Vision Statement and Themes
Programming, World Horror Convention 2015
Then: As co-programming chair of the Fifth World Horror Convention in Atlanta in 1995, our mandate was to push the envelope to develop panel topics that reflected the cutting edge of horror then and into the future. Even in the case of historic issues or classic monsters, our mission was to challenge attendees to think more broadly, unsettle expectations and inspire. In other words, no cookie-cutter generic vampire panel. Also in the tradition of past World Horror and World Fantasy conventions, we sought ways to explore the ties between horror and Southern gothic literature.
Now: My assistant programming chair Derek Tatum and I would like to assemble a dynamic program worthy of the 25th annual World Horror Convention. We’ve put together seven themes, and we invite all attending professionals to offer your suggestions.
The Seven Themes of WHC 2015
- The Weird South: Let’s dig deep into horror’s heritage in Southern Gothic literature, Southern writers today and Southern settings. Why does the South provide such a rich playground for authors and filmmakers exploring the darker side of humanity? As a side note, many of the top recent horror/dark-themed TV series are set in the South, including The Walking Dead and Vampire Diaries (filmed in Atlanta), True Blood, Seasons 3 and 4 of American Horror Story and True Detective.
- Pushing the Diaspora Darkly: Befitting the city that was the center of the Civil Rights Movement, we’ll take on diversity and an emerging global view of horror as it moves into the 21st century with a new generation of writers from different cultural backgrounds. How are these writers redefining what we consider horror both on American soil and abroad? How can the lens of a global perspective inform and push us to reassess our interpretation of works that have come before, and should it?
- Terrifying Tropes and Deadly Definitions: Classic monsters will still get their due, but we’ll be looking for new angles to challenge and inspire, as well as exploring sub-genre definitions and cross-pollination with other genres. What’s the ongoing appeal of classic tropes such as vampires, werewolves, zombies and the Cthulhu Mythos and how are they being reimagined today? What about the Weird Renaissance and what should we call it (New Weird? Cosmic Horror?)? Noir-Horror Fusion? Paranormal? Neogothic? In this theme/track, we really want to scratch under the surface and unsettle your expectations.
- YA Rocks: YA is rocking right now. Possible panel topics will focus on the latest trends, classic books and authors that are influenced today’s writers, fiction for different age groups, why horror is so popular in YA right now, film and TV tie-ins, etc.
- The State of Horror, 1991. We’ll go back in time to 1991, the year that WHC was founded and remember an exciting time in horror fiction. How did WHC get started? What were the first WHCs like? Who were the top authors, books, editors, publishers? And what were the hot horror topics?
- The Art of Fear: Latest trends in horror art, comics, artist spotlights, the business of art, and other media-related programming.
- The Business of Horror: Everything to do with submissions, getting an agent, editing, eBooks, social networking, self-publishing, new technologies, why join HWA and more. Panels will target a wide range of levels from beginning writers to seasoned professionals wanting the lowdown on how to maximize the latest developments in marketing and publishing.
We welcome input from registered attendees! Please click here to drop us a line with your suggestions. Thank you.