Announcing the Ghoulish Book Festival 2023 Official Schedule
Panels, Readings, a Ghost Tour, AND a Ghoulish Wedding?!
Hello! We are thrilled to finally announce the official schedule for this year’s Ghoulish Book Festival, which will occur in San Antonio on April 14-16. Badges are available here.
GHOULISH BOOK FESTIVAL 2023 OFFICIAL SCHEDULE
NOTE: THIS SCHEDULE HAS BEEN EDITED SINCE ORIGINALLY SENT OUT TO REFLECT JOSH MALERMAN’S ABSENCE FROM THE FESTIVAL.
FRIDAY (APRIL 14)
12:00 | Bookstore Opens
Come introduce yourself and pick up your badges and start your shopping! We’ve been dying to see you! But not, like, in a weird way. We are normal people. Please don’t freak out. Please.
1:30-2:30 | Panel: Found Footage in Horror
From the Blair Witch Project to the cursed camcorder you discovered on the side of the road. Why are we so fascinated with found footage in horror? What about it separates itself from other subgenres? And what are some of the best examples in both film and literature?
Panelists: Johnny Compton, Trevor Henderson, R.C. Hausen, Susan Snyder. Moderator: Miguel Myers.
2:30-3:30 | Panel: Witches
We’re talking all things witchcraft. Which witch? You know which witch. All the witches. Witches in books! Witches in movies! Witches in real life! If you miss this panel, we aren’t saying you will be cursed, but we’re not not saying that, either.
Panelists: V. Castro, John C. Foster, Jessica Leonard, E. F. Schraeder. Moderator: Agatha Andrews.
3:30-4:00 | Readings
Bridget D. Brave & Eve Harms
4:00-5:00 | Panel: Cosmic Horror
Let’s face facts, ghouls. You are barely a particle in the universe. Compared to how vast this world really is, you are nothing, and you will never amount to much more beyond that. Forces are operating beyond your control. You are less than a puppet. You are finger food for the ancient gods. Be grateful you even got to exist as an ant.
Panelists: Ryan C. Bradley, Matt Brandenburg, John C. Foster, R.C. Hausen. Moderator: Zachary Ashford.
5:00-5:30 | Readings
V. Castro & E. F. Schraeder
5:30-6:30 | Panel: Coming of Age in Horror
There is only one way for a child to become an adult, and that’s to band together with your friends and defeat the monster terrorizing your small town. Maybe there are other ways, but those ways won’t be discussed on this panel. If you are curious about the other ways, ask your parents. And then take their credit card down to the vendor bookstore and load up on books without telling them.
Panelists: Miracle Austin, V. Castro, Angel Luis Colon, Tom Deady. Moderator: Preston Fassel.
6:30-7:30 | Bookstore Closes / Dinner Break
Go eat some food! You deserved it! Preserve your energy. There’s a ghost tour later!
7:30-8:00 | Readings
Zachary Ashford & LP Hernandez
8:00-9:00 | Panel: Ghouls of Honor Roundtable
Come meet our ghouls of honor!
Panelists: V. Castro, Johnny Compton, Trevor Henderson. Moderator: Max Booth III.
9:30-11:30 | San Antonio Ghost Tour
Explore the Riverwalk’s haunted history on this tour as we share about Indigenous burial and life along the river, bizarre murders and executions, San Antonio’s red light district, haunted bars and clubs as well as tragic floods that changed the course of our city’s history. [Tickets required]
Guides: The Curious Twins
SATURDAY (APRIL 15)
9:00-9:45 | Mass Author Signing
Authors from the fest will be signing and selling books! If you wanted to buy a book from someone without a vendor table, this is the time to do it!
10:00 | Bookstore Opens
Vendor room re-opens Saturday afternoon! Let’s buy some books!
10:00-11:00 | Panel: The Night Stalker's Children: Getting It Right When Writing About Reporters
From cult TV show Kolchak: The Night Stalker to the protagonists of thrillers such as J.A. Jance's Ali Reynolds series, fiction is full of nosy reporters looking into creepy stuff. Authors who have worked as reporters and editors explain how to get the details about the media business right—or at least close enough to feel believable.
Panelists: Marisol Cortez, Thomas Edwards, Rob Saucedo, Dan Tucker. Moderator: Sanford Allen.
11:00-12:00 | Panel: How to Break into Horror
Want to be involved in the horror community but not sure where to begin? Allow us to give you some tips on how to get your foot in the door. As for the rest of your body, good luck.
Panelists: Matt Blairstone, Preston Fassel, Cynthia Pelayo, Tonia Ransom. Moderator: LP Hernandez.
12:00-1:00 | Panel: Dysfunctional Families
Yo, families suck! Especially the families we’re going to be talking about on the Dysfunctional Families panel.
Panelists: Michael Louis Dixon, Laurel Hightower, Jessica Leonard, Tiffany Meuret. Moderator: Susan Snyder.
1:00-1:30 | Lunch Break
Go eat some lunch! We can’t have anybody passing out from starvation at this festival again. We’ve already been warned twice about last year.
1:30-2:00 | Readings
Jessica Leonard & Laurel Hightower
2:00-3:00 | Panel: Horror Podcasts & Audio Dramas
Everybody has a podcast, yes, but they don’t all have horror podcasts. You could even consider this panel a podcast, especially if you close your eyes while it’s happening. Uh oh, did we just accidentally blow your mind?
Panelists: LP Hernandez, Miguel Myers, Bob Pastorella, Tonia Ransom. Moderator: Agatha Andrews.
3:00-4:00 | Panel: Staying Productive as a Writer in the 21st Century
Tell me if you’ve had this problem. You’re trying to write your next great masterpiece, only you can’t stop refreshing Twitter and sharing TikToks and doomscrolling the latest horrifying trending topic. We live in very busy times and it’s incredibly hard to stay concentrated on what matters. Will this panel solve all your problems in life? Yes.
Panelists: Angel Louis Colon, Eve Harms, Tom Deady, Danger Slater. Moderator: Cynthia Pelayo.
4:00-5:00 | Panel: Horror Graphic Novels
Okay, we’re officially out of control now. A panel about horror graphic novels? How do we keep getting away with this?!
Panelists: Matt Brandenburg, Trevor Henderson, Shane McKenzie, Danger Slater. Moderator: Zach Chapman.
5:00-6:00 | Panel: New Waves in Horror
The horror genre is always expanding and evolving. In this panel, we’re talking about some recent trends and new subgenres, such as Urban Weird and Pizza Horror.
Panelists: Matt Blairstone, RJ Joseph, Zachary Ashford, Victoria Nations. Moderator: Bob Pastorella.
6:00-7:00 | Bookstore Closes / Dinner Break
Wake up! It’s time to eat again! Please don’t die during the festival. We seriously can’t afford that kind of bad press right now.
7:00-8:00 | Panel: Horror Games
We know what you’re thinking. Horror games? Really? Well, yeah. Really. Video games! Table-top games! Childhood games! It’s the horror games panel, baby!
Panelists: Zach Chapman, R.C. Hausen, Andrew Hilbert, Lucas Mangum. Moderator: John Baltisberger.
8:00-8:30 | Readings
Danger Slater & Shane McKenzie
8:45-10:00 | A Ghoulish Wedding
The founders of the Ghoulish Book Festival, Lori Michelle & Max Booth III, are getting freakin’ married! Everybody is welcome to attend the ceremony in the ballroom. There will be cake and wine present! The cake will be spooky but the wine will be neutral.
10:00 -11:00 | The Annual Ghoulish Book Festival Spooky Campfire Storyteller’s Horror Storytelling Contest™
Each contestant will be given a flashlight and up to 5 minutes to tell the spookiest story imaginable in a pitch-black room surrounded by an eager audience; winner receives a trophy and bragging points as the spookiest writer of the festival. If you miss this, you are a coward, and for the rest of the festival people will point and laugh at you and say, “Oh, there goes the coward.”
Contestants: Andrew Hilbert, Danger Slater, Michael Louis Dixon, Preston Fassel, Miracle Austin, Lucas Mangum, John Baltisberger, Victoria Moore, H.V. Patterson, Sean Horkheimer, Zachary Ashford, Shane McKenzie, and Bridge D. Brave. Host: Max Booth III.
SUNDAY (APRIL 16)
10:00 | Bookstore Opens
We are back for one more day!
10:00 10:30 | Readings
Angel Luis Colon & Tiffany Meuret
10:30-11:00 | Readings
Susan Snyder & Shelly Lyons
11:00-11:30 | Readings
Ryan C. Bradley & Ken MacGregor
11:30-12:00 | Readings
Grace R. Reynolds & RJ Joseph
12:00-12:30 | Readings
R.C. Hausen & Tom Deady
12:30-1:00 | Readings
Kayli Scholz & Johnny Compton
1:00-2:00 | Panel: Creepypastas
Spaghetti, ravioli, you name it. The creepiest pastas in existence will be discussed on this panel. Also, yes, stuff like Slenderman. You know we’re just joshing you, right? We’re pulling your chain, if you know what we mean, and we think you do. Just go to the panel, okay? The guy who created Siren Head will be a panelist. You’re going to have a great time.
Panelists: Trevor Henderson, LP Hernandez, Andrew Hilbert, RJ Joseph. Moderator: Lucas Mangum.
2:00-3:00 | Panel: Horror Writers Royal Rumble
Finally, the panel everybody has been waiting for. If you are a horror writer, prepare to get destroyed.
Panelists: Zachary Ashford, Laurel Hightower, Andrew Hilbert, Danger Slater. Moderator: Ryan C. Bradley.
3:00 | Last Call
This is your last chance to snag something from one of our kind vendors in the bookstore area. Forget about your mortgage. Forget about your children. These books are far more important than any of that stuff.
5:00 | Bookstore Closes
We’re done! It’s over! Please leave.
There you have it! This schedule has not been the…easiest to figure out, but I think we mostly pulled it off. If you are interested in attending the Ghoulish Book Festival, badges are still available and we highly encourage folks to snag one.
That said, the bookstore will indeed be free to the public, so if you only want to check out the cool vendors, there’s no need to purchase a badge. Badges are only required for other activities, such as panels and live readings. Still, though. Badges are definitely helping us fund all of this, so if you can swing one, it would be appreciated!
Speaking of our vendors, here is who you can expect to be selling books at the festival:
If for some reason the above image isn’t showing up for you, our spooky bookstore vendors include: Ghoulish Books, Andrew Hilbert, Celso Hurtado, Curious Corvid Publishing, Eve Harms, Grace R. Reynolds, House of Blood, Ken MacGregor, LP Hernandez, Lucas Mangum, Madness Heart Press, Miracle Austin, My Horror Confessional, Preston Fassel, R.C. Hausen, RJ Joseph, Ryan C. Bradley, Shane McKenzie, Tenebrous Press, Tiffany Meuret, Tom Deady, Victoria Nations, and Zachary Ashford.
Our ghouls of honor, of course, consist of V. Castro, Johnny Compton, and Trevor Henderson.
And, announcing for the first time, our wonderful spooky sponsors!
In Trouble edited by EF Schraeder and Elaine Schleiffer
Bucket O'Blood Books & Records
We have a Facebook event page you can follow along by clicking HERE. Plus, there is a GHOULISH discord where all updates will be posted first during the festival.
Okay, I think that’s it! We will see you in two weeks. Oh my god. This is only two weeks from now. Holy shit.