A Virtual Bloody Valentine

Last year, HWA COS held its first annual event on Valentine’s Day. In 2020, A Bloody Valentine was an evening event celebrating Women in Horror Month at Cottonwood Center for the Arts in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It featured an all-star cast of female-identifying creatives, who shared their words with guests both in-person and virtually.

A year later, and a year deep into a global pandemic, we are moving this event to a virtual format. Each week, we’ve been sharing a fresh video recording of a local Colorado horror author reading from their work. In addition, thanks to some very generous women, we are pleased to be able to again offer the entire virtual salon from the 2020 lineup presented at A Bloody Valentine! Click the links below and enjoy readings from: Linda D. Addison, L.C. Barlow, Andrea Blythe, Kate Jonez, Gwendolyn Kiste, Sarah Read, Marge Simon, and Mercedes M. Yardley.

Linda D. Addison is an award-winning author of five collections, including The Place of Broken Things written with Alessandro Manzetti& How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend, recipient of the HWA Lifetime Achievement Award, HWA Mentor of the Year and SFPA Grand Master. Addison has published over 360 poems, stories and articles. 

Linda Addison reads “When You Forgive Me” from The Place of Broken Things (2019); “Forever Dead” and “In this Strange Place” from “How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend (2018).

L.C. Barlow is a writer and professor working primarily in the field of speculative fiction.  She has an MA in English from the University of Texas at Arlington and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program.  She has studied with popular writers, including Nancy Holder, Elizabeth Hand, Ted Deppe, James Patrick Kelly, Elizabeth Searle, David Anthony Durham, and Theodora Goss.  Her work has been published in Oak Bend Review, Flash Fiction World, Linguistic Erosion, Flashes in the Dark, Separate Worlds, Every Day Fiction, and Popular Culture Review. 

 Barlow’s fiction has reached over sixty-five thousand readers and garnered praise, including a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Awards, a winner of the Indie Reader Discovery Awards, a winner of the eLit Awards, and IndieReader’s Best Books of 2014.  On Quora, her posts have received over 1.7 million content views. Barlow’s horror trilogy – PivotPerish, and Peak – was picked up in 2018 by California Coldblood Books, an imprint of Rare Bird Books.  The first of the trilogy, Pivot, was released in October of 2019.  Perish was released in October of 2020.  Peak will be released in October of 2021. Barlow lives in Dallas, TX with her two cats, Smaug and Dusty.

L. C. Barlow reads an excerpt from her novel Pivot, the first book in The Jack Harper Trilogy.

Andrea Blythe bides her time waiting for the apocalypse by writing speculative poetry and fiction. She is the author of Your Molten Heart / A Seed to Hatch (2018) a collection of erasure poems created from the pages of Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyers, and coauthor of Every Girl Becomes the Wolf (Finishing Line Press, 2018), a collaborative chapbook written with Laura Madeline Wiseman. She is a cohost of the New Books in Poetry podcast and is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association and the Horror Writers Association. Find her online at andreablythe.com or on Twitter and Instagram @AndreaBlythe.

Andrea Blythe reads selections from her book TWELVE (2020).

Stories by Kate Jonez have been nominated three times for the Bram Stoker Award and once for the Shirley Jackson. Her short fiction has appeared in The Best Horror of the Year, Black Static, Pseudopod, Gamut and Haunted Nights edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton.

Kate is also the chief editor at the Bram Stoker Award winning small press Omnium Gatherum which is dedicated to publishing unique dark fantasy, weird fiction and horror.

Kate Jonez reads “Carnivores” from her collection Lady Bits.

Gwendolyn Kiste is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust MaidensBoneset & FeathersAnd Her Smile Will Untether the UniversePretty Marys All in a Row, and The Invention of Ghosts. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Nightmare Magazine, Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, Vastarien, Tor’s Nightfire, Black Static, The Dark, Daily Science Fiction, 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 gwendolynkiste.com

Gwendolyn Kiste reads “In the Belly of the Wolf,” which was originally published in Kaleidotrope, and “The Twelve Rules of Etiquette at Miss Firebird’s School for Girls,” which was originally published in Mithila Review.

Sarah Read is a dark fiction writer. Her short stories can be found in various places, including Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year vols 10 and 12. A collection of her short fiction called Out of Water is available from Trepidatio Publishing, as is her debut novel The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, both nominated for the Bram Stoker, This is Horror, and Ladies of Horror Fiction Awards. The Bone Weaver’s Orchard won the Stoker for Superior Achievement in a First Novel and the This Is Horror Award for Novel of the Year. You can find her online on Instagram or Twitter @inkwellmonster.

Sarah Read shares her short story “Still Life with Natalie” from her short story collection Out of Water.

Marge Simon is an award-winning poet/writer. Her works have appeared in Daily Science Fiction, New Myths, Polu Texni and numerous pro anthologies. She is a multiple Stoker winner and Grand Master Poet of the SF & F Poetry Association. She attends the ICFA annually, and is on the board of the HWA.

Marge Simon reads “The Substance of Belief” from Sweet Poison (2014); “The Castrato’s Parade” and “The Southern Lady” from War: Dark Poems (2018); “When Again I Feel My Hands” from Unearthly Delights (2011); and “Armageddon at the Clinic” from Vectors: A Week in the Death of a Planet (2007).

Mercedes M. Yardley is a whimsical dark fantasist who wears stilettos, red lipstick, and poisonous flowers in her hair. She is the author of Beautiful Sorrows, the Stabby Award-winning Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy, Detritus in Love, and Nameless. She recently won the prestigious Bram Stoker Award for her story Little Dead Red and was a Bram Stoker Award nominee for her short story “Loving You Darkly.” Mercedes lives and creates in Las Vegas.

Mercedes M. Yardley reads her short story “Black Mary” from her short story collection Beautiful Sorrows (2017).

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