The Horror Writers Association has made the difficult decision to shift StokerCon™ 2021 from an in-person event to a virtual platform during its originally scheduled May 20 to 23 dates. With the ongoing pandemic, the emergence of viral variants, and the broad range of travel obstacles around the world, we have deemed this to be the safest, most responsible way to hold the event.
As might be expected with an event of this size, switching to a virtual footing poses many challenges, but Con co-chairs, James Chambers and Brian Matthews; HWA President, John Palisano; Vice President, Meghan Arcuri; Administrator, Brad Hodson; and the officers and trustees of the HWA Board have made significant progress in executing this change. Our hope is to preserve the spirit of StokerCon™ and create an event that will resemble as closely as possible our usual programming—panels, presentations, interviews, author readings, ceremonies, and the Bram Stoker Awards® presentation. At this time our plans include the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference, Librarians’ Day, Horror University, and the Final Frame Film Competition. And while we won’t be able to gather in the same place, all attendees of this virtual StokerCon™ will receive—or, outside the U.S., have the option to receive—a printed copy of the beautiful souvenir book created and edited by Josh Viola and HEX Publishing.
We understand many of you will have questions, and we promise to answer them. We are still finalizing several details of this transition, such as how to register for the virtual event, the price of registration, specific options for the many folks already registered, and so on. We expect to make several announcements on all these topics throughout the month of February well before the cut-off date for a full registration refund. For those of you who already registered we expect to offer two options: one, a full refund, and two, rolling your 2021 registration over to 2022 (with a partial refund so match the Early Bird rate for 2022). We hope you’ll stay with us for those announcements and details and join us online in May, and we thank you in advance for your patience and support during this transition.
For those who made reservations at The Curtis Hotel, all StokerCon™ reservations will be canceled by the hotel. You don’t need to contact them to cancel, though you may do so if you wish to make changes other than cancellation or to obtain confirmation. The good news for those of you looking forward to visiting Denver and The Curtis is that StokerCon™ 2022 will now be held there on May 12 to 15, 2022! We anticipate that by this time the obstacles to an in-person gathering will be much reduced if not eliminated. We will share more details about the 2022 event later in the year.
The decision to take this year’s StokerCon™ virtual did not come easily. We all miss seeing our friends and were looking forward to a grand reunion in person with so many of our colleagues. But the health and safety of our attendees, our guests of honor, and our volunteers must come first. We will strive to bring you a robust, educational, and entertaining virtual convention.
Stay safe, stay well, and stay tuned.