Guests of Honor

George RR Martin

George R.R. Martin sold his first story in 1971 and has been writing professionally since then. He spent ten years in Hollywood as a writer-producer, working on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and television pilots that were never made. In the mid ’90s he returned to prose, his first love, and began work on his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. He has been in the Seven Kingdoms ever since. Whenever he’s allowed to leave, he returns to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lives with the lovely Parris, and two cats named Augustus and Caligula, who think they run the place.


elizabeth hand

Elizabeth Hand is the bestselling author of thirteen genre-spanning novels and four collections of short fiction. Her work has received the World Fantasy Award (four times), Nebula Award (twice), Shirley Jackson Award (three times), International Horror Guild Award (three times), the Mythopoeic Award, and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, among others, and several of her books have been New York Times and Washington Post Notable Books. Her recent, critically acclaimed novels featuring Cass Neary, “one of literature’s great noir anti-heroes” [Katherine Dunn] — Generation Loss, Available Dark and Hard Light — have been compared to those of Patricia Highsmith.


chuck wendig

Chuck Wendig is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Aftermath, as well as the Miriam Black thrillers, the Atlanta Burns books, and the Heartland YA series, alongside other works across comics, games, film, and more. A finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the co-writer of the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus, he is also known for his popular blog,, and his books about writing. He lives in Pennsylvania, with his family.


pete crowther

Peter Crowther is the recipient of numerous awards for his writing, his editing and, as publisher, for the hugely successful PS Publishing (now including the Stanza Press poetry subsidiary and PS Artbooks). As well as being widely translated, his short stories have been adapted for TV on both sides of the Atlantic and collected in The Longest Single Note, Lonesome Roads, Songs of Leaving, Cold Comforts, The Spaces Between the Lines and The Land at the End of the Working Day. He is the co-author (with James Lovegrove) of Escardy Gap and The Hand That Feeds, and author of the Forever Twilight SF/horror cycle and By Wizard Oak. He lives and works (and still reads a lot of comic books!) with his wife and business partner, Nicky on the Yorkshire coast of England.


Bill Bridges

Bill Bridges is a writer and game designer, most known for developing White Wolf’s landmark World of Darkness setting and HDI’s Fading Suns science-fiction universe. Bill helmed the Werewolf: the Apocalypse line of books and games, as well as creating the Mage: the Awakening and Promethean: the Created settings, and served as Senior Content Designer on CCP Games’ World of Darkness MMO. He is the lead developer for HDI’s Fading Suns setting, featured in computer games, RPG books, fiction anthologies, miniatures games, and the forthcoming tablet and phone app, Noble Armada. His fiction works include My Time Among the Stars for Fading Suns, and The Silver Crown and Last Battle novels for Werewolf. He is currently creating a new dark fantasy setting to be featured in novels and RPGs.


Tananarive Due

Tananarive Due is a former Cosby Chair in the Humanities at Spelman College (2012-2014), where she taught screenwriting, creative writing and journalism. She teaches Afrofuturism at UCLA and also teaches in the creative writing MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles. The American Book Award winner and NAACP Image Award recipient is the author of twelve novels and a civil rights memoir. In 2010, she was inducted into the Medill School of Journalism’s Hall of Achievement at Northwestern University. Due’s novella “Ghost Summer,” published in the 2008 anthology The Ancestors, received the 2008 Kindred Award from the Carl Brandon Society, and her short fiction has appeared in best-of-the-year anthologies of science fiction and fantasy. Her first short story collection, Ghost Summer, was  published by Prime Books in June of 2015. Due collaborates on the Tennyson Hardwick mystery series with her husband, author Steven Barnes, in partnership with actor Blair Underwood. Due also wrote The Black Rose , a historical novel about the life of Madam C.J. Walker, based on the research of Alex Haley – and Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights , which she co-authored with her mother, the late civil rights activist Patricia Stephens Due. Freedom in the Family was named 2003’s Best Civil Rights Memoir by Black Issues Book Review.


Gretchen ONeil

Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown. Her YA horror Possess about a teen exorcist debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011. Gretchen’s follow up Ten – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, a finalist for Washington state’s 2015 Evergreen Young Adult Book Award and Vermont’s 2014-2015 Green Mountain Book Award, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012” by Romantic Times. In 2013, she released 3:59, a sci-fi doppelganger horror about two girls who are the same girl in parallel dimensions who decide to switch places. In 2014, Gretchen debuted her first series, Don’t Get Mad, also with Balzer + Bray. Get Even and Get Dirty follow four very different girls who form a secret society where they get revenge on bullies and mean girls at their elite prep school. Relic was released March 8, 2016 and I’m Not your Manic Pixie Dream Girl, a YA contemporary novel  will be out in the fall. Gretchen’s novels have been optioned by Hollywood production companies, and have sold nternationally in Chinese, Spanish, and Turkish.


Becky Spratford

Becky Spratford [MLIS] is a Readers’ Advisory Librarian in Illinois specializing in serving patrons ages 13 and up. She trains library staff all over the world on how to match books with readers through the local public library. She runs the critically acclaimed and popular RA training blogs RA for All ( and it’s horror focused evil twin RA for All: Horror ( She is under contract to provide content for EBSCO’s NoveList database and writes fiction reviews for Booklist. As the author of The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Horror, Second Edition [ALA Editions, 2012], Becky is regarded as the “horror maven” of the library world [her publisher’s words]. She actively promotes the genre teaching librarians on how to help match horror fans with books. She also contributes a horror book list to Library Journal’s Reader’s Shelf column twice yearly, and is a proud member of the Horror Writers Association. You can follow Becky on Twitter @RAforAll.


Stephen Graham Jones

Stephen Graham Jones is the author of sixteen novels, six story collections, more than 250 stories, and has some comic books in the works. His current book is the werewolf novel Mongrels (William Morrow). Stephen’s been the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Fiction, the Texas Institute of Letters Jesse Jones Award for Fiction, the Independent Publishers Awards for Multicultural Fiction, three This is Horror awards, and he’s made Bloody Disgusting’s Top Ten Novels of the Year. Stephen teaches in the MFA programs at University of Colorado at Boulder and University of California Riverside-Palm Desert. He lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife, two children, and too many old trucks. @SGJ72


Nancy Holder

Toastmaster Nancy Holder‘s work has appeared on many bestseller lists. A five-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award(R), she has also received accolades from the American Library Association, the American Reading Association, the New York Public Library, and Romantic Times. She and Debbie Viguié coauthored the New York Times bestselling Wicked series for Simon and Schuster.  They have continued their collaboration with the Crusade and the Wolf Springs Chronicles series, and are hard at work on a teen thriller. She is also the author of the young adult horror series, Possessions, for Razorbill. She has sold many novels and book projects set in the MTV Teen Wolf, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, AngelSaving Grace, Hellboy, and Smallville universes. She has also sold approximately two hundred short stories and essays on writing and popular culture. Her anthology, Outsiders, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award(R) in 2005. She is an editor and writer of comic books, graphic novels, and pulp fiction for Moonstone Books, where much of her work centers around Sherlock Holmes. She writes a column for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Bulletin. She also teaches in the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing Program, offered through the University of Southern Maine. This summer, she will serve as the Writer in Residence at Odyssey, a six-week summer intensive workshop at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire.