Horror writers and librarians from Australia and beyond will get together at the NSW State Library this March, to brainstorm new ways of connecting with readers.

Every year, the NSW Readers Advisory Working Group in collaboration with the State Library of New South Wales runs a seminar on a different literary genre, as part of their Public Library Services. These events are attended by librarians from all parts of New South Wales. They aim to enhance their ability to advise and assist readers who are interested in that kind of fiction.

This year, it’s horror, and attendees have been asked to read at least one horror story, with suggestions encompassing the classics as well as more recent works by Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman and Kelly Link. “I was surprised to find that I’d already read more horror than I’d thought,” says co-coordinator Ellen Forsyth.

The State Library has liaised with the Australian Horror Writer’s Association to provide an intriguingly varied program. Kaaron Warren, multi-award-winning author of the likes of Slights and The Grinding House will prove that horror writers are quite nice people really, with serious things to say about the world. Author, actor and long-time State library member Kyla Lee Ward will discuss how libraries and horror writers can assist each other, and the work of the AHWA and its American counterpart.

With local stalwart Keith Whelan presenting on writing horror and Becky Siegel (author of The Readers Advisory Guide to Horror) skyping in from Illinois, this promises to be a lively and surprising day, with the potential to create ongoing links between writers and what is now more than ever, the vital gateway of the library.

Horror at the Metcalfe
Public Library Services
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM (EST)
Sydney, NSW

Attendance is limited to professional librarians, but AHWA members interested in putting themselves forward for library visits are asked to contact Kyla on kylaw [@] tabula-rasa.info