STOKERCON 2021: THE END

Disclaimer: Tired, run on post with probable typos.

Another Stokercon has wrapped up and as usual, I am amazed, inspired, enthralled, entertained and I have a very long list of things to do. The entire event was virtual but that took nothing away from it. Glitches are part of any event, and I think they add to it.

Huge round of applause for Meghan Arcuri for handling kids during a power outage while remaining calm and collected doing announcements. I am so impressed by her. She is reached hero status in my mind. And her reading was awesome as well!

Now I’m free to mention I was chosen as HWA Mentor of the Year. This is a huge honor and I don’t feel like I’ve done nearly enough to deserve such an award—but who am I to say no to a shiny trophy? Thank you to all my HWA mentees that always become friends. You guys are the ones who deserve a trophy. You are putting ego aside to hone your career as a writer. No one comes into anything as an expert, but it’s hard to admit that. We are all in the same boat with this, no matter how ‘seasoned’ we may be. Everyone is always a noob at something.

As far as the three new writers I suggested everyone keep an eye on? That would be Alina Măciucă, Maxwell I. Gold* and Austin Gragg. Between them, I have read so much excellent, fresh horror. I’m very excited to be screaming for each of them one day soon as they are accepting well-deserved awards for their work. I mention them again because I know a few people were distracted by the dog antics going on in my speech.

Yogi recovering from his first public appearance

I struggled with the acceptance video because I have a hard time with formality sometimes. Thank goodness one of our resident pooches was on hand to help me out. Little did I know Yogi’s cameo at the Stoker awards ceremony would launch him into stardom.

There was so much chatter I woke up to an an almost endless stream of posts on Twitter+ debating if Yogi, EV Knight or Josh Malerman had the best acceptance performance. Poor guy is exhausted from his 15 seconds and has been recovering ever since.

So many congratulations are involved! I feel pretty special because so many of the Stoker finalists and winners are true friends… I feel lucky to have so many talented people around me. Particularly though, I’d like to congratulate Lee Murray and Geneve Flynn for winning the Superior Achievement in an Anthology Stoker for Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women (Omnium Gatherum Media). Congratulations also to Kate Jonez for publishing this gorgeous collection of unquiet voices.

Congratulations to Lee Murray for ALSO winning Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection with Grotesque: Monster Stories (Things in the Well). Honestly, at this point I think she’s just winning Stokers so I have to change her bio so much in the book we are releasing tomorrow… Mark My Words: Read the Submission Guidelines and Other Self-Editing Tips. Why have I been so absent lately? This book, but more on that when it’s available. This is all about the brilliance of the Stokers.

Another special congratulations to Tim Waggoner for Writing in the Dark (Guide Dog Books/Raw Dog Screaming Press). This is a fantastic book that I have on my Kindle app, and had just bought in paperback so I could have a physical copy to mark up and put my sticky notes in (sorry Tim!). I was flattered when Tim asked me for a few comments to include in his book, even more flattered when he asked me to be on his Horror After COVID panel (which was excellent) but not surprised. Tim is one of my former mentors (along with Bryan Thao Worra) and he is one of the champions of helping others in the HWA. Building each other up builds the genre.

But it’s post-Stokers, and I am exhausted. I still have Balticon next weekend (virtual sign up is free!) and I need to get Mark My Words launched. There are many things coming up in June I will get into closer to the date, and there are some things that happened in May I need to share. To say things have been busy is an understatement. Seriously, I think I will be assistant hunting when I get a lull next month. Please no resumes though… I get too much email as it is right now. Which is why I’m finally going to crack and beg for help.

But this is my annual super-glowy, exhausted typo-ridden blog post the days following Stokers. It wasn’t a normal convention, being virtual, but it was every bit as awesome. I know I’ve forgotten dozens of names, so at the end of this I’ll post the announcement from the Horror Writer’s Association. And now… it’s a new year for me, and another well-done The End for StokerCon.

*Maxwell I. Gold and I have decided to collaborate on a call and response book of poetry together with a working title of Möbius Lyrics. We did a test call and response during Stokers and it gave me real chills. His intricate prose style and my structured and sparse gunsaku style work really well together. The first topic was silence versus entropy.


Announcing the 2020 Bram Stoker Awards® Winners

Los Angeles, May 22, 2021

The Horror Writers Association (HWA), the premier organization of writers and publishers of horror and dark fantasy, announces this year’s Bram Stoker Awards® winners at a virtual ceremony during StokerCon™ 2021. “This year’s winners reflect a deep range of works from a competitive field,” said John Palisano, HWA President. “The winners and finalists truly represent a broad spectrum of titles in horror and dark fantasy. HWA members and awards juries have shown dedication and objectivity to the selection process for outstanding works of literature, cinema, non-fiction, and poetry.”

We proudly provide the list of talented winners along with the finalist nominees. 

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Winner: Stephen Graham Jones – The Only Good Indians (Gallery/Saga Press)


Also nominated:

Alma Katsu – The Deep (G.P. Putnum’s Sons)

Todd Keisling – Devil’s Creek (Silver Shamrock Publishing)

Josh Malerman – Malorie (Del Ray)

Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Mexican Gothic (Del Rey)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Winner: EV Knight – The Fourth Whore (Raw Dog Screaming Press)


Also nominated:

Polly Hall – The Taxidermist’s Lover (CamCat Publishing, LLC)

Rachel Harrison – The Return (Berkley)

Ross Jeffery – Tome (The Writing Collective)

Kate Reed Petty – True Story (Viking)

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

Winner: Adam Cesare – Clown in a Cornfield (HarperTeen)


Also nominated:

Daniel Kraus – Bent Heavens (Henry Holt and Company/Macmillan)

Monique Snyman – The Bone Carver (Vesuvian Books)

Aiden Thomas – Cemetery Boys (Swoon Reads/Macmillan)

Erica Waters – Ghost Wood Song (HarperTeen)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Winner: Nancy Holder, Chiara Di Francia, and Amelia Woo – Mary Shelley Presents Tales of the Supernatural (Kymera Press)


Also nominated:

Steven Archer – The Masque of the Red Death (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Jennifer Brody and Jules Rivera – Spectre Deep 6 (Turner)

Rich Douek and Alex Cormack – Road of Bones (IDW Publishing)

Alessandro Manzetti and Stephano Cardoselli – Her Life Matters: (Or Brooklyn Frankenstein) Independent Legions Publishing)

Steve Niles, Salvatore Simeone, and Syzmon Kudranski – Lonesome Days, Savage Nights (TKO Studios)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Winner: Stephen Graham Jones – “Night of the Mannequins” (Tor.com)


Also nominated:

Gabino Iglasias – “Beyond the Reef”(Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror)(Wicked Run Press)

Gwendolyn Kiste – “The Invention of Ghosts” (Nightscape Press)

Jess Landry – “I Will Find You, Even in the Dark” (Dim Shores Presents Vol. I)(Dim Shores)

Sarah Pinsker – “Two Truths and a Lie” (Tor.com)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Winner: Josh Malerman – “One Last Transformation”(Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors)(Written Backwards)


Also nominated:

Meghan Arcuri – “Am I Missing the Sunshine?” (Borderlands 7) (Borderlands Press)

Kurt Fawver – “Introduction to the Horror Story: Day 1” (Nightmare Magazine Nov. 2020, Issue 98)

Cindy O’Quinn – “The Thing I Found Along a Dirt Patch Road” (Shotgun Honey Presents, Vol. 4: Recoil) (Down and Out Books)

Kyla Lee Ward – “Should Fire Remember the Fuel?”(Oz is Burning) (B Cubed Press)

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Winner: Lee Murray – Grotesque: Monster Stories (Things in the Well)


Also nominated:

Kathe Koja – Velocities: Stories (Meerkat Press)

John Langan – Children of the Fang and Other Genealogies (Word Horde)

Patricia Lillie – The Cuckoo Girls (Trepidatio Publishing)

Anna Taborska – Bloody Britain (Shadow Publishing)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Winner: Leigh Whannell – The Invisible Man (Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, Goalpost Pictures, Nervous Tick Productions)


Also nominated:

Scarlett Amaris and Richard Stanley – Color Out of Space (SpectreVision)

Misha Green – Lovecraft Country, Season 1, Episode 1: “Sundown” (Affeme, Monkeypaw Productions, Bad Robot Productions, Warner Bros. Television Studios)

Misha Green and Ihuoma Ofordire – Lovecraft Country, Season 1, Episode 8: “Jig-a-Bobo” (Affeme, Monkeypaw Productions, Bad Robot Productions, Warner Bros. Television Studios)

Angela LaManna – The Haunting of Bly Manor, Season 1, Episode 5: “The Altar of the Dead” (Intrepid Pictures, Amblin Television, Paramount Television Studios)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Winner: Lee Murray and Geneve Flynn – Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women (Omnium Gatherum Media)


Also nominated:

Michael Bailey and Doug Murano – Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors (Written Backwards)

Samantha Kolesnik – Worst Laid Plans: An Anthology of Vacation Horror (Grindhouse Press)

Sara Tantlinger – Not All Monsters: A Strangehouse Anthology by Women of Horror (Rooster Republic Press)

Mercedes M. Yardley – Arterial Bloom (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Winner: Tim Waggoner – Writing in the Dark (Guide Dog Books/Raw Dog Screaming Press)


Also nominated:

Florence Kelly and Meg Hafdahl – The Science of Women in Horror: The Special Effects, Stunts, and True Stories Behind Your Favorite Fright Films (Skyhorse)

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas – 1000 Women in Horror (BearManor Media)

Brian Keene – End of the Road(Cemetery Dance Publications)

Alison Peirse – Women Make Horror: Filmmaking, Feminism, Genre (Rutgers University Press)

Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. – The Streaming of Hill House: Essays on the Haunting Netflix Adaption (McFarland)

Superior Achievement in Short Non-Fiction

Winner: Tim Waggoner – “Speaking of Horror” (The Writer)


Also nominated:

Rhonda Jackson Joseph – “The Beloved Haunting of Hill House: An Examination of Monstrous Motherhood” (The Streaming of Hill House: Essays on the Haunting Netflix Adaptation)(McFarland)

Cynthia Pelayo – “I Need to Believe” (Southwest Review Vol. 105.3

Kelly Robinson – “Lost, Found, and Finally Unbound: The Strange History of the 1910 Edison Frankenstein” (Rue Morgue Magazine, June 2020)

Christina Sng – “Final Girl: A Life in Horror” (Interstellar Flight Magazine, October 2020)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

Winner: Christina Sng – A Collection of Dreamscapes (Raw Dog Screaming Press)


Also nominated:

Alessandro Manzetti – Whitechapel Rhapsody: Dark Poems (Independent Legions Publishing)

Jessica McHugh – A Complex Accident of Life (Apokrupha)

Cynthia Pelayo – Into the Forest and All the Way Through (Burial Day Books)

Sara Tantlinger – Cradleland of Parasites (Rooster Republic Press)

Named in honor of the author of the seminal horror novel Dracula, the Bram Stoker Awards® are presented annually for superior writing in eleven categories including traditional fiction of various lengths, poetry, screenplays and non-fiction. Previous winners include Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, Joyce Carol Oates and Neil Gaiman. 

Active and Lifetime members of the organization are eligible to vote for the winners in all categories. For more on the Horror Writers Association, please visit www.horror.org.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, author, and publisher with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She is a Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020. She co-publishes Space and Time, a publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction since 1966. Join the community at spaceandtime.net
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