A message from HWA President Deborah LeBlanc:
Last weekend’s Stoker event was, in the words of the incomparable Tina Turner, “Simply the Best!” The lineup of special guests was to die for, the food at the banquet was spectacular, and the panels, workshops, and the awards ceremony were second to none. Oh, and the parties, folks, the parties! Huge thanks go to Heather Graham and Medallion Press for sponsoring the Gory Ghoul Ball and to Dark Scribe Press for sponsoring the Unspeakable 80′s Pre-Stoker Banquet party!
Congratulations to all of our Stoker winners, as well as our Lifetime Achievement Award winners, F. Paul Wilson and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. I can’t think of two more deserving writers for that prestigious award.
Throughout the weekend, I heard nothing but positive comments from people, all claiming this was the best Stoker event ever. And they were absolutely right. Everywhere you went, there was a buzz of excitement in the air. Something was different. The feeling was tangible — and wonderful.
There were so many people who helped make our Stoker weekend special that naming them all would cause this note to go on forever. Even more importantly, I fear I might forget to name someone, then I’d be guilt-ridden for a millennium.
I would, however, like to offer a special thanks to Heather Graham, HWA’s Vice President. Heather not only took on the expense of the Gory Ghoul Party, which included food, music and entertainment from her wonderful band, giveaways, and contests, so our attendees were assured a good time, she also brought an editor from a large publishing house so our members would have the opportunity to pitch in the major leagues. Thank you, Heather, for your abundant generosity!
And what words can possibly express the gratitude we have for Lisa Morton and John Little, our Stoker coordinators. Without them, this spectacular event would not have been possible. Both worked endless hours, determined to make this the best Stokers ever, and they succeeded in spades! I offer my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to John and Lisa for all of their hard work and commitment to HWA. Our organization is fortunate to have them because, without question, John and Lisa are indeed SIMPLY THE BEST!
Some photo highlights of Stoker Weekend 2009 (courtesy of Vince Liaguno):