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StokerCon 2019

StokerCon 2019 was held in Grand Rapids, MI from May 9th through May 12th. It was my fourth StokerCon and the event seems to get better each year. The panels and workshops were outstanding, and it's always special to spend time with my growing horror family.

Linda Addison, John R.D. Taff, myself, and Erik T. Johnson.

The all-star panel...

Two of the special guests this year were Josh Malerman and Robert McCammon. I first met Josh at the Stanley Hotel in 2015, and I've had the pleasure of hanging out with him at several events since. He's a great writer and a better person, always friendly and helpful, and so knowledgeable on the genre.

Josh Malerman and company performing a dramatic reading of Bird Box, Unbury Carol, and Inspection.

Robert McCammon ruled the horror section of bookstores in the 80s and 90s with Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Dan Simmons. His novel, Boy's Life, is an all-time favorite of mine. Finally getting to meet him, and have a brief chat about his latest, The Listener, was a thrill.

Linda Addison, Tony Tremblay, Robert McCammon, and John F.D. Taff...with me photobombing.

The highlight of the event is the Bram Stoker Awards Banquet. Writers in several categories are recognized for their superior achievement. The awards were hosted this year by Jonathan Maberry, who delivered a moving opening speech about the family he has built around him in the horror community.

Paul Tremblay won for Superior Achievement in a Novel with The Cabin at the End of the World. Gwendolyn Kiste won for Superior Achievement in a First Novel with her debut, Rust Maidens.

As always, I returned home from the event highly motivated to write! A few more pictures...

Gwendolyn Kiste, before winning the Stoker for Superior Achievement in a First Novel.

Lee Murray was nominated for two Stoker Awards.

Jeff Strand critiquing Jonathan Maberry's debut as Stoker Awards emcee.

Next year's convention will be held in Scarborough, United Kingdom. More information can be found here.

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