HWA Announces Summer Scares Reading Program

By: Horror Writers Association
LOS ANGELES - Oct. 31, 2020 - PRLog -- The Horror Writers Association (HWA), in partnership with United for Libraries, Book Riot, and Booklist, is proud to announce the third annual Summer Scares Reading Program. Summer Scares is a reading program that provides libraries and schools with an annual list of recommended horror titles for adult, young adult, and middle-grade readers. It introduces readers and librarians to new authors and stimulates discussions from each list to promote reading for years to come.

Award-winning author Silvia Moreno-Garcia and a committee of five library workers will select three recommended fiction titles in each reading level, totaling nine Summer Scares selections. The program will encourage a national conversation about the horror genre, across all age levels, at libraries. This should attract more adult, teen, and children readers interested in horror. Official Summer Scares designated authors will also make themselves available at public and school libraries nationwide.

"When I tell people I like reading horror books, they sometimes look at me like I'm odd," Silvia says. "Horror often is misperceived, even though it's the genre that gave us classics such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" or Daphne du Maurier's "Don't Look Now." Like any other genre, horror is multifaceted and has a rich history. From pulpy scares to cerebral thrills, horror deserves more love and we're here to share some exciting titles."

The committee's final selections will be announced on February 12, 2021, just before National Library Lover's Day. Moreno-Garcia, along with some of the selected authors, will appear on a panel to kickoff Summer Scares at the 5th Annual HWA Librarians' Day during StokerCon 2021.

Between the announcement of the titles and the kickoff event, the committee and its partners will publish lists of more titles for further reading. Official Summer Scares podcasting partner, Ladies of the Fright Podcast, will also record episodes in conjunction with Summer Scares.

Look for more updates coming soon from Booklist, Book Riot, and United for Libraries, as well as at the HWA's website: www.horror.org. For more information about Summer Scares, contact JG Faherty, HWA Library Committee Chair (libraries@horror.org), or Becky Spratford, HWA Secretary (bspratford@hotmail.com)

As always, this year's Summer Scares initiative includes the updated Summer Scares Programming Guide, courtesy of Konrad Stump and the Springfield-Greene County Library, which provides creative ideas to engage horror readers. Centered around the official Summer Scares titles, the guide offers tips and examples for readers' advisory, book discussions, and special programs, and enables librarians, even those who don't read or especially enjoy the horror genre themselves, to participate in Summer Scares. More information is available here: https://tinyurl.com/SummerScaresGuide

Summer Scares Committee Members:

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the bestselling author of the novels Mexican Gothic, Gods of Jade and Shadow, Certain Dark Things, and Untamed Shore, among others. She has also edited several anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award-winning She Walks in Shadows (a.k.a. Cthulhu's Daughters). Gods of Jade and Shadow was the 2020 American Library Association Reading List winner in the Fantasy category, appeared on many year's best lists, and won the 2020 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. Silvia is also the publisher of Innsmouth Free Press, a columnist for The Washington Post, and a book reviewer for NPR. You can follow her on Twitter at @silviamg.

Becky Spratford is a library consultant and the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Horror, second edition, and is currently working on the third edition. She reviews horror for Booklist Magazine, is the horror columnist for Library Journal and runs the Readers' Advisory Horror blog, RA for All: Horror. Becky is also a Library Trustee member of United for Libraries and is currently serving as Secretary for the Horror Writers' Association.

Konrad Stump is a Local History Associate for the Springfield-Greene County (MO) Library, where he coordinates local history programming and works district-wide on Big Read, ASRP, and Springfield-Greene's popular "Oh, the Horror!" series, which attracts hundreds of patrons during October. He created the Donuts & Death horror book discussion group, featured in "Book Club Reboot: 71 Creative Twists" (ALA), and co-created the Summer Scares Programming Guide. Library workers and authors who are interested in cultivating horror programming can contact Konrad at konrads@thelibrary.org for free assistance.

Carolyn Ciesla is a library director and academic dean at Prairie State College in the Chicago suburbs. She has worked as a teen librarian and reference librarian, and reviews horror titles for Booklist Magazine. She's currently enjoying providing all the scary books to her teen daughter, and revisiting a few along the way.

Julia Smith joined the Books for Youth team at Booklist in 2015, where she is now a senior editor. Her life-long love of horror movies and middle-grade literature draws her to creepy children's stories and books with bone in the title. You can follow her at @JuliaKate32 on Twitter.

Kelly Jensen is a former librarian who works as an Editor for Book Riot (bookriot.com), where she runs the bi-weekly "What's Up in YA?" young adult newsletter and cohosts the popular "Hey YA" podcast about young adult literature Her books include the award-winning (Don't) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health and Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, both from Algonquin Young Readers. She's also a well-known and long-time co-blogger at Stacked (stackedbooks.org). A life-long lover of all things scary, she finds herself eager to scream about horror reads for teens with those who love good thrills and chills.

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