Proprietor Participates in “Pitch Black” Rights Fair Frenzy


Logo of World Horror Convention 2010 (Brighton, England)It is common at the World Horror Convention to have ‘Pitch Sessions’, usually involving two or three editors or agents. In keeping with the avowed intent of the organizers of this year’s WHC to run a ground-​​breaking professional event, World Horror Convention 2010 in Brighton is doing things a bit differently.

Welcome to PITCH BLACK.

For the first time at such an event, authors and anthology editors will have the opportunity to come together with representatives from the international publishing industry and literary agents to sell and buy genre book rights in both the English language and translation. If you have a sure-​​fire project that you believe could be a commercial success, then you will be able to bring it to PITCH BLACK, Europe’s first-​​ever Genre Rights Fair, where you will be able to pitch new ideas or sell English and foreign-​​language rights, as well as audio and e-​​book rights for existing works. Imagine a mini–Frankfurt– or London International Book Fair dedicated to horror publishing; and not just horror – because the literature of the fantastic covers fantasy, science fiction and dark crime as well.

The Proprietor of Atomic Fez Publishing, Ian Alexander Martin, stated that he was very much looking forward to the event. “Though the budget for this one-​​man operation is exceedingly limited,” Mr. Martin said, “there’s always a way to make things work for something that really sounds like ‘your kind of thing’, you know.”

Among those publishers and agents participating* in the event are:

  • ASH-​​TREE PRESS (Barbara and Christopher Roden, Canada)
  • ATOMIC FEZ PUBLISHING (Ian Alexander Martin, Canada)
  • CHIZINE PUBLICATIONS (Sandra Kasturi and Brett Alexander Savory, Canada)
  • CORSAIR (James Gurbutt, UK)
  • GOLLANCZ/​ORION (Jo Fletcher, UK)
  • JEMMA PRESS (Lefteris Stavrianos, Greece)
  • LITTLE, BROWN (Donna Condon, UK)
  • NIGHT SHADE BOOKS (Jeremy Lassen, USA)
  • PS PUBLISHING (Peter and Nicky Crowther, UK)
  • SNOWBOOKS (Emma Barnes, UK)
  • ZENO AGENCY LTD. (John Berlyne & John Parker, UK)

Only registered members of World Horror Convention 2010 will be allowed into PITCH BLACK, but instead of burdening publishers and agents with unpublished manuscripts (unless the publishers actually want them to!) authors must fill out and print the PITCH BLACK COVER SHEET on the convention website ( for each project they wish to pitch. This sheet will have all the author’s contact details, together with a synopsis of the work being offered, and the author’s reasons why the person being ‘pitched to’ should publish, reprint or represent the writer and their work. No appointment is necessary, ‘pitchers’ just have to wait until there is an opening at the table they wish to pitch to. They will then be able to discuss their ideas in person, and those listening can take information away the information to decide if they want to follow it up at a later date.

Presenters should also consider bringing the first three chapters/​100 pages of a novel, a short story from a collection, or the contents table/​list of contributors for an anthology concept, in case they are asked to supply more supporting material.


With hundreds of new and established writers from all over the world attending the convention, this is a perfect opportunity for agents and publishers to find the next Big Genre Writer, or to exploit rights for the next Big Genre Best-​​Seller.

The Royal Albion Hotel’s “Bar Rogue”, location of PITCH BLACK (cick to enlarge/close)PITCH BLACK will run from NOON until 5:00 p.m. on THURSDAY, MARCH 25 in The Royal Albion Hotel’s Bar Rogue [image, right].

Throughout the event there will be a full bar, which will also sell tea, coffee and snacks, open in the immediate area. There is also a more informal area for meetings and follow-​​up discussions, along with an outdoor balcony area overlooking Brighton Pier and the historic beach-​​front.

PITCH BLACK is a unique opportunity for publishers, agents, writers and editors to get together in one place and help shape the future of the genre. If you work in the literature of the fantastic, then this is the one event you cannot afford to miss…

[* Please note: the convention is not responsible for the non-​​attendance of any of the participating publishers, editors or agents]

Celebrating its Twentieth Anniversary, The World Horror Convention will be held over March 25 – 28, 2010 in the historic Regency seaside city of Brighton, on the picturesque south coast of England. This is the first time that the event has been away from the North American continent.

The theme is BRIGHTON SHOCK! – A CELEBRATION OF THE EUROPEAN HORROR TRADITION FROM VICTORIAN TIMES TO THE PRESENT DAY, and the convention will host numerous panels, talks, presentations, readings, workshops and displays devoted to horror, macabre, mystery and thriller fiction and art in all its varied and fearsome forms.

The venue will be the historic Royal Albion Hotel [image, below left], which is more than 180 years old, situated directly opposite the iconic Brighton Pier and a stone’s throw from the beach. There are plenty of alternative hotels and Bed & Breakfasts in the immediate surroundings, catering for all budgets, and Brighton is filled with restaurants, wine bars and clubs. Antiquarian shopping precinct The Lanes, the Sea Life Centre and the world-​​famous Royal Pavilion are also within easy walking distance.

The Royal Albion Hotel, dawn (click to enlarge/close)Brighton has direct transport links from Gatwick International Airport and the centre of London, and is easily accessible for overseas visitors, especially those from mainland Europe. And if you want to extend your stay, then Britain’s annual National Science Fiction Convention, Odyssey 2010, is being organised near to Heathrow airport the following weekend. Come for World Horror and stay for EasterCon!

Author Guests of Honour are TANITH LEE and DAVID CASE, Artist Guests of Honour are LES EDWARDS and DAVE CARSON, and Editor Guest of Honour is HUGH LAMB. Best-​​selling author JAMES HERBERT is the Special Guest of Honour and INGRID PITT is Special Media Guest. Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award winner BRIAN LUMLEY will also be attending, along with HWA Special Guest DENNIS ETCHISON. JO FLETCHER is Mistress of Ceremonies for the weekend.

Other writers, artists, agents, editors and publishers already registered as attending World Horror Convention 2010 include: ABADDON BOOKS (UK), John Joseph Adams, ANGRY ROBOT BOOKS (UK), Kelley Armstrong, Mike Ashley, ASH-​​TREE PRESS (Canada), ATOMIC FEZ PUBLISHING (Canada), Anne Billson, Randy Broecker, Edward W. Bryant Jr., BURNING EFFIGY PRESS (Canada), Pat Cadigan, Ramsey Campbell, CENTIPEDE PRESS (USA), Mort Castle, CHIZINE PUBLICATIONS (Canada), Vincent Chong, Simon Clark, Lawrence C. Connolly, Storm Constantine, Basil Copper, Paul Cornell, Steve Crisp, Peter Crowther, DARK ARTS BOOKS (USA), Ellen Datlow, Scott Edelman, Bob Eggleton, Steven Erikson, Gemma Files, Paul Finch, Christopher Fowler, Jane Frank, W. Paul Ganley, GOLLANCZ/​ORION PUBLISHING GROUP (UK), Simon R. Green, Heather Graham, IMMANION PRESS (UK), Dominic Harman, John Jarrold, JEMMA PRESS (Greece), Stephen Jones, Graham Joyce, Paul Kane, Nancy Kilpatrick, Robert S. Knowlton (Bob Hadji), Allen Koszowski, Joel Lane, Roberta Lannes, Tim Lebbon, Samantha Lee, D.F. Lewis, John Ajvide Lindqvist, LITTLE, BROWN (UK), Brian Lumley, Dorothy Lumley, Kristina Lloyd, Simon Maginn, Patrick Marcel (France), Tony Masero, Graham Masterton, L.H. Maynard & M.P.N. Sims, Paul MCAuley, Gary MCMahon, Farah Mendlesohn, MORRIGAN BOOKS (Sweden), MORTBURY PRESS (UK), Mark Morris, Lisa Morton, Yvonne Navarro, Adam L.G. Nevill, NEWCON PRESS (UK), Kim Newman, NIGHTJAR PRESS, NIGHT SHADE BOOKS (USA), Reggie Oliver, Weston Ochse, Michel Parry, Stephen W. Parsons, PENDRAGON PRESS (UK), Sarah Pinborough, David Pirie, John Llewellyn Probert, PS PUBLISHING (UK), QUERCUS BOOKS (UK), Tina Rath, REBELPUBLISHERS (South Africa), Tony Richards, David A. Riley, Barbara & Christopher Roden, Nicholas Royle, Lynda E. Rucker, Mark Samuels, SCI FI WIRE, SCREAMING DREAMS (UK), Steven Savile, Robert Shearman, Douglas Smith, Guy N. Smith, Michael Marshall Smith, SNOWBOOKS (UK), Alexandra Sokoloff, David A. Sutton, TARTARUS PRESS (UK), TELOS PUBLISHING (UK), Melanie Tem, Steve Rasnic Tem, TRANSWORLD (UK), Lisa Tuttle, Stephen Volk, Ian Watson, Conrad Williams, F. Paul Wilson, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and ZENO AGENCY LTD. (UK), amongst many others.

The Horror Writers Association’s BRAM STOKER AWARDS are to be held on the Brighton Pier (click to enlarge/close)The Horror Writers Association’s prestigious annual BRAM STOKER AWARDS for excellence in horror and fantasy fiction will be presented at a gala Fish & Chips Banquet on the evening of Saturday, March 27. This event will be one of the highlights of the convention, and will include past Stoker Award winners and our Guests of Honour as award presenters. Seating is limited and tickets are selling fast, so if you have not booked yet and still want to attend, please go to: and register now via the PayPal buttons.

There are still a few places left in the Writing Workshops held over the Saturday and Sunday of the convention by PAUL McAULEY (“Creative Writing”) and NANCY KILPATRICK (“Vampire Fiction”), who will also be holding a manuscript critique. More details can be found on the website.

As of Monday, January 25, 2010 there were just 25 memberships still available. All information about the convention, hotel and location is available on our website:, including an easy to use PayPal Registration Form (which will automatically convert your payment at the current exchange rate). Or you can print off the form and send it with a cheque (sterling only) to: World Horror Convention, PO Box 64317, London, NW6 9LL, England.

With numerous writers, artists, editors, publishers and booksellers expected to attend from all over the world, this is the one event that the dedicated horror fan, professional, collector or dealer cannot afford to miss!

Wish you were here? Well, now you can be…

MARCH 25 – 28, 2010

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