Black Dog Panel Sheds Light on Mental Health Issues

Gail Z. Martin, John G. Hartness, Misty Massey, and Darin Kennedy brought the “hold on to the light” initiative to Dragon Con in a Science Fiction Literature Track panel Saturday afternoon. Martin clarified that the presentation was not a workshop or a prescriptive, but a look at how mental health issues are portrayed in literature and the media.

The panelists also considered how mental health can inform an author’s writing and how characters are presented. Describing their own struggles, the panelists considered literature and media that had depicted the issues well and compared how some media portraits fell short of reality.

For more on the initiative, check out Hold on to the Light.

Author of the article

Amy L. Herring (Louise Herring-Jones) writes speculative fiction, with a preference for historical fantasy and alternate mystery. Her stories, appearing in fourteen anthologies, include “The Poulterer’s Tale” in God Bless Us, Every One—Christmas Carols beyond Dickens (Voodoo Rumors Media, 2019). Amy is a NaNoWriMo co-municipal liaison. She also coordinates the Huntsville (Alabama) Literary Association’s writers’ group. Visit her online at