StoryFest 2020: Beyond Stoker - Contemporary Visions of Vampires in Fiction @ Westport Library - Westport Moms

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StoryFest 2020: Beyond Stoker – Contemporary Visions of Vampires in Fiction @ Westport Library

September 15, 2020 @ 8:30 am - 9:30 pm

StoryFest 2020 opens with the virtual premiere of a roundtable conversation with three award-winning authors – Gwendolyn Kiste, Michelle Renee Lane and L. Marie Wood – on contemporary vampire stories.

This is a virtual event. Click here to register and view the event.

Our thirst for vampire stories continues today. But contemporary fiction writers are crafting exciting new visions of vampire lore, using the classic monster to tell absorbing new stories that speak to the different monsters of our current moment. These three writers will discuss their own bold takes on the vampire story and explore what vampire fiction can tell us about the world we inhabit today.

Due to the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, StoryFest 2020 is going virtual. From September 15 – September 29, we will premiere 13 live and pre-recorded author events, featuring authors slated to appear in person at StoryFest 2020. These events will feature top authors and creators in genre fiction, comics, young adult fiction, and middle grade fiction. And in cross-genre panels, they will explore the big ideas at the heart of telling stories in today’s world.

About Our Panelists:

Gwendolyn Kiste is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens, from Trepidatio Publishing; And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, from JournalStone; the dark fantasy novella, Pretty Marys All in a Row, from Broken Eye Books; and the occult horror novelette, The Invention of Ghosts, from Nightscape Press. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Nightmare Magazine, Vastarien, Tor’s Nightfire, Black Static, Daily Science Fiction, Unnerving, Interzone, and LampLight, among others. Originally from Ohio, she now resides on an abandoned horse farm outside of Pittsburgh with her husband, two cats, and not nearly enough ghosts. Find her online at

Michelle Renee Lane writes dark speculative fiction about identity politics and women of color battling their inner demons while falling in love with monsters. Michelle holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Her work includes elements of fantasy, horror, romance, and occasionally erotica. Her short fiction appears in the anthologies Terror Politico: A Screaming World in ChaosThe Monstrous Feminine: Dark Tales of Dangerous WomenThe Dystopian States of AmericaGraveyard Smash, and Dead Awake (forthcoming from Crimson Creek Press). Her Bram Stoker Award nominated debut novel, Invisible Chains (2019), is available from Haverhill House Publishing. You can find Michelle online at

L. Marie Wood is an award-winning author and screenwriter.  She is the recipient of the Golden Stake Award for her novel The Promise Keeper, as well as the Harold L. Brown Award for her screenplay Home Party.  Her short story, “The Ever After” is part of the Bram Stoker Award Finalist anthology Sycorax’s Daughters.  Wood was recognized in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Vol. 15 and as one of the 100+ Black Women in Horror Fiction.  Wood holds an MFA in Speculative Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University and serves as the Director of Curricula for the Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction (  She is also the Director of the horror track for MultiverseCon. Visit to learn more.


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