waggoner, Emily Hughes, Becky Spratford (moderator)Panelists discuss the continued appeal of a well-written horror novel.
11amTone and SettingAlan Baxter, Travis Heerman, Nikki Nelson-Hicks, Alma Katsu, and Holly Lynn WalrathHow to create suspense in your writing.
11:30amThrilling Communities with Chilling Experiences (Librarian’s Day)Alex Giannini, John Lawson, Corey Farrenkopf, Konrad Stump (moderator)Panelists discuss how libraries can promote their horror section.
1pmAnn Radcliffe Academic Conference Q&A Session 1L. Marie Wood, Farah Rose Smith, Rhonda Garcia, Mashaela Farris, Kevin Wetmore (moderator)Question and answer session with Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference presenters.
1pmMeet the 2020 Diversity Grant Recipients (Librarian’s Day)Tejaswi Priyadarshi, Sumiko Saulson, Nikki Nelson-Hicks, Gabino Iglesias, Oghenechovwe Ekpeki, Linda Addison (moderator)The HWA’s Diversity Grant recipients discuss their experiences.
1pmGuest of Honor PanelSteve Rasnic Tem, Maurice Broaddus, Lisa Morton, Joe R. Lansdale, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, John Palisano (moderator)Our Guests of Honor discuss how horror has changed since they first broke into the business.
2pmAnn Radcliffe Academic Conference Q&A Session 2Brenda Tolian, Alex Story, Karley Pardue, Khara Lukancic (moderator)Question and answer session with Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference presenters.
2pmHow Dialogue Can Make or Break a StoryTori Eldridge, Amy Grech, Steven Van Patten, L. Marie Wood, and Meghan Arcuri (moderator)A discussion of how dialogue functions within a story, what works, what doesn’t, and how writers can sharpen it.
2:30pmMeet the Press: Omnium Gatherum (Librarian’s Day)Shelby Martinez, Donna Munro, Kate Maruyama, Lee Murray, Lisa Morton, Konrad Stump (moderator)Meet the authors from Omnium Gatherum.
3pmAnn Radcliffe Academic Conference Q&A Session 3TJ Tranchell, J. Rocky Colavito, Michele Brittany, Nicholas Diak (moderator)Question and answer session with Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference presenters.
3pmHorror After COVIDGrady Hendrix, Cynthia Pelayo, Angela Yuriko Smith, Kaaron Warren, Michael Arnzen, Tim Waggoner (moderator)The panel will focus on the ongoing pandemic and how it has influenced the horror genre.
4pmGuest Of Honor Reading: Joe LansdaleJoe LansdaleLive reading and Q&A with Guest of Honor Joe Lansdale.
4pmTotally Bloodless Horror Promotion (Librarian’s Day)Ally Russell, Cameron Chaney, Mackenzie Kiera, Lisa Quigley, Adam Cesare, Lila Denning (moderator)Panelists discuss a variety of ways in which they promote horror to capture as wide an audience as possible.
4pmShort Fiction CraftingEllen Datlow, Nicole Givens Kurtz, John Lawson, Steve Rasnic Tem, John F.D. Taff (moderator)Panelists discuss how they craft tight, evocative short fiction and the mistakes writers often make with their short stories.
5pmFinancial and Literary Estate Planning for AuthorsJ.G. Faherty, Leslie Klinger, and Brian Matthews (moderator)Three authors share their knowledge of financial and legal opportunities authors can use to improve their financial security.
5:30pmThe Scary Truth about Horror Reviews (Librarian’s Day)Christina James, Gabino Iglesias, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Emily Vinci, Beth Griffith, Sadie Hartmann (moderator)A panel of reviewers share their experiences writing reviews for a variety of media outlets.
6pmGuest Of Honor Reading: Seanan McGuireSeanan McGuireLive reading and Q&A with Guest of Honor Seanan McGuire
6pmThe King in Yellow: The Literary Legacy of Robert W. ChambersJames Chambers, Todd Keisling, Sarah Read, Kyla Lee Ward, Leslie Klinger (moderator)Panelists will discuss the legacy of Robert W. Chambers and his seminal work, The King in Yellow.
8pmFinal Frame Short Film CompetitionScreening presented by Jonathan LeesWatch the entries in our annual Final Frame film competition.
10:15pmFinal Frame Q&A SessionMyloB Productions, Katherine Oostman, Yoon Hei Cho, Sloan Turner, David Yorke, Emily Haigh, Jonathan Lees (moderator)Jonathan Lees interviews our Final Frame Filmmakers

Saturday, May 22nd (Live)

TimePanelPanelistsDescription
11amNightfire Fall SpotlightJohn F.D. Taff, Catriona Ward, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Becky Spratford (moderator)Becky Spratford talks with some of the authors from the inaugural season of Tor’s new horror imprint, Nightfire.
12pmMaking Horror FilmsEmily Haigh, Katherine Oostman, David Yorke, MyloB Productions, Yoon Hei Cho, Sloan Turner, Jonathan Lees (moderator)The Filmmakers from the Final Frame Film Competition discuss making horror films.
1pmHow to Make a Career of WritingSilvia Moreno-Garcia, F. Paul Wilson, Jonathan Maberry, Seanan McGuire, JG Faherty (moderator)Panelists discuss what is involved in making a career of writing.
1pmInterview with Joe R. LansdaleJoe R. LansdaleInterview with Guest of Honor Joe R. Lansdale, followed by a Q&A session.
2pmAsk the Agent Q&A–That’s A Wrap!Cherry Weiner, Brian Matthews (moderator)Join us to ask agent Cherry Weiner questions!
3pmGOH Reading: Silvia Moreno-GarciaSilvia Moreno-GarciaLive reading and Q&A with Guest of Honor Silvia Moreno-Garcia
4pmHorror Comics and Graphic NovelsMichele Brittany, Leslie Klinger, Ed Polgardy, James Chambers (moderator)Panelists discuss the evolution of and current trends in horror comics and graphic novels.
4pmInterview with Steve TemSteve Rasnic Tem, Tim Waggoner (moderator)Tim Waggoner interviews Guest of Honor Steve Tem
4pmThe HWA Archive at the University of PittsburghBen Rubin, Linda Addison, Kathe Koja, John Palisano, Michael Arnzen (moderator)Dr. Ben Rubin of the University of Pittsburgh, curator of the HWA’s archives at the university, discusses with our panel the importance of an archive
5pmMentorship in the HWAAustin Cragg, JG Faherty, Jonathan Maberry, Lee Murray, Tim Waggoner, Angela Yuriko Smith (moderator)What you should have nailed down before you start your mentorship, so you can hit the ground running and get the most out of the program.
5pmWhat Makes a Book Cover “Good”?Greg Chapman, Jennifer Barnes, Grady Hendrix, Lynne Hansen (moderator)This panel of industry experts will share their insights so you can learn to spot an effective cover.
6pmHistory of the Gothic: Horror FolkloreAndy Davidson, Alma Katsu, Lisa Kroger, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Gwendolyn Kiste, Kevin Wetmore (moderator)Panelists discuss the history of gothic folklore and its influence on contemporary horror literature.
8pmThe Bram Stoker Awards® CeremonyJonathan Maberry (emcee)The presentation of the 2020 Bram Stoker Awards® with emcee Jonathan Maberry.

Sunday, May 23rd (Live)

TimePanelPanelistsDescription
11amClosing CeremonySilvia Moreno-Garcia, Joe R. Lansdale, Steve Rasnic Tem, Maurice Broaddus, Lisa MortonJoin us as we say goodbye to our first virtual StokerCon and hello to StokerCon 2022, live and in-person in Denver, Colorado!

On-Demand Programming

The following recorded panel discussions will be available for viewing on-demand throughout the entire convention. They may be found listed in the Expo and Authors or Sessions sections of StokerCon 2021 on Hopin. When opening a recorded panel in Sessions, please scroll down to the second display window to see the video presentation.

Ann Radcliffe Conference (On-Demand)

PanelPanelistsDescription
Bathing Beauty: Violence and Vulnerability in the Showers of HorrorPresented by: Karley PardueA comparative study of a wide variety of horror films and the shower scenes within them.
Blood, Milk & TeethPresented by: Brenda TolianThis presentation will explore the roles of women as subjects and creators within the genre of horror.
Disability, Estrangement, and Reframing the Othered Woman in H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dunwich HorrorPresented by: Farah Rose SmithPortrayals of disabled women in horror literature in the past can better serve the inclusion of disabled female characters in the future.
Exploring the Cycles of Mummies in Al Feldstein’s Comic, “The Mummy’s Curse”Presented by: Michele BrittanyExploring the Cycles of Mummies in Al Feldstein’s Comic, “The Mummy’s Curse”
The Great American Horror NovelPresented by: TJ TranchellFrom Weiland in 1798 to The Haunting of Hill House and The Only Good Indians, we will look at the criteria for the traditional Great American Novel.
It’s [Still] Alive! Alive!Presented by: Michael TorregrossaAn examination of recent adaptations of Frankenstein in the comics.
Midsommar and the Competing Social Geographies of AgingPresented by: Khara LukancicA discussion about how Aster’s film uses aging and cultural expectations of death as the motor for its horror.
Not Your Typical Mammy: The Subversion of the Mammy Trope in Horror Portrayals of Black MotherhoodPresented by: Rhonda GarciaAn examination of the construction of and insights into the social and political influences that shape the enactment of Black motherhood.
Real Vampires: The Reflection of Otherness in the Bloody MirrorPresented by: L. Marie WoodWe will investigate the plight of real vampires and how they relate to the concept of otherness.
A Revelation in American Horror Film: Intergenerational Traumas and Transmissibility in Ari Aster’s HereditaryPresented by: Alex StoryDiscussion of the film and how it terrifies the audience and portrays intergenerational trauma.
Strange Realities: Twilight Zone-sploitation in Encounter with the UnknownPresented by: Nicholas DiakExamine the instances that the 1970s horror anthology film, Encounter of the Unknown, leverages elements of The Twilight Zone in an exploitation film fashion.
“That so wicked mouth”: Rabies, Nymphomania, and the Monstrous New Woman in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.Presented by: Mashaela FarrisThis presentation addresses the influence of nymphomania and rabies in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Vicious (Re) Cycles: Nostalgia, Appropriation, and the Emergence of Throwback HorrorPresented by: J. Rocky ColavitoThis presentations examines the phenomena of “Throwback Horror” with attention afforded to rhetorical, practical, and affectual dimensions of this movement.
Why Is This Possession Different Than All Other Possessions?: Jewish Exorcism FilmsPresented by: Kevin WetmoreAnalysis of two Hollywood films, The Unborn (2009) and The Possession (2012), to present a Jewish version of possession/exorcism films.

The Horror Genre (On-Demand)

PanelPanelistsDescription
American Female GothicJewelle Gomez, Jo Kaplan, Gwendolyn Kiste, Lisa Kroger, Sarah Read, Cynthia Pelayo, Christa Carmen (moderator)Why do women writers often situate themselves-or fictional female counterparts-as the monsters, ghouls, and demons of their Gothic horror tales?
Classic Horror’s Timeless AppealAlan Baxter, Nikki Nelson-Hicks, Steven Van Patten, JG Faherty (moderator)The panel will focus on the why we love classic horror in all its forms and why classic horror remains relevant to the genre today.
Horror as a Fairy TaleCatherine Lundoff, Cynthia Pelayo, Sara Tantlinger, Mercedes Yardley, Gwendolyn Kiste (moderator)Panelists discuss the influence of fairy tales in horror.
Horror Pods and Vlogs Go Viral: The Pandemic and BeyondR.F. Blackstone, Michele Brittany, Nicholas Diak, Carol Gyzander, Kathryn McGee, Lee Murray (moderator)How have some of our favorite pods and vlogs established or reinvented themselves during the pandemic?
How Extreme Is Too Extreme?Rhonda Garcia, EV Knight, Jeff Strand, John F.D. Taff, Tim Waggoner (moderator)A focus on depictions of extreme horror, how to approach them, when holding back is preferable, and other related questions.
Humor and HorrorChelsea Davis, MacKenzie Jennings, Gillian King-Cargile, Paul Lubaczewski, Jeff Strand, Nathan Carson (moderator)The panel will focus on the dangerous intersection between comedy and tragedy.
Let The Cat InJ. Ashley-Smith, Aaron Dries, Kaaron WarrenPanelists riff on objects, inspiration, and those ideas that scratch at the door, meowing to be let in.
Poetry as a Source for FictionsCarina Bissett, David Cowen, Nina D’Arcangela, Lee Forman, Terrie Leigh Relf, Marge Simone (moderator)Panelists discuss poetry as a source for various fictions.
Portrayals of Mental Illness in HorrorHerb Kauderer, Mark Matthews, Jessica York, Sarah Read (moderator)A focus on when it’s done well and when it’s not, and how writers can write about MI without bothering those whose lives are affected by it.
Reinventing the Classics: How Modern Horror Is Transforming the TropesCarina Bissett, Rhonda Garcia, Naching Kassa, Gwendolyn Kiste, Lee Murray, Gordon B. White, L. Marie Wood, Christa Carmen (moderator)A focus on different retellings of classic horror stories as well as how modern authors are adapting other classic monsters and tropes in their work today.
Roots of HorrorTom Deady, Larissa Glasser, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Diana Rodriguez Wallach, James Chambers (moderator)Horror authors discuss the works that inspired them to write horror.
Steel City HorrorLawrence C. Connolly, Doug Gwilym, Gwendolyn Kiste, Michelle Lane, Ronald J Murray, Corey Niles, Nelson Pyles, Ben Rubin, Sara Tantlinger, Michael Arnzen (moderator)Pittsburgh area horror writers discuss local horror history and inspirations.
Women as Villains in HorrorElsa Carruthers, Rhonda Garcia, Amy Grech, Eva V. Roslin, Cynthia Pelayo (moderator)A discussion about female protagonists who are villains, or walk the grey line as villain, or operate as protagonist and villain.
Writing the Creature FeatureJG Faherty, Lee Murray, Jeff Strand, Christine Whitlock, F. Paul Wilson, Tim Waggoner (moderator)What makes a good creature feature and how to meet reader expectations while still delivering a fresh and original story.

Librarian’s Day (On-Demand)

PanelPanelists & Description
2021 YA Authors Summer Scares Author PanelA discussion with the 2021 YA Summer Scares selected authors: Lily Anderson, Libba Bray, and Cherie Dimaline, in conversation with Becky Spratford.
2021 Middle Grade Authors Summer Scares Author PanelA discussion with the 2021 YA Summer Scares selected authors: Hal Johnson, William Joyce, and Tahereh Mafi, in conversation with Julia Smith.
2021 Adult Authors Summer Scares Author PanelA discussion with the 2021 Adult Authors Summer Scares authors: Alma Katsu, Kathe Koja, and Danial Kraus, in conversation with Konrad Stump

Writing and Publishing (On-Demand)

PanelPanelistsDescription
The Author-Editor Relationship in the Horror GenreEllen Datlow, Deborah Daughetee, Teel Glenn, Jeff Strand, Carol Gyzander (moderator)The dynamics of working toward the same goal.
Author Newsletters: Writing to Your Readers as Well as for ThemLisa Morton, Tim Waggoner, Kevin Wetmore (moderator)Panelists discuss writing newsletters your readers will want to read.
Beta Reading and Critique GroupsJames Chambers, Patrick Freivald, Brian Matthews, Lisa Morton, Peter Adam Salomon, JG Faherty (moderator)Members of a beta reader group discuss how extra eyes, brutal honesty, and a genuine desire to help others has improved their own writing.
Different Publishing ModelsMichael Arnzen, Gabrielle Faust, Kyla Lee Ward, JG Faherty (moderator)The panel will focus on the many options available for authors to publish their work, their pros and cons, and the experiences our panelists have had.
Horror and MusicJohn Edward Lawson, Kate Maruyama, Steven Van Patten, L. Marie Wood, Nathan Carson (moderator)The panel will focus on exploring dark sounds, music for writing, music in writing, and other audible scare tactics.
HWA Chapters: What They Do and How to Start OneCarina Bissett, Christa Carmen, Kenneth W. Cain, Shawna Deresch, Carol Gyzander, Rami Ungar Neil d’Silva Valentine, Kevin Wetmore, James Chambers (moderator)Experienced and new chapter coordinators discuss why they started an HWA chapter and what chapters accomplish.

Author Readings

The following recorded readings will be available for viewing on-demand throughout the entire convention. They may be found listed in the Expo and Authors or Sessions sections of StokerCon 2021 on Hopin. When opening a recorded panel in Sessions, please scroll down to the second display window to see the video presentation.

  • Anna Taborska
  • Anton Cancre
  • Brenda Tolian
  • Britannic Zane
  • Carina Bissett
  • Carol Gyzander
  • Catherine Lundoff
  • Christa Carmen
  • Christi Nogle
  • Cynthia Pelayo
  • David Cowen
  • Derek Austin Johnson
  • Diana Rodriguez Wallach
  • Donna Munro
  • Elizabeth Hirst
  • EV Knight
  • Frank Coffman
  • Gaby Triana
  • Garrett Boatman
  • Geneve Flynn
  • Gordon B. White
  • Greg Chapman
  • Gwendolyn Kiste
  • Holly Lyn Walrath
  • J. Ashley-Smith
  • J. Rocky Colavito
  • James Chambers
  • Jeff Oliver
  • Jeff Strand
  • Jessica York
  • Jo Kaplan
  • John F.D. Taff
  • Joseph VanBuren
  • Joule Zelman
  • Joy Yehle
  • Kaaron Warren
  • Kate Maruyama
  • Kyla Lee Ward
  • L. Marie Wood
  • Larry Hinkle
  • Lee Forman
  • Lee Murray
  • Marianne Halbert
  • Maurice Broaddus
  • Meghan Arcuri
  • Mercedes Yardley
  • Michael Arnzen
  • Michael Cieslak
  • Mort Castle
  • Naching Kassa
  • Nathan Carson
  • Nicole Willson
  • Nikki Nelson-Hicks
  • Pamela K. Kinney
  • Patricia Lillie
  • Peter Sutton
  • Rhonda Garcia
  • Ryan Aussie Smith
  • Sam Knight
  • Sara Tantlinger
  • Sarah Read
  • Scott Edelman
  • Steve Rasnic Tem
  • Steven Van Patten
  • Teel James Glenn
  • Tim Waggoner
  • TJ Tranchell
  • Todd Keisling
  • Tori Eldridge
  • Travis Heermann

For more info, visit the official StokerCon 2021 website – and don’t forget to buy your tickets!



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