Pictures from Anthocon II
by Jason Harris
Another Rock and Shock has come and gone. The New England Horror Writers were there once again. We have been there for the past four years. This year saw less atttendees then last year, but last year’s guest line-up included Robert Englund, whose line went on forever and never seemed to get any shorter, and Ace Frehley, former lead guitarist of KISS. This year had Heather Langenkamp, of Nightmare on Elm Street fame, Anthony Michael Hall, of televison series The Dead Zone and movies The Breakfast Club and Weird Science, and another former KISS member, Peter Criss.
Before getting to Rock and Shock, the wife and I went to fellow NEHW member Trisha Wooldridge’s house, where we were staying over the weekend. We were also going to be joined by another NEHW member Kristi Petersen Schoonover, who would be arriving later that night. It’s always a party when the NEHW members get together.
After leaving Trisha’s house, we drove to Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester to talk to the owner about her bookstore. The wife and I were picking her brain since we’re opening our own bookstore called Books and Boos in Colchester, CT. It was a very informative 40 minutes.
I was there the entire weekend and Saturday was the busiest day. Friday started off with Breakin’ into the Biz panel, which included myself, T.J. May, Matt Bechtel, and Kristi Petersen Schoonover, who ended up as moderator since there wasn’t anyone from Fangoria magazine there to do the job like there were for the other panels during the weekend. The panel went well and there were a lot of suggestions and advice given to the people in the audience.
The audience grew a little bit for the Women in Horror panel, but that was to be expected since Langenkamp and Lisa Marie (Ed Wood, Mars Attacks!) joined NEHW members Tracy Carbone, Stacey Longo, and Trisha Wooldridge. This panel had Jack from Fangoria, moderating the panel. One thing surprised me was that the audience didn’t asked two many questions when that time came. Four questions were asked of people on the panel and two of those questions came from me. I asked Heather how was it working on Just the Ten of Us and if she would do another television show. She said, she would love to do another tv series. It was also nice to hear that she will be in the next Star Trek movie titled Star Trek into Darkness, but she couldn’t say what character she’s playing. It was also great talking to her and Lisa Marie when the panel was over.
On Friday, it was great talking with Sean Whalen who was in The People Under the Stairs and Twister, and many other movies. Check out his credits on the Internet Movie Database by clicking here. He gave Carbone, Longo, and myself some good ideas.
I introduced myself to Doug Bradley, who portrayed Pinhead in most of the Hellraiser movies except the last one, since I conducted a phone interview with him a few weeks ago. You can read the article here.
I was hoping to interview Hall on Sunday since that was the day his manager, John Boitano, said would be the best day since it’s the slowest of the convention. On Friday, I had the feeling it wouldn’t happen since there was a sign on Hall’s table stating he wouldn’t be at the convention until 2 p.m. on Saturday. When Saturday came, he didn’t show up at his table until 3 p.m. Later on Saturday evening, he took a break and a sign said he would be back at 5:45 p.m. He didn’t get back from his break until 6:15 p.m. Seeing those signs, physical and figuratively, told me that Hall wasn’t going to keep an interview with me on Sunday. It would have been cool to interview him, but it wasn’t disappointing. I did interview another filmmaker, Ryan Convery, on Sunday about his movie Mourning Wood, which is about “humping zombies.” There will be an article and a movie review coming in the near future.
It was great meeting Tony Todd (Candyman), Brian O’Halloran (Clerks), and Sig Haig (House of 1000 Corpses) this weekend. I won’t get autographs since I am not paying $20 or more for an autograph unless they are selling a movie or a book. I will shake their hands and tell them I love their work.
There was a Horror in the Movies panel on Sunday, which Rob Watts, Bracken Macleod, myself, and Stacey Longo were on. Longo ended up being the moderator when Jack from Fangoria couldn’t do it since he had to do something else. It was attended by a good number of people.
There will be another post with pictures tomorrow.
The New England Horror Writers will be appearing at Rock and Shock this weekend. There will be plenty of members manning the booth all weekend. They will be selling and signing their books.Epitaphs is one book in particular which will be on hand. It’s the first anthology produced by the NEHW. This Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of this collection being published. Here are the authors who have stories in Epitaphs that will be at the convention this weekend: Mike Arruda, Scott Goudsward, Stacey Longo, Paul McMahon, Kurt Newton, L.L. Soares, K. Allen Wood, and Trisha Wooldridge. Tracy L. Carbone, the editor of the anthology, will also be on-hand.
Other NEHW members, who will be at the convention, are Ashleigh Homon, Adam Cesare, Bracken Macleod, David Price, Gene Munson, Jason Harris, Jack Haringa, Jan Kozlowski, Kelli Jones, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, Matt Bechtel, Patrick Rahall, Rebekah Murphy, Rob Watts, T.J. May, Paul Tremblay, Bob Booth, and Jennifer Yarter-Polmatier.
They will also be four panels that the NEHW members will be involved in. This is the second year the organization has been on different panels. This year on the Women in Horror panel members , Carbone, Longo, and Wooldridge will be joined by Heather Langenkamp of Nightmare on Elm Street fame and Lisa Marie of Sleepy Hollow and Mars Attacks! fame.
The other panels will be “Breaking into the Biz” with Harris, May, Bechtel, and Schoonover, and “Horror in the Movies” with Harris, Longo, Soares, and Macleod.
As writers, we’re expected to do everything: blog, publicize, teach, learn, read, critique, edit, revise, judge contests—let alone just write. Sometimes, an opportunity comes our way to lead a workshop, and sometimes, we pass because we’re just overwhelmed.
When New England Horror Writers’ members Trisha Wooldridge and TJ May asked me to be a co-presenter at a NEHW day-long workshop at Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, MA, on February 4, I really had to think about it. I knew it was going to be just a couple of days after arriving in Provincetown, MA, for my annual winter stint at the Norman Mailer Writers Colony. I knew I didn’t want to go anywhere since it’s my time to disappear and write, write, write. But I said yes anyway, and I’m glad I did.
TJ covered the craft, I covered revision and critique, and Trisha covered business; the participants were engaged and seemed to have a great time. I learned a great deal in the process, as well as getting a refresher on some things I’d forgotten over the years. I left there jazzed, and as I was driving back to Provincetown, I thought that when we pass on a workshop presentation opportunity, we really do miss out.
Here are five reasons to never say no to leading a workshop:
1. Pay It Forward. Your workshop’s participants are there to learn from
you—the same way you once sat in a workshop eager to learn from the presenter. Sharing your experiences and knowledge with other writers is giving back what someone gave you— which helped make you the writer you are today.
2. Learn New Things—or Relearn Old Ones. Because writing tends to be discussed rather than instructed, there’s loads to learn or re-learn from either presenters or participants. Get ready to take notes!
3. Appreciate Your Success. Let’s face it, being a writer means getting beat up and feeling not-so-fresh sometimes. But when you start sharing your war stories, you begin to realize that no matter how many times you’ve failed, you’ve accomplished and know quite a bit—in fact, you’ve probably come a long way, baby!
4. Make New Friends. Writing is a solitary venture, and it’s usually an instant connection with someone else who does this solitary venture, too. Yes, you can make great contacts through workshops—but you can also make great new friends.
5. Get Inspired. There’s nothing like being around other writers and talking about the craft to give you a renewed ambition and sense of purpose. Spend a day around that energy and you’ll be driving home on a natural high—you just might spend the evening cranking out new material.
The next time you’re offered a chance to lead a workshop or to participate in one, don’t say no. You won’t regret it.
NEHW WRITING WORKSHOP:
WORCESTER, MA— NEHW is hosting a writing workshop at Annie’s Book Stop on 65 James Street in Worcester, MA on Saturday, Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The class is geared towards beginning to intermediate writers interested in bettering their writing and editing abilities while exploring all the “what now?” possibilities for publishing.
The class will be taught in three parts: writing, editing, and publishing; offer a bagged lunch; and include a professional critique of up to 2000 words of registered attendees’ manuscripts.
Attendees will learn under three professional members of the New England Horror Writers: Kristi Petersen Schoonover, T.J. May, and Trisha J. Wooldridge.
Schoonover is a three-time Norman Mailer Writers Colony Winter Resident; her short fiction has appeared in Carpe Articulum, The Adirondack Review, Barbaric Yawp, New Witch Magazine, Toasted Cheese, and others. Her most recent work, Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole, is a collection of ghost stories set in Disney Parks.
May is a writer of dark fiction, daylighting as a behavior therapist to children with autism. He is a regular contributor to Shroud Magazine, co-founder of SUMM Publications, an active member of the HWA and Co-Director of Events for the New England Horror Writers.
Wooldridge is the President of Broad Universe, an international non-profit dedicated to celebrating and promoting women who write speculative fiction. She’s contributed to several anthologies, including the EPIC-award-winning Bad-Ass Faeries series, is an associate editor for Spencer Hill Press, and freelance writes and edits for magazines, independent authors, and academic websites.
As this is the first workshop offered at the 65 James Street Annie’s, there is a special price of $30 for the course, or $25 for members of New England Horror Writers, Worcester Writers Collaborative, or Worcester college students. Attendees will need to pre-register either at Annie’s and will have to turn in their manuscript for critique no later than January 27. Seating is limited to 21 attendees. Walk-ins, if there is space, must pay full price and will not have a reserved bag lunch nor will they get the professional critique—but they are eligible for class critique.
For more information, contact Annie’s Book Stop via www.anniesbookstopworcester.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The phone number for the store is 508-796-5613. Space is firmly capped, so register now!
For more information about the event and all media, contact: Trisha Wooldridge, email@example.com,774-239-3655.