A TOAST AMONG GHOSTS
Once upon an evening eerie...
Tickets on sale September 5!
On October 7, 2017, join Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library, Edgar Allan Poe and Reisterstown founder John Reister at Reisterstown Branch for A Toast Among Ghosts, a spooky night of fun, food and beer in a historic cemetery.
The Reisterstown Branch was formerly the Franklin Academy (c. 1824), where in 1831, Edgar Allan Poe applied to be the headmaster. He wasn't selected, but maybe it's time Poe returned to one of his old haunts. Poe died in Baltimore on October 7, 1849. To honor his life and legacy, we remembered him around the anniversary of his death in a macabre way he'd truly appreciate...in a graveyard!
Enjoy live music by local bands Ampersand String Band, Eli August and the Abandoned Buildings and Edgar Allan and the Poe Boys; local food and beer vendors; David Keltz as Edgar Allan Poe; a John Reister impersonator; ghost stories around a fire pit; meet artist/author Gareth Hinds; as well as guided tours through the historic Reisterstown Community Cemetery (est. 1764).
Chat with Poe among the graves and make a toast among ghosts!
Want to get in the mood before A Toast Among Ghosts? Meet critically-acclaimed artist-adapter Gareth Hinds on September 29, 7 p.m. at the Reisterstown Branch, as he discusses his latest book, POE: Stories and Poems, shares his creative process, gives a drawing demo and answers questions about his work. Sales and signings available, courtesy of The Ivy Bookshop.
Tales of the Dead: Horror Story Contest
In 2016, we introduced our Tales of the Dead, a short horror story contest inspired by a writing challenge 200 years ago that led to the creation of Frankenstein's monster and the first modern vampire story. It was the summer of 1816, the year without a summer, when the incessant rains inspired Lord Byron to challenge his friends to write ghost stories inspired by the horror anthology Fantasmagoriana: Tales of the Dead. Dr. John Polidori wrote a story, later published as The Vampyre, which introduced the modern concept of the blood-sucking vampire, and Mary Shelley sketched out a story which would later be published as Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, two of the greatest gothic horror stories of all time.
In the spirit of that contest, in conjunction with A Toast Among Ghosts, Baltimore County Public Library is once again challenging you to write your own original horror story. Anything that goes bump in the night is fair game — ghosts, ghouls, goblins...whatever frightens you. Just frighten us!
The contest begins August 1 and the deadline is September 22. There are two categories — adult (21+) and teen (under 21).
First, second and third place adult winners will be selected by a panel of judges including a librarian, a published author and a Foundation board member. Criteria for judging includes originality, fear factor and quality of writing.
The adult winners and one guest each will receive tickets to A Toast Among Ghosts on Saturday, October 7, where the winners will be invited to read their stories around the ghost story fire pit. Winners will also receive an A Toast Among Ghosts T-shirt. The winning stories will be published on the Foundation website. Winners will be notified on September 29.
While the event is 21+ only, teens under 21 can enter too! The winner will receive a prize package including an A Toast Among Ghosts T-shirt, books and a gift card. One winner will be selected in the teen category. Criteria for judging is the same as for adults.
For entry guidelines and full contest rules, read the Contest Rules.
Tales of the Dead: The Writing Program
Every writer needs a bit of inspiration now and then. Mary Shelley found her inspiration for Frankenstein in the summer of 1816 when she and her future husband were kept indoors by the weather, reading fantastic stories from Tales of the Dead with Lord Byron and friends. Share your favorite, get input from fellow writers and get inspired to write the next great horror story with eerie prompts and activities, and get in the spirit for the Tales of the Dead Short Horror Story Contest and A Toast Among Ghosts.
Reisterstown Branch: Wednesday, September 6 at 6:30 p.m.
Perry Hall Branch: Wednesday, September 6 at 7 p.m.
Hereford Branch: Monday, September 11 at 7 p.m.
Cockeysville Branch: Thursday, September 14 at 7 p.m.
To read the 2016 winning stories, click on the titles below.
1st Place - Shrinking by Daniel Franklin
2nd Place - The Pest House by Jennifer Miller
3rd Place - The Conqueror Wyrm by Travis Madden
Teen Winner - New Phone by Luke Amaral