The World Horror Convention 2000, held last May in Denver, wasn't for people with propellers whirling on their beanies; it was a feast for professional writers of horror. According to organizer Ed Bryant, generally accepted as the Colorado godfather of the genre, about 300 of the 500 people attending the convention were professionals: a group of editors, agents and writers that included such luminaries as Peter Straub, Steve Rasnic Tem, Dan Simmons, J. Michael Straczynski, Omni editor Ellen Datlow and the ever-argumentative Harlan Ellison. The conference provided panels and presentations as well as a wealth of networking opportunities. "There was a lot of talk about horror -- why we write it, is it a serious art form," says writer Melanie Tem. She herself reconnected with an editor she'd lost touch with and sold him two novels. Hmmm...a horror story with a happy ending.