Toastmaster Tonia Ransom

Horror writer and podcaster Tonia Ransom is our 2023 Toastmaster!

Tonia is the creator and executive producer of Nightlight, a horror podcast featuring creepy tales written by Black writers. In 2021, Nightlight was a runner-up for a This Is Horror Award, won the 2021 IGNYTE Award for Best Fiction Podcast, and was featured in a story at Austin TV station KXAN. In 2022, she won a World Fantasy Award for her work on Nightlight. It has been featured on a number of “best podcast” lists, including a 2023 list from Reader’s Digest, “20 Scary Podcasts That Will Keep You Up at Night.”

She is also the producer of Afflicted, a hoodoo audio drama described as “Lovecraft Country meets True Blood.” She presented a preview of Afflicted at StokerCon in 2022. An early draft of Afflicted won semi-finalist at Austin Film Festival. She is currently crowdfunding and hard at work on Season 2!

Her debut book is Risen: A Horror Thriller Novella. She discusses it in a recent interview for the Horror Writers Association. Her writing credits also include a series of essays posted at, a series of Author Spotlight Interviews published in Nightmare Magazine, and a fiction piece, “The Dead Circle,” in Creepy Campfire Quarterly.

Tonia has been writing horror since the second grade, much to the dismay of the teachers in her rural East Texas community. Tonia tells horror stories regularly on Twitter (be sure to read GOOD BONES), and in her spare time, she loves to hike, but normally chooses to sleep in instead. She lives in Austin, Texas (regretfully, during the summer).

Find her online: Afflicted website | Instagram (missdefying) | NightLightPod website | Patreon | Twitter (missdefying)