The registered members of the World Horror Convention 2011 have voted and named author Jack Ketchum as their Grand Master. The international conference of horror’s premier talents and their fans will take place in Austin, Texas from April 28th through May 1st, 2011.
Stephen King once commented, “Who’s the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum.” Many of Ketchum’s fans would agree, as his work often forgoes supernatural trappings and explores real-world terrors with human beings as his monsters-of-choice.
“There’s no one like Ketchum,” said convention co-chair Lee Thomas. “His work is brilliantly crafted, always relevant, and disturbing as hell. Plus, he’s one of the nicest guys you’re ever going to meet.”
“Ketchum’s work was some of the first to really capture my imagination and inspire me as a writer,” said Nate Southard, convention co-chair. “His prose is among the best I’ve ever read, and he’s a master of voice, theme, and character. It’s an honor to have him attend our convention.”
The Grand Master Award is presented to an outstanding contributor to the horror genre by election. Only registered members of the World Horror Convention are eligible to vote, and recipients must be alive at the time of voting. Former Grand Masters include Ray Bradbury, Ramsey Campbell, Peter Straub, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, Anne Rice, and Stephen King.
Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym for a former actor, singer, teacher, literary agent, lumber salesman, and soda jerk – a former flower child and baby boomer who figures that in 1956 Elvis, dinosaurs and horror probably saved his life. His first novel, Off Season, prompted the Village Voice to publicly scold its publisher in print for publishing violent pornography. He personally disagrees but is perfectly happy to let you decide for yourself. His short story “The Box” won a 1994 Bram Stoker Award from the HWA, his story “Gone” won again in 2000 – and in 2003 he won Stokers for both best collection for Peaceable Kingdom and best long fiction for Closing Time. He has written eleven novels, arguably twelve, four of which have been filmed – The Lost, The Girl Next Door, Red, and Offspring. The Woman, his film collaboration with Lucky McGee (May) will be screened at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. His stories are collected in The Exit At Toledo Blade Boulevard, Broken on the Wheel of Sex, Peaceable Kingdom, Sleep Disorder (with Edward Lee), and Closing Time and Other Stories. His novella The Crossings was cited by Stephen King in his speech at the 2003 National Book Awards.
The World Horror Convention is an annual gathering of professionals in the horror industry: publishers, authors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, dealers and, of course, horror fans. WHC serves as both an industry insider’s networking event and a chance for fans of the genre to get together, meet some of the creative talents in the field, and generally spend a weekend celebrating All Things Scary.