Last weekend I flew down to Los Angeles, California and made my way to The Queen Mary in Long Beach for StokerCon 2017 and the Bram Stoker Awards. It was my first time attending the annual HWA (Horror Writers Association) convention. I’m an affiliate member of HWA and working hard to secure the publishing credits required to become an active (full) member.
The highlight of the convention was meeting in-person many virtual friends. I also got to spend time with friends I haven’t seen in years.
HWA offers Horror University as part of the StokerCon programming. Out of nineteen interesting options, I chose:
How to Write like a Scenarist with John Skipp. He assigned homework a couple of weeks in advance and brought in a partner to act out only the dialogue from our pieces (all narrative deleted). That was an eye-opening exercise!
The Ultimate Guide to Writing Horror with Tim Waggoner. In two hours, Tim packed in A LOT of advice, information and more. I came away with much to think about. For example, the concept of a horror writer’s palette: dread, terror, horror, shock, and disgust. I imagine dipping my pen (I write with a fountain tip) into a smidgen of this, a dollop of that…
Making Readers Squirm with Michael Arnzen. An interactive and enjoyable class. We did a writing exercise (I love in-class writing) and fellow student Brian Asman (and friend from Litreactor workshops) wrote a hilarious spoof of the class, titled “Gore 101”
I sat in on a panel discussion: Starting an HWA Chapter. I’ve been mulling over the idea and talking about it with local writers for several months, and the panelists inspired me to pursue organizing a Metro Vancouver/Fraser Valley, British Columbia chapter. If you are a dark fiction writer in this area and the idea appeals to you, please contact me! I need a minimum of five members to start a chapter.
StokerCon 2018 is taking place in Providence, Rhode Island in early March next year (the 1st through the 4th). I highly recommend the experience.
(This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for May. Visit the website for more information and links to the other participating blogs.)