Welcome to the Lake County Library System located in Lake County, Florida. Your gateway to a world of information

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Celebrating the Dark Side of Fiction

DreadFest celebrates the creeping sense of dread that good horror writing inspires: the fear of the unknown and the likelihood of an unhappy ending. Horror fiction is much more than slash-and-scream; it can be exquisitely suspenseful, other worldly, rich in descriptions, and more. DreadFest spotlights the artistic and literary elements of good horror writing, featuring writer panel discussions, a nanofiction contest, and most importantly, a published author showcase of fresh and terrifying horror fiction.

Congratulations to the DreadFest Nanofiction Writing Contest Winners!

    1st Place, John Hope
    2nd Place, Mark McWaters
    3rd Place, Susan Parker
    Honorable Mention, Jeanne Fluegge
    Honorable Mention, Beda Kantarjian
    Honorable Mention, C. Terese Teisberg



Saturday, January 28, 2017 (all events open to public)

  • 12:00 PM Opening Remarks
    Jeff Strand, author of Cyclops Road, Blister, Dweller, etc.

  • 12:30 PM Readings of Nanofiction contest finalist entries by judges:
  • Sidney Williams, author of Azarius, Blood Hunter, Gnelfs, etc.
    Tom Lucas, author of Leather to the Corinthians, Pax Titanus, etc.


  • 1:00 PM The Viewing
  • Meet the showcased authors, take selfies, buy signed copies, and win door prizes!


  • 3:00 PM Nanofiction Award Ceremony
  • Authors Sidney Williams and Tom Lucas


  • 3:30 PM Beginning Authors Panel Discussion
  • Scott M. Baker, author of Yeitso
    John Catapano, author of The Unusual Suspects
    Tyson Hanks, author of Greetings from Barker Marsh
    Panel discussion: How to avoid pitfalls, where to find resources, etc.


DreadFest Sponsors

A special thank you to our 2017 sponsors: 

Victoria Nations, Writer, Leaves and Cobwebs
Mount Dora Library Association
Coffee Shop of Horrors
Copacabana Cuban Cafe
Gianni's Italian
Maggie's Attic
One Flight Up
Pisces Rising


Featured Authors


Scott M. Baker

Scott M. Baker was born and raised in Everett, Massachusetts and spent twenty-three years in northern Virginia working for the Central Intelligence Agency. Scott is now retired and lives in Gainesville, Florida as a full-time writer along with his wife and fellow author Alison Beightol and his stepdaughter. He has written Yeitso, his homage to the giant monster movies of the 1950s that he loved watching as a kid; Rotter World, Rotter Nation, and Rotter Apocalypse, his post-apocalyptic zombie trilogy; The Vampire Hunters trilogy, about humans fighting the undead in Washington D.C.; as well as the novella Nazi Ghouls from Space (the title says it all), his zombie-themed anthology Cruise of the Living Dead, and his anthology of non-zombie horror Incident on Ironstone Lane. He is currently working on a series of dark techno-thrillers and is planning a second series about Allied intelligence officers fighting Nazi occultism in World War II. Follow Scott's blog at scottmbakerauthor.blogspot.com




John Catapano

John Catapano is an author, an artist, and an engineer. He has been a genre movie fan since his first double feature at age 3. Fifty -eight years later he has traveled extensively, consulted on feature movies, and dug for Dinosaur fossils in the badlands of Montana. His genre trivia book and short stories are available at smashwords.com. His new book, "The Unusual Suspects" is the follow up to his popular Dr. Sarcophagus story "Clarence". He currently is working on two novels, both with Central Florida locales.




Tyson Hanks

Tyson Hanks is a fan of horror—both literature and film. He has yet to receive a literary award, but he did get a gold star on a middle school English paper once. He is also an Army veteran and served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His work has been published in Sanitarium Magazine, as well as the World War I horror anthology “Kneeling in the Silver Light.” His fist novel, “Greetings from Barker Marsh,” was released in September, 2016. He lives in Florida with his beautiful wife and daughter. Follow Tyson at www.tysonhanks.com and https://www.facebook.com/authortysonhanks






Alethea Kontis

Alethea Kontis is a princess, author, fairy godmother, and geek. Author of over fifteen books and contributor to over twenty-five more, her award-winning writing has been published for multiple age groups across all genres, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, humor, contemporary and paranormal romance, poetry, graphic novels, Twitter serials, and non-fiction. A former child actress, Alethea hosted over 55 episodes of “Princess Alethea’s Fairy Tale Rants” on YouTube, and continues to host Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow every year at Dragon Con. She enjoys audiobook and podcast narration, speaking at middle schools across the country (in costume, of course), and one day hopes to make a few more movies with her friends. Alethea currently resides on the Space Coast of Florida with her teddy bear, Charlie. Find out more about Princess Alethea and the magic, wonderful world in which she lives here: https://www.patreon.com/princessalethea





Cynthia Lott

Cynthia Lott is a professional researcher and writer. She loves hiking, exploring new places, vegan cuisine and hearing life stories over a glass of good wine. A member of Sisters in Crime, Inc. and International Thriller Writers, Inc., she also holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from LSU and an MLS from UW-Madison. Cynthia shares her time between Atlanta and Orlando. Learn more at www.cynthialott.com






Tom Lucas

Tom Lucas was born and raised in Detroit, and although currently enjoying the lack of snow and ice in Florida, remains a son of the post-industrial apocalypse.
He is the author of the bizarro books Leather to the Corinthians and Pax Titanus. He can also be found in several horror and weird fiction anthologies.
When not writing, he likes to drive fast and take chances. Learn more at www.readtomlucas.com




Mark McWaters

Mark McWaters is a self-described writer of “strange stuff” along the lines of Stephen King and Dean Koontz—and offers sincere apologies to those excellent authors for invoking their names. He is a member of the Florida Writers Association, leads a Novel Writer’s Group in Seminole County and has several writing awards to his credit from FWA’s RPLA competition for novels and short stories. Mark is also an advertising copywriter/creative director with 25+ years’ experience dreaming up brands and ad campaigns for a wide variety of clients and products—everything from cow udder ointment to coffee to computer systems. He lives in Longwood, FL with his editor, a surprisingly literate and accomplished West Highland Terrier named Bentley.




Arylias Nova

Arylias Nova is a SciFi/Fantasy and Horror writer from Charleston, SC. She has the first two installments of her Stories of Ghardar SciFi series, Spark and Ignition, and soon releasing the third, Combustion. Loving the horror genre herself, she has her A Peek Inside collection and her dark-humored novella series Parenting During the Apocalypse. Nova has quickly become a rising star in the author world, being the number one selling author during the Barnes and Noble BFest in Mount Pleasant, SC, featured guest at Low Country Giga-Toshou Con, as well as several interviews in the Savannah Quill and Post and Courier for Charleston. Nova has more horror collections and two new novel series to premier during 2017. Learn more about Arylias at www.five6publishing.com/events.html


 Jeff Strand

Jeff Strand is the four-time Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of over thirty books, including Blister, A Bad Day For Voodoo, and Cyclops Road. He mostly writes horror/suspense, comedy, and young adult fiction. Cemetery Dance magazine said, “No author working today comes close to Jeff Strand’s perfect mixture of comedy and terror.” He lives in Tampa. Check out Jeff's more or less official website at jeffstrand.wordpress.com/




Sidney Williams

Sidney Williams is the author of ten novels, a host of short stories, comic book scripts and more. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, reference librarian and corporate marketing writer and currently teaches creative writing with a focus on horror, mystery and suspense. His books include Azarius, Night Brothers, Blood Hunter and When Darkness Falls. He wrote three young adult novels under the name Michael August. Williams newest works include Midnight Eyes, Dark Hours and Disciples of the Serpent for Crossroad Press. Learn more about Sidney at sidisalive.com/



Nanofiction Contest (entries due Friday, January 13, 2017) - Contest is now closed -

  • Must be submitted by and the work of individuals age 12 and older.
  • Must be original, unpublished works only.
  • Must contain 100 words or fewer.
  • Must have separate cover sheet which includes the author's name, age, mailing address, phone number and email address.
  • Name and identifying information must not be included on entry; only include it on the cover sheet.
  • Must be electronic submissions only.
  • Must be in a Word document, typed in 12 point Times New Roman and double-spaced.
  • Must have no illustrations or photos.
  • 1st prize: $50; 2nd prize: $30; 3rd prize: $20; and honorable mention(s).
  • One submission per entrant shall be accepted.
  • Failure to follow the contest guidelines will result in your work not being considered. Please read and re-read the directions carefully. Submissions shall be emailed to jonesc@cityofmountdora.com


For further questions, please contact:

Cathy Lunday, Adult Services Librarian
W.T. Bland Public Library
1995 N. Donnelly Street
Mount Dora, FL 32757
(352) 735-7180 (ext. 3110)
jonesc@cityofmountdora.com or