Love Horror? Summer Scares Is Back in 2023!

Books

The Horror Writers Association (HWA), in partnership with United for Libraries, Book Riot, and Booklist, is proud to announce the fifth 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 (teen), and middle grade readers. It introduces readers and librarians to new authors and helps start conversations extending beyond the books from each list and promote reading for years to come.

Summer Scares is proud to announce the 2023 spokesperson as author Daniel Kraus:

“Libraries were the space in which I nurtured my early interest in horror. I was able to make autonomous decisions about my own limits and how to push them, and that benefitted my confidence, intellect, courage, and empathy. I couldn’t be more honored to work with Summer Scares to help other kids have their own life-changing experiences.”

Kraus is joined by a committee of five library workers who, together, will select three recommended fiction titles in each reading level, totaling nine Summer Scares selections. The goal of the program is to encourage a national conversation about the horror genre, across all age levels, at libraries nationwide and ultimately attract more adults, teens, and children interested in reading. Official Summer Scares designated authors will also make themselves available at public and school libraries.

The committee’s final selections will be announced on February 14, 2023, Library Lover’s Day. Kraus, along with some of the selected authors, will kick off Summer Scares at the 7th Annual HWA Librarians’ Day, Friday, June 16, during StokerCon 2023 at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square in Pittsburgh, PA.

Additional content, including podcast appearances and lists of suggested titles for further reading, will be made available by the committee and its partners between the announcement of the Summer Scares 2023 titles and the kickoff event. 

Of special note is the annual Summer Scares Programming Guide, courtesy of HWA Library Committee Co-Chair 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 discussion guides, and sample programs, enabling librarians, even those who don’t read or especially enjoy the horror genre themselves, to connect their communities with Summer Scares. 

To see past year’s Summer Scares titles, spokespeople, and programming guides, please visit the program archive: https://raforallhorror.blogspot.com/p/summer-scares-archive.html

And keep your eyes peeled for more updates coming soon from Booklist, Book Riot, and United for Libraries, as well as at the HWA’s website: www.horror.org and RA for All Horror: https://raforallhorror.blogspot.com/p/summer-scares.html.

Questions? Reach out to HWA Library Committee Chairs Becky Spratford and Konrad Stump via email: libraries@horror.org

summer scares logo

Summer Scares Committee Members:

Daniel Kraus is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and graphic novels. He co-authored The Living Dead with legendary filmmaker George a. Romero. With Guillermo del Toro, he co-authored The Shape of Water, based on the same idea the two created for the Oscar-winning film. Also with del Toro, Kraus co-authored Trollhunters, which was adapted into the Emmy-winning Netflix series. He has won two Odyssey Awards (for Rotters and Scowler), and The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch was named one of Entertainment Weekly‘s Top 10 Books of the Year. His books have been Library Guild selections, YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults picks, Bram Stoker finalists, and more. His work has been translated into over 20 languages. Daniel lives with his wife in Chicago. Visit him at danielkraus.com.

Becky Spratford is a library consultant and the author of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror, third edition which was released in September of 2021. 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 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 co-coordinates 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 who are interested in cultivating horror programming can contact him at konrads@thelibrary.org for free assistance.

Carolyn Ciesla is an academic library director 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.

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. 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.

Julia Smith joined the Books for Youth team at Booklist in 2015, where she is now a senior editor. Her love of middle-grade literature and all things unsettling and strange draws her to creepy children’s stories. You can follow her at @JuliaKate32 on Twitter.

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