The year was 2023. The month was September. My pal Kate Jonez and I had been planning a thing for several months, and that thing was called Horror Conclave. We wanted to put on a little gathering – a retreat, if you will – for folks who like to write dark stories. After weeks of research and discussion, we chose to host our event in Big Bear, California. Specifically, the Golden Bear Lodge (part of Golden Bear Cottages).
We had attempted a different sort of Horror Conclave a couple years ago, just as Covid was really ramping up. Originally, it was going to be a much bigger affair, taking place in Las Vegas. Thanks to the pandemic, we had to pull back and rethink the mission. Sometime in early 2023, we got talking about a hosting a retreat. Where other conferences can be crowded and hectic, we wanted to do something small and calm. We wanted to host something where writers come together to be inspired and motivated. We wanted our guests to leave with a full tank, not exhausted. Something with arts and crafts, with a scavenger hunt, with a pirate ship.
And so we created Horror Conclave, and was everything we hoped it would be. Today, I want to show you our venue, Golden Bear Lodge. The Lodge had a ton of character, the perfect place to hold our first ever Horror Conclave. There’s the attic door up high on the wall in the living room. There’s the strange little bedroom at the back of the master bathroom. There’s the creepy storage room down in the basement. Fantastic little quirks that inspired a creepy little story I wrote during the retreat. I read it by the campfire on the last night, and I’ll share it on a later blog post. Here’s some photographic evidence:
That’s all for now, but I’ll be doing some more posts about Horror Conclave soon. Hope to see you at the next one!