Writing the Occult: Vampires

Something juicy for you to sink your writing teeth into: learn from masters of dark tales and darker nights.

    Got an inkling for blood? Find yourself looking for pointy teeth? Are you a day-sleeper or a night-walker? Yes, our second edition of Writing the Occult takes us into the world of the vampire, and it's even bigger and better than our last outing: six sessions in total covering panels, workshops, talks, and more, for inspiration and aspiration alike.We've got folklorists talking about the origins of vampiric characters and how they broke out into the West. We're looking at adaptations of existing works and world-building for new ones. And we've got a star-studded panel of emerging and established writers who have truly made the vampire tropes their own. Whether you're a writer of horror or fantasy or folklore, a voracious reader of the night, or you just have a thing for fangs, we'd love to see you there.

    Sessions on:

    • Making the vampire trope your own

    • Vampire adaptations

    • The vampire as a romantic lead

    • World-building for vampire tales

    • Gothic feminism

    • And more!

    Featuring, in running order...

    Deborah hyde

    Deborah Hyde wants to know why people believe in the supernatural, and uses psychology, cultural anthropology, history and folklore to shed light on this intractable strand of human nature. Former Editor-in-Chief of The Skeptic and a fellow of The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, she makes frequent TV appearances and was a resident skeptic for the Uncanny and The Battersea Poltergeist podcasts. Deborah regularly speaks at events and conventions. She also hosts events for Conway Hall, the oldest surviving freethought organisation in the world, and for Fortean London’s special annual events there.

    Dr Sam George

    Sam George is Associate Professor in Research and the Convenor of the popular Open Graves, Open Minds Project at the University of Hertfordshire. Affectionately known on social media as ‘The Coffin Boffin’, she founded with Dr Bill Hughes the gothic research group Open Graves, Open Minds, unearthing depictions of the vampire and the undead in literature, art, and other media. Sam developed the first postgraduate module on vampire studies in the UK, and is now a leading spokesperson for the literary vampire. She currently researches folklore’s intersection with the gothic and is completing a new book on vampires and demons for MUP and a Gothic history of the fairy for Bloomsbury.

    Erica Robert Pallo

    Erica Robert Pallo first read Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles as an aspiring young Punk Rocker that was still trapped in the life of a Catholic school girl. Then Lestat de Lioncourt and his merry band of bloodsuckers entered her life and she’s been in love with them ever since. She is a writer, media producer, and independent scholar who focuses on stories about gender representation, cultural heritage preservation, and the fantasy worlds found both far away and close in the mind. As a filmmaker and photographer, Erica has an MFA in Film & Media Production and is the founder of EEven/Odd Productions. She focuses on directing, cinematography, and screenwriting but also has over a decade of experience on film and commercial production sets having worked in just about every position at one time or another, including stunts. In the daylight hours, Erica is a library assistant at Harvard University.

    Dawn Kurtagich

    An award-winning YA horror writer, Dawn's debut novel, THE DEAD HOUSE, was a YALSA Top 10 Pick, An Audie Award Nominee and an Earphone Award Winner. It has been optioned for TV by Lime Productions. She is also the author of THE CREEPER MAN / AND THE TREES CREPT IN, NAIDA and TEETH IN THE MIST, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Orion Children's Books. She writes adult fiction under the name Rook Bergen.

    A.R. James

    A. R. James (she/her) is a queer, bisexual actor-writer of unsettling entrances and exits in the form of poetry, flash fiction, auto-fiction, screenplays and scripts; co-founder of Sonnet Sisters, Six Lips Theatre and The Podvangelist; and the voice of 3CC0 in Tin Can. Existing works include Unknown (Stairwell Books), Little Irritants (Analog Submission Press) and 100 Friggin’ Poems.

    Beverley Lee

    Beverley Lee is the bestselling author of the Gabriel Davenport vampire suspense series and co-author, with Nicole Eigener, of Crimson is the Night: A Vampire Novelette and the forthcoming vampire novel series A Conclave of Crimson (2024). Vampires remain a constant source of inspiration and fascination, dating back to her early exposure to the works of Anne Rice. Her other books include The Ruin of Delicate Things, The House of Little Bones and The Sum of Your Flesh. Beverley is very much drawn to the darker side of fiction and the shadowy place between light and darkness where nothing is quite as it seems, marrying this with her trademark atmosphere building and underlying sense of dread. Her shorter fiction has been included in works from Cemetery Gates Media, Kandisha Press, Brigids Gate Press and Off Limits Press.

    Nicole eigener

    Nicole Eigener is the author of Beguiled by Night: A Vampire Tale (Polidori Press, 2020) and Citizens of Shadow: Beguiled by Night Book Two, in which Vauquelin’s story continues. They are also co-author, with Beverley Lee, of Crimson is the Night: A Vampire Novelette and the forthcoming novel series A Conclave of Crimson (2024). Nicole is a lifelong student of French history and the macabre and holds degrees in History and English Literature. Their love for haemovores became a beautiful marriage to their obsession with French culture, specifically of the seventeenth-century, which features prominently in their work. Nicole lives in Southern California. Visit their website at https://thevampire.org for book extras including French pronunciations and a soundtrack.

    Jewelle Gomez

    Jewelle Gomez (Cabo Verdean/Wampanoag/Ioway; she/her), is a novelist, poet, essayist and playwright. Her eleven books include five collections of poetry and the first Black Lesbian vampire novel, THE GILDA
    STORIES. In print for more than 30 years, it was recently optioned by Cheryl Dunye (“Lovecraft Country”) for a TV mini-series. The new UK edition will be launched by Vintage/Random House, September 9, 2023.

    Scott J. Moses

    Scott J. Moses is the author of Our Own Unique Affliction (DarkLit Press). An Active member of the Horror Writers Association, his work has appeared in Cosmic Horror Monthly, The NoSleep Podcast, Planet Scumm, and elsewhere. His work has been praised by Laird Barron, Brian Evenson, Eric LaRocca, Hailey Piper, Cynthia Pelayo, and others. He also edited What One Wouldn’t Do: An Anthology on the Lengths One Might Go To. He is Japanese American and lives in Maryland.

    Katalina Watt

    Katalina Watt’s writing is represented by Robbie Guillory at Underline, was longlisted for Penguin Write Now 2020, and awarded a 2021 Ladies of Horror Fiction Writers Grant. As founding Audio Director for khōréō, they won 2022 Ignyte Award for Best Fiction Podcast and were longlisted for 2023 Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine.

    A.W. Earl

    A W Earl is a writer, storyteller, and poet, whose work centres queerness, deviant bodies, folklore, and the macabre. They learned their craft on both the DIY punk poetry scene of the Medway towns - where they recently performed as part of the 2023 Maidstone Fringe - and the more formal atmosphere on the University of East Anglia’s Literature and Creative Writing course. Their work has appeared in The Modern Craft - a collection of essays on modern witchcraft from Watkins Books, as well as The Selkie and Lighthouse Journal. Time’s Fool, their debut novel, was published by Unbound in 2018 under the name Alys Earl.

    Rebecca Wojtuska

    Rebecca Wojturska (she/her) has worked in academic publishing for over ten years, and is currently the Open Access Publishing Officer at the University of Edinburgh. She is responsible for managing Edinburgh Diamond: an open access hosting service which offers hosting, technical support, preservation, indexing, and publishing guidance to staff and students who wish to publish diamond open access books and journals. Rebecca is also the Managing Director for Haunt Publishing, a small indie press dedicated to highlighting marginalised authors in the Gothic, horror and dark fiction genres. In her spare time she loves nothing more than reading Gothic literature, watching horror films and crushing her enemies at board games.

    Produced by the Society of Ink Slingers, in conjunction with Alex Davis Events. Sessions will be recorded for those who can't make it live to the whole event.

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