Profile: Polly Schattel

Polly Schattel is a writer and filmmaker who has written and directed three award-winning, internationally distributed feature films and has had multiple screenplays optioned by various prominent production companies. Her first novel, The Occultists, was published by JournalStone in 2020. She has taught Film Directing and Screenwriting in the NC university system, New York City and elsewhere. Proudly and passionately transgender, she live in the mountains of Asheville, NC, with her wife and three wild, vicious animals who love people food.

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Most Recently Published Work (as of November 2020)


For Edwardian-era spiritualists and illusionists, silence is more than a strategy; it’s a way of life. And when Max Grahame, a bullied small-town teen, discovers a secretive world of occultism and séances right under his nose, he can hardly contain his excitement.

But as Max begins his conjurer’s lessons in earnest, his newfound knowledge exposes the group’s dark and deeply sinister designs, leading to a game of supernatural cat and mouse that takes him from the ancient hills of rural Georgia and the mystic plains of the Midwest to fin-de-siècle Manhattan…and beyond.

Impeccably researched and wildly imaginative, The Occultists is a darkly-riveting historical fantasy in which magic is terrifying, and annihilation is closer than Max could ever imagine.

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