The Horror Writers Association and StokerCon® are proud to present Horror University!
This series of workshops, run by some of the best and brightest in the horror field, offers a series of two-hour, in-person classes. They are not your typical workshop experiences—they are hands-on, intensive sessions that include interactive activities and exercises.
Workshop registration is now open!
All HU courses require separate registration and additional payment as has been the practice at all past StokerCons. This goes directly to compensating the instructors, covering the cost of audio-visual equipment, and supporting StokerCon. All workshop times are in Mountain Daylight Time.
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!
Pricing for Horror University workshops at StokerCon 2022 is:
$50 per workshop
$175 for a bundle of any four workshops (Use Code: STOKERCON2022)
$400 for a bundle of all nine workshops (Use Code: STOKERCONDENVER)
Click here and filter by Category "StokerCon 2022" to view all workshops and register through the Horror University School on Teachable. Or click below to register for a specific workshop.
All Workshops Take Place in Hopscotch, Third Floor
AFRO-SURREALISM IN HORROR,
with Instructor JOHN EDWARD LAWSON
Thursday, May 12, 4 p.m. MDT
Despite Black-centered horror going mainstream we have yet to see Afro-Surrealism incorporated widely to amplify aspects of psychological horror, weird fiction, traditional supernatural narratives, or splatterpunk. This workshop will define what constitutes Afro-Surrealism, which horror works have successfully employed it, and how to incorporate Afro-Surrealism in your writing while maintaining your own voice. Beginning, intermediate, and advanced authors can use this workshop to refine existing drafts or craft new material for future projects.
JOHN EDWARD LAWSON’s novels, short fiction, and poetry have garnered nominations for the Dwarf Stars, Elgin, Rhysling, Stoker, and Wonderland Awards, and the Pushcart Prize. In addition to being a founder of Raw Dog Screaming Press and former editor-in-chief of The Dream People he currently serves as vice president of Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction. In 2022 John will be a Guest of Honor at StokerCon and the Scares That Care charity convention. When he isn’t on the road, he’s busy hosting virtual conferences for AllAccessCon, or teaching workshops at places like Broadkill Writers Resort and Clarion West.
WRITING AND STORYBOARDING FOR HORROR COMICS,
with Instructor SUMIKO SAULSON
Friday, May 13, 9 a.m. MDT
Whether the storyline is created from scratch or adapted from a short story or novel, the process of writing for horror comics is quite different from the process for long or short fiction, and while it can be done in numerous ways, it generally involves the creation of a comic script and/or a comic book storyboard. This class will include a brief history of horror comics, the basics of horror comic scriptwriting, adapting classic horror tales for comic books, storyboarding for horror comics, and character creation for horror comic books. During this class you will learn how to adapt a classic horror story into a basic comic book script, put together a storyboard for a comic book, create an original character for a horror comic using a character sheet, and insert that character into your comic book script. The tools you will learn during this course will help a writer learn how to communicate with the artists on their team in order to create a horror comic or graphic novel.
SUMIKO SAULSON is a comic zine maker and graphic novelist. Their titles include Agrippa, Dreamworlds, Dooky, and Mauskaveli. They illustrated Living A Lie. They’ve presented as a comic zine maker at the San Francisco Zine Fest, the East Bay Zine Fest, and Con-Volution. They are an award-winning author of Afrosurrealist and multicultural sci-fi and horror, editor of the anthologies and collections Black Magic Women, Scry of Lust, Black Celebration, and Wickedly Abled, winner of the 2016 HWA StokerCon "Scholarship from Hell," 2017 BCC Voice "Reframing the Other" contest, 2017 Mixy Award, 2018 AWW "Afrosurrealist Writer Award," and 2020 HWA Diversity Grant recipient. They graduated from the Film Arts Foundation STAND program for first-time directors, have an AA in English with certificates in screenwriting and creative writing from Berkeley City College. Their screenplay with James Leon for Despoina: Dark Chanteuse received an honorable mention at the 2021 LA Blood and Boobs Festival. They are an online instructor at the Speculative Fiction Academy.
NO ONE WANTS TO READ YOUR SCRIPT,
with Instructor BRAD C. HODSON
Friday, May 13, 11 a.m. MDT
No one wants to read your script. That’s the reality of the film industry. Producers, development execs, actors, other writers – they’re all inundated with screenplays and are weeks behind on reading. So how do you cut through the noise and get someone to read your work? What’s a waste of time, and what might really help your career? What does it take to make someone read your first 10 pages, then hook them until the ending? In this course, you'll learn tried and true tips from writers in the trenches actually pitching, optioning, and selling scripts. You'll learn why contests should be avoided (with two notable exceptions) and how all the screenwriting "rules" you've ever heard were created by people outside the industry and how you should break each and every one of them. Finally, you’ll learn tips for letting your voice and personality shine through on the page, even when it can’t be filmed.
BRAD C. HODSON is a screenwriter and script doctor in Los Angeles, CA. He's worked on dozens of films and currently has original features in production with directors like Rob Hardy, Alejandro Brugues, Adam O'Brien, and Orlando Jones. He's also pitched to every studio in town and has the emotional scars to prove it.
YOUR BOOK IS YOUR BUSINESS,
with Instructor ELIZABETH COPPS
Friday, May 13, 1 p.m. MDT
Completing your manuscript is only the beginning. To find a home with many publishers, it needs representation. You need a literary agent. However, the prospect of finding an agent is no small challenge and working with an agent to sell your manuscript to editors requires an understanding of the industry. Join Elizabeth Copps of Copps Literary Services for a workshop covering frequently asked questions on the querying process, what agents mean by “the current marketplace”, what to expect once an agent begins submitting your manuscript to editors, and much more.
ELIZABETH COPPS, in the summer of 2010, did what any starry-eyed word nerd would do: she used her savings to move from Florida to New York City with the goal of doing something—anything—related to books. When she was offered an internship with a boutique literary agency, she discovered her passion for publishing. For the past decade, Elizabeth has dedicated herself to the care and management of author careers. Her business philosophy is simple: to foster relationships across the industry that are equitable, transparent, and long-lasting. She is excited to continue to build Copps Literary Services and her list of award-winning and eclectic clients from her current home of Denver, Colorado.
CHARACTERIZATION THROUGH DIALOGUE,
with Instructor MAURICE BROADDUS
Friday, May 13, 3 p.m. MDT
Characters are at the heart of stories and dialogue helps define characters and drive story. In this workshop you’ll learn to develop characters, consider word choice, and refine their voice through dialogue. Topics covered include conversations versus dialogue, creating distinct voices for your characters, and paying attention to how people speak.
MAURICE BROADDUS, a community organizer and teacher, has had work appear in places like Lightspeed Magazine, Black Panther: Tales from Wakanda, Weird Tales, Magazine of F&SF, and Uncanny Magazine, with some of his stories having been collected in The Voices of Martyrs. His books include the sci-fi novel Sweep of Stars; the steampunk works, Buffalo Soldier and Pimp My Airship; and the middle grade detective novels, The Usual Suspects and Unfadeable. His project, Sorcerers, is being adapted as a television show for AMC. He’s an editor at Apex Magazine. Learn more at MauriceBroaddus.com.
ENGAGING AUTHOR READINGS: HOW TO SELECT AND PRESENT YOUR WORDS TO AN AUDIENCE,
with Instructors TEEL JAMES GLENN and CAROL GYZANDER
Saturday, May 14, 9 a.m. MDT
You've been invited to do a public reading of your work, either online or in person. Don't fall into the trap of reading a random section and droning on, thereby confusing the reader or worse--boring them. Teel James Glenn, professional actor and storyteller, and Carol Gyzander, editor and co-host of HWA NY’s Galactic Terrors reading series, disclose how to choose and edit a selection that will engage your readers, add them as fans, and (with luck) entice them to purchase your book. Teel and Carol will review the benefits of reading one’s work aloud—building a fan base and selling books--and what it takes to capture an audience with your words.
TEEL JAMES GLENN has killed hundreds and been killed more times--on stage and screen as he has traveled the world for forty plus years as a stuntman, swordmaster, illustrator, storyteller, bodyguard, actor and haunted house barker. He appeared on all the New York Soap operas, Spenser for Hire, and in more movies that show up on Showtime and Cinemax then he wants to admit. His stories have been printed in over a hundred magazines including Weird Tales, Mystery Weekly, Pulp Adventures, Spinetingler, Mad, Fantasy Tales, Cirsova, Sherlock Holmes Mystery, and Blazing Adventures. His novel A Cowboy in Carpathia: A Bob Howard Adventure won best novel 2021 in the Pulp Factory Award. He is also the winner of the 2012 Pulp Ark Award for Best Author. His website is: TheUrbanSwashbuckler.com.
CAROL GYZANDER writes/edits horror, dark fiction, and sci-fi with the help of her black Velcro cat. Her stories are in over a dozen anthologies including Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign and The Lost Librarian's Grave: Tales of Madness, Horror, and Adventure. She’s the Editor of Writerpunk Press, where she’s edited four anthologies of punk stories inspired by Poe and classic horror, one of which received the Summer Indie Book Award. They have just released their latest anthology, Taught by Time: Myth Goes Punk. She’s Co-Coordinator of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) NY Chapter and one of the co-hosts of the monthly HWA NY Galactic Terrors online reading series. In her volunteer job as HWA Chapter Program Co-Manager, she helps support chapters in the US.
UNDERSTANDING THE CHILDREN'S FICTION MARKET,
with Instructor FLEUR BRADLEY
Saturday, May 14, 11 a.m. MDT
So you have this great book idea for kids… But is it a picture book, chapter book, middle-grade, or YA—and what do all those terms even mean? Whether you’re a new writer or an experienced author interested dipping your toe in the growing Kidlit market, author Fleur Bradley will explain the ins and outs, how to write for kids (like how to format a picture book, word count and content for each segment), and what to understand about marketing to the young set, from practical experience. This is an in-depth A-to-Z look at the Kidlit market, from writing to marketing and publishing. By the end of the workshop, participants will have brainstormed loglines or book ideas to start their Kidlit project.
FLEUR BRADLEY is the author of many short horror and mystery stories and books for kids, including the paranormal mystery Midnight at the Barclay Hotel (Viking/Penguin Random House) and the Double Vision trilogy (as F.T. Bradley, Harper Children’s). Midnight at the Barclay Hotel was shortlisted for the Reading the West, Agatha and Anthony Awards, and recently won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award and the Colorado Book Award. Her next MG horror/mystery, Daybreak on Raven Island is due out from Viking in August 2022. Fleur’s story "The Perfect Alibi" appears in Mystery Writers of America’s middle-grade anthology Super Puzzletastic Mysteries, edited by Chris Grabenstein. She regularly does author school and virtual visits, as well as librarian and educator conference talks on reaching reluctant readers. Originally from the Netherlands, she now lives in Colorado with her family, and entirely too many rescue animals. Find out more about Fleur at www.ftbradley.com
YOUR CORNER OF THE CRYPT:
FINDING YOUR NICHE IN HORROR,
with Instructor TIM WAGGONER
Saturday, May 14, 1 p.m. MDT
You write horror, but what makes your horror yours, stories that stand out from the pack, that no one else could have written? How do you make your work a true expression of yourself – your themes, your obsessions, your writing style – so that you not only find your voice as a horror writer, you become a brand unto yourself? This highly-interactive workshop will show you the way.
TIM WAGGONER has published over fifty novels and seven collections of short stories. He writes original dark fantasy and horror, as well as media tie-ins, and his articles on writing have appeared in numerous publications. He’s a three-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award, has won the HWA’s Mentor of the Year Award, and been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award, the Scribe Award, and the Splatterpunk Award. He’s also a full-time tenured professor who teaches creative writing and composition at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio.
THE MASTER PLOTTING CRASH COURSE
with Instructor JOHN SKIPP
Saturday, May 14, 3 p.m. MDT
Learn Skipp's ultimate tag team storyboarding technique. (A StokerCon favorite!) You'll uncover more about your novel or screenplay in two short hours than you can possibly believe, and walk away with huge chunks of your outline in hand. The tricks you learn in this class will last you a lifetime. COURSE REQUIREMENTS: A pack of 3 inch x 5 inch index cards (at least 100), one thick-line black Sharpee, your best penmanship, and a story you're excited to tell.
JOHN SKIPP is a Saturn Award-winning filmmaker (TALES OF HALLOWEEN), Stoker Award-winning anthologist (DEMONS, MONDO ZOMBIE), and New York Times bestselling author (THE LIGHT AT THE END, THE SCREAM) whose books have sold millions of copies in a dozen languages worldwide. His first anthology, BOOK OF THE DEAD, laid the foundation in 1989 for modern zombie literature. He's also editor-in-chief of Fungasm Press. And he also co-wrote possibly the gnarliest episode of Shudder's series CREEPSHOW. From splatterpunk founding father to bizarro elder statesman, Skipp has influenced a generation of horror and counterculture artists around the world. His latest book is DON'T PUSH THE BUTTON. His two new albums of original music are THE ANTIDOTE TO FEAR and CRY ME A RAINBOW. His new short film, currently playing the festival circuit, is DOPPELBANGER.