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Seton Hill University Participating in Academic Conference in Transylvania

Seton Hill University’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction Program will be well-represented at the International Vampire Film and Arts Festival in Sighisoara,Transylvania.


The University is sponsoring the academic conference associated with the festival, two Seton Hill faculty members curated part of the conference, and four Seton Hill alumni will be presenting as well.


Seton Hill faculty members Michael Arnzen and Nicole Peeler co-curated the conference session, “Children of the Night: The Vampire Across Popular Culture” that will be presented on May 26 and 27.


Arnzen and Peeler selected speakers from around the world for their conference session, including Seton Hill MFA in Writing Popular Fiction alumnae Elsa Carruthers, Leadie Joe Flowers, and Rhonda Jackson Joseph, who are all participating together in a panel discussion during the session. In addition, alumna Claudia M. Kovach, a professor of English and French at Neumann University, is participating in another panel with colleagues from Neumann during the Seton Hill sponsored academic session.


“We are thrilled that Seton Hill and the university’s Writing Popular Fiction program are going to be so well-represented on the international stage,” said Peeler, associate professor of English and WPF program director. “The opportunity to curate an academic session at this international academic conference, which is believed to be the largest in the world dedicated to the vampire genre, is a thrill. The vampire is one of the few creatures that are seen in all types of genres, including horror, romance, science fiction and more. I’m excited to hear from all of the scholars gathered in the birthplace of the infamous Vlad Dracula for this event.”


“We are excited that so many Seton Hill alumni are able to join us in presenting at the conference,” added Arnzen, professor of English and a Bram Stoker award-winning novelist. “We reviewed dozens of academic papers while curating our portion of the conference, and their work rose to the top. I believe our work on this conference will bring Seton Hill and its Writing Popular Fiction to even greater international recognition.”


The International Vampire Film and Arts Festival and its accompanying academic conference brings together vampire creatives and scholars from across the world in one cross-industry event. The unique event is being held within the walls of the dramatic medieval citadel that was the birthplace to the real Vlad Dracula.


Seton Hill’s unique Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction program teaches students to write marketable novels in popular genres like mystery, romance, science fiction, horror, and fantasy. Additional specialties include literature for children and adolescents, and cross-genre blends like romantic suspense or young adult mysteries. Students attend two weeklong, on-campus residencies each year to master the core elements of fiction writing and effective marketing and to gain inspiration from faculty mentors and special guests, all published authors in genre fiction. Established authors mentor students one-on-one as they work toward completing a market-ready manuscript from home. Readings, classes, and on-line discussion about the history, trends, and techniques of genre fiction add depth to the student's experience.   For more information about the Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill, visit or contact Seton Hill’s Office of Graduate and Adult Studies at 724-838-4209.

If you are a member of the media and would like more information, contact Director of Media Relations Jennifer Reeger at, (724) 830-1069 (office) or (724) 433-9613 (cell). If you are not a member of the media, contact us here.