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Michael Arnzen Ph.D.
Joined Seton Hill
Greensburg, PA
Contact Info
Personal Website
Personal Website 2

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. He has mentored novelists and led graduate writing workshops in SHU's unique MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction since 1999. He served as Humanities Division Chair from 2009-2015 and is currently advising the staff of the campus literary/art magazine, Eye Contact.

If you have any questions about English or Writing Popular Fiction, feel free to email


  • Ph.D. in English, University of Oregon (Eugene, OR), 1999 [More Information]
  • M.A. in English, University of Idaho (Moscow, ID), 1994 [More Information]
  • B.A. in English, Colorado State University-Pueblo (Pueblo, CO), 1991 [More Information]


  • Murrmann: A Tale of Van Helsing (Mastication Pubs, 2016). [More Information]
  • The Popular Uncanny (literary/cultural criticism). Forthcoming.
  • Proverbs for Monsters (fiction collection). Dark Regions Press, 2007/2017.
  • Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side, Mastication Pubs, 2013.
  • Play Dead (novel), RDS Press, 2005/2013. [More Information]
  • Pedablogue: A Personal Inquiry into the Scholarship of Teaching (weblog), 2003-2012.
  • The Gorelets Omnibus: Collected Poems, 2001-2011, RDS Press, 2012.
  • Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction (instructional book). Co-edited with Heidi Ruby Miller. Headline Books, 2011. [More Information]
  • "The Unlearning: Horror and Transformative Theory" (pedagogy), Jnl of Transformative Works and Cultures (2008) [More Information]
  • Grave Markings (novel) Dell Books, 1994; Delirium Books, 2004; RDS Press 2014. [More Information]
  • 100 Jolts (fiction collection), RDS Press, 2004
  • Freakcidents (poetry collection), Shocklines Press, 2005.
  • Gorelets: Unpleasant Poems (poetry collection), Fairwood Press, 2003


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


  • Horror Writers Association (1989-Present) - Co-Organizer, Pittsburgh Chapter (2020-present) [More Information]
  • Association of Writers and Writing Programs (2015-Present) [More Information]
  • International Thriller Writers (2009-Present) [More Information]
  • Science Fiction Poetry Association (1989-Present; Secretary/Treasurer: 1993)
  • International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts (1994-Present) [More Information]
  • Pennwriters (2010-12).
  • Textbook and Academic Authors Association (2007-8) [More Information]
  • Modern Language Association (1994-2000) [More Information]


  • Guest Workshops, "Horror University." StokerCon (2016-2022). [More Information]
  • "Even Stranger Notions" Writing in the Dark online symposium (2020).
  • 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).
  • Guest Presentation, "The Popular Uncanny." Neumann University, Aston, PA (2012).
  • 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)
  • 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]


  • Curator, "Children of the Night: The Vampire Across Popular Culture." International Vampire Film and Arts Festival. Transylvania, Romania, 2017 & 2018.
  • Special Guest, World Horror Convention 2016. Provo, UT, 2016. [More Information]
  • "Horror Guest of Honor": Context Science Fiction Convention 20, Columbus OH, 2007
  • "Exquisite Corpse" film anthology based on Arnzen stories and poems -- screened at diverse film festivals (2006-8)


  • Caritas Medal - 20 Years of Faculty Service to SHU (2019)
  • Editorial Board, Paradoxa: Studies in World Literary Genres (1998-Present) [More Information]
  • Editorial Board, Dissections: The Journal of Contemporary Horror (2006-Present) [More Information]
  • Advisor, Eye Contact: The Art/Literary Magazine of SHU (1999-2009; 2016-Present) [More Information]