Michael Arnzen Ph.D.

Professor of English


Michael Arnzen (Ph.D., U Oregon) is an English professor by day and a horror/suspense writer by night. He holds four Bram Stoker Awards for his often funny, always disturbing fiction. His courses in the English program at Seton Hill run the gamut from expository and creative writing to literary criticism and film history, and he is an active teacher in the first year Seminar in Thinking and Writing. He has mentored novelists and led graduate writing workshops in SHU's unique MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction since 1999. He advised the campus literary magazine, Eye Contact, from 1999-2009, and served as Humanities Division Chair from 2009-2015.

He is on sabbatical from undergraduate teaching during the 2015-16 academic year, but if you have any questions about English, Writing Popular Fiction, or the new undergraduate Certificate in Genre Writing, please feel free to email arnzen@setonhill.edu


Joined Seton Hill: 1999
Hometown: Greensburg, PA
Personal Areas of Interest: All forms of popular culture and the creative arts...and pizza.
Academic Areas of Interest: Creative writing, scholarship of teaching, horror fiction, horror film, speculative poetry, literary theory, new media, film history, genre fiction, "the uncanny" in the arts, writing.



  • Grave Markings (novel) Dell Books, 1994; Delirium Books, 2004; RDS Press 2014. [More Information]
  • Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side, Mastication Pubs, 2013. [More Information]
  • The Gorelets Omnibus: Collected Poems, 2001-2011, RDS Press, 2012. [More Information]
  • Play Dead (novel), RDS Press, 2005/2013. [More Information]
  • Pedablogue: A Personal Inquiry into the Scholarship of Teaching (weblog), 2003-2012. [More Information]
  • Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction (instructional book). Co-edited with Heidi Ruby Miller. Headline Books, 2011. [More Information]
  • The Popular Uncanny (literary theory weblog) [More Information]
  • "The Unlearning: Horror and Transformative Theory" (pedagogy), Jnl of Transformative Works and Cultures (2008) [More Information]
  • Proverbs for Monsters (fiction collection). Dark Regions Press, 2007. [More Information]
  • 100 Jolts (fiction collection), RDS Press, 2004 [More Information]
  • Freakcidents (poetry collection), Shocklines Press, 2005. [More Information]
  • Gorelets: Unpleasant Poems (poetry collection), Fairwood Press, 2003 [More Information]


  • Seton Hill University Professor of the Year, 2010-11 [More Information]
  • Bram Stoker Award for Fiction Collection (Proverbs for Monsters), 2007 [More Information]
  • Bram Stoker Award for Poetry Collection (Freakcidents), 2005 [More Information]
  • "Openness" Award, Stars at Seton Hill University Staff Recognition Awards (2004) [More Information]
  • Bram Stoker Award for Alternative Forms (The Goreletter), 2003. [More Information]
  • Bram Stoker Award for First Novel (Grave Markings), 1994. [More Information]
  • International Horror Critics Guild Award for First Novel (Grave Markings), 1994 [More Information]



  • Guest Presentation, "The Uncanny Valley." Neumann University, Aston, PA (2015). [More Information]
  • Guest Presentation, "Subversive Readings: Story Shadows." State College of Florida, Venice, FL (2015). [More Information]
  • Guest Lecturer. "Nightsun Writer's Conference." Frostburg State University, MD. (2015). [More Information]
  • Featured Guest, "HorrorFest Writer's Workshop." North Virginia Community College. Manassas, WV. (2013). [More Information]
  • Guest Presentation, "The Popular Uncanny." Neumann University, Aston, PA (2012). [More Information]
  • Guest Speaker, "Creative Writing and Media." Louisiana Conference on Literature, Language and Culture at Univ of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA (2012). [More Information]
  • Respondent: "Horror Pedagogy." International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts. 27, Orlando, FL (2012). [More Information]
  • Guest Lecturer, Odyssey: The Fantasy Writing Workshop. St. Anselm College, NH (2010, 2007). [More Information]
  • Guest Lecturer, Alpha: The SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers. Univ of Pitt-Greensburg, PA (2010, 2009, 2002). [More Information]
  • Guest Lecture, "Tales from the Abyss." Sewickley Prep Academy, PA (2006, 2004, 2003) [More Information]
  • Respondent: "New Directions in Horror." International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts. 27, FL (2006). [More Information]
  • Guest Lecture, "Horror Writing." Manatee Community College, Sarasota, FL (2007). [More Information]
  • Guest Lecture, "Horror and Fantasy Fiction." Ligonier Valley Writers Workshop, PA (2005). [More Information]
  • Guest Lecture, "Flash Fiction." Morgantown Writer's Workshop, WV (2004). [More Information]
  • Guest Lecture, "David Cronenberg." Tufts University Guest Lecture Series, MA (2000). [More Information]
  • Moderator, "World's Largest Writer's Workshop." Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Greensburg, PA (2001). [More Information]


  • Special Guest, World Horror Convention 2016. Provo, UT, 2016. [More Information]
  • "Horror Guest of Honor": Context Science Fiction Convention 20, Columbus OH, 2007 [More Information]
  • "Exquisite Corpse" film anthology based on Arnzen stories and poems -- screened at diverse film festivals (2006-8) [More Information]


  • Editorial Board, Dissections: The Journal of Contemporary Horror (2006-Present) [More Information]
  • Editorial Board, Paradoxa: Studies in World Literary Genres (1998-Present) [More Information]
  • Advisor, Eye Contact: The Art/Literary Magazine of SHU (1999-2009) [More Information]