by Kristi Petersen Schoonover
Contrary to what everyone in the publishing industry has been saying for years, the short story isn’t dead. In fact, it never was. And now that “short-and-sweet” is the accelerating trend, there’s room for one special horror conference to celebrate it all: the First Annual AnthoCon: The Anthology 2011 Conference, coming to Portsmouth, New Hampshire November 11-12, 2011.
Presented by Shroud Publishing, The Anthology 2011 Conference will “showcase the imaginative talent in speculative fiction and art, with an additional focus on the convergence of images and literature,” according to the AnthoCon website.
Like other cons, well-known writers will be on hand, among them Christopher Golden (Of Saints and Shadows), who will offer a reading and signing; Jonathan Maberry, who read from one of his new novels; and Jennifer Pelland, who will read from her debut novel, Machine. There will be an extensive dealer area which will feature books, films, artwork, comics, and more. There will also be a Juried Art Exhibit to include such shelf familiars as Ogmios (The Witches’ Almanac), Morbideus Goodell (Apex Digest, Maberry’s Vampire and Cryptopaedia), and Michael Bailey (who is also the editor of Pellucid Lunacy, an anthology of psychological horror and several novels).
“[AnthoCon] has some amazing authors, publishers and film people attending,” said Tracy L. Carbone, editor of Epitaphs, New England Horror Writers Association’s first official anthology, which will debut at the conference. “It should prove to be the best new Con for horror folks out there.”
But what makes AnthoCon unique is its focus on the nine panels’ concentration on education for both writers and horror fans. For example, Reaching through the Veil will examine the channeling of myth, religion, spirituality and the collective unconscious in imaginative fiction; Getting Your Short Story Published with the Small Press will offer insight on finding, submitting, and selling your short story; Evil Jester Press Presents “Help! Wanted: Tales of On-The-Job Terror” will dissect the process of producing an anthology. Horror names Biran Keene, Rick Hautala, Cat Valente, Maberry, Joseph Nassise, Pelland, and Golden will present I’ve Made It This Far, Now What?, using their paths to literary success to illumine what the process could be like for those in attendance. Topics also go deeper with Writing Programs: from the MFA to Private Workshops. And Eric Red (The Hitcher, Near Dark) will present a lecture and workshop The Elements of Writing Horror and Thrillers for Films.
Aside from guests, vendors, and panelists, the event promises to draw a unique crowd to include film and book reviewers and magazine editors—like Peter Schwotzer, the man at the helm of Literary Mayhem (http://literarymayhem.com/) who also reviews anthologies, lit-zines and books for Famous Monsters of Filmland and IMDB.
“I’m going mainly to meet a lot of authors I’ve met over the past couple of years in person. We correspond by e-mails, phone, Twitter, Facebook, etc., but it will be nice to meet face to face,” Schwotzer said. “All of the authors have been so kind and generous to me, it still boggles my mind that I actually correspond with my literary heroes.”
If that weren’t enough, AnthoCon’s location—Portsmouth, New Hampshire—is not only America’s third-oldest city, it’s the type of classic spooky New England Seacoast that has inspired countless creepy tales over the years: the perfect place to hold such a conference.
With so much to offer that seems to be different from what’s offered at other cons, this promises to be a great inauguration with long-lasting recurring potential—writer or fan, artist or reviewer, don’t miss out.
AnthoCon 2011 will be held at the Best Western Wynwood Hotel & Suites at 580 US Route 1 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Friday, November 11 through Sunday, November 13, 2011. For complete information on AnthoCon, including schedules, costs, who’ll be there and how to go, visit http://www.anthocon.com.