Friday, January 18, 2013

Conventional Wisdom

Guest Post by Marcia Talley

Looks like 2013 will be a banner year for Sisters in Crime members who have the time and inclination to attend a mystery-related conference or convention. Whether you’re a published author or an aspiring one, a mystery fan or a publishing industry professional, you should find a conference to suit you among the popular events listed below.

Love Is Murder
Chicago, IL • February 1–3
This forum allows writers and readers to further their knowledge of writing, publishing, and the business of book production. David J. Walker will be local guest of honor; Lee Goldberg, Bob Mayer, and Michael Harvey are featured authors.

Sleuthfest on Saturday
Sarasota, FL • February 16
Rescue your manuscript, your book, your career. Hands-on workshop led by bestselling authors Elaine Viets and Kristy Montee (P.J. Parrish).
Craft-oriented panels, e-book presentation, agent/editor presentation and pitch sessions.

Book ‘Em North Carolina
Lumberton NC • February 23
The second writers conference and book fair at Robeson Community College will host more than 75 authors and publishers for book signings, panel discussions, and more.

Left Coast Crime
Colorado Springs CO • March 21–24
“Where murder is the last resort” is for readers, writers, librarians, and other mystery and thriller enthusiasts. Craig Johnson and Laura Lippman will be guests of honor; David Corbett, toastmaster; Parnell Hall, “Last Resort Troubadour”; Tom and Enid Schantz, fan guests of honor; Stephen J. Cannell, ghost of honor.

2013 Edgar Symposium
New York, NY • May 1
Craft-oriented panels presented by leading crime writers and Edgar-award nominees. Grand master interview. Details TBA.

Malice Domestic 25
Bethesda MD • May 3–5
The conference honoring the traditional mystery will feature Laurie R. King, guest of honor; Laura Lippman, toastmaster; Aaron Elkins, lifetime achievement; Carolyn Hart, Amelia Award; Peter Robinson, international guest of honor; Cindy Silberblatt, fan guest of honor; Dick Francis, Malice remembers.

Festival of Mystery at Oakmont
Oakmont, PA • May 6
Mystery Lovers Bookshop sponsors this popular annual multi-author event. Book signings and author interviews.

Nancy Drew Conference
Boston/Somerville, MA • May 28 – June 2

Calling all fans of our favorite girl sleuth, Nancy Drew. This year’s theme books are #27, The Secret of the Wooden Lady and #83, The Case of the Vanishing Veil. Field trips, ghost tours, parties, book exchanges and merchandise.

Bristol UK • May 30–June 2
The annual convention draws top crime novelists, readers, editors, publishers and reviewers from around the world and gives delegates the opportunity to celebrate the genre in an informal atmosphere. Robert Goddard is the featured guest author/toastmaster. Also featured are Lindsey Davis, Jeffery Deaver, Sophie Hannah, David Hewson, Peter James, Simon Kernick, Denise Mina, Dana Stabenow and many more.

California Crime Writers
Pasadena CA • June 22–23
LA-SinC and Southern Chapter of Mystery Writers of America co-sponsor this biennial event geared to emerging and established mystery writers. Sue Grafton and Elizabeth George will be keynote speakers.

Thrillerfest VIII
New York NY • July 10–13
ThrillerMasters Anne Rice and R. L. Stine; Spotlight Guests Michael Connelly, T. Jefferson Parker, and Michael Palmer; and Silver Bullet Award Recipient Steve Berry will highlight the event.

Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference
Corte Madera, CA • July 25-28
Editors, agents, and publishers share with participants what they need to know to get published. Authors offer classes on setting, dialogue, suspense and point of view. Panels of detectives, forensic experts, and other crime-fighting professionals provide invaluable information that allows writers to put realism into their work.
Details TBA.

Theaksons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, (AKA Harrogate)
Harrogate UK • July 18–21
Chair Val McDermid will be joined by Special Guests Kate Atkinson, Charlaine Harris, Susan Hill, and Ruth Rendell interviewed by Jeanette Winterson.

Deadly Ink
New Brunswick, NJ • August 2 -4
Hank Phillippi Ryan is Guest of Honor; Rosemary Harris is Toastmaster; Fan Guest of Honor is Bob Daniher.

St Hilda’s Crime and Mystery Weekend
Oxford, UK • August 16-18
P.D. James Birthday Celebration
“From Here to Eternity: The Present and Future of Crime Fiction.” Now in its twentieth year, this classic conference at St Hilda’s College in Oxford, England features Jill Paton Walsh as Guest of Honor/Conference Lecturer. Other speakers include P.D. James, Val McDermid, Peter Robinson, Andrew Taylor, Frances Fyfield, Martin Edwards, Penny Evans, and Tom Harper/Edwin Thomas. After dinner speakers are Bernard Knight and Priscilla Masters. Natasha Cooper will chair. There is no website, as generally this conference has flourished through simple word of mouth. To get added to the mailing list or to request a booking form, contact

Scene of the Crime
Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada • August 17
Wolfe Island — the largest of the Thousand Islands – hosts this mystery conference featuring author panels, readings, discussions, a writing workshop by Barbara Franklin, a coffee and muffin breakfast, full lunch (including church lady pie!) and their famous church supper. The 2013 Grant Allen award for contributions to Canadian crime and mystery writing will be awarded to Andrew Pyper, author of LOST GIRLS, THE GUARDIANS, and the forthcoming DEMONOLGIST. Other authors attending include Ian Hamilton, Janet Bolin, Linda Wiken/Erika Chase, and Gloria Ferris.

Killer Nashville
Nashville, TN • August 22-25
This conference offers over 60 sessions and 7 session tracks (general writing, genre specific writing, publishing, publicity & promotion, forensics, screenwriting, sessions for fans); manuscript critiques (fiction, nonfiction, short story, screenplay, marketing, query); a mock crime scene for you to solve; networking with bestselling authors, agents, editors, publishers, attorneys, publicists, and representatives from law and emergency services.

The Writers Police Academy
Jamestown, NC • September 5-8
Hands-on, interactive and educational experience writers can use to enhance their understanding of all aspects of law enforcement and forensics. This conference features real police, fire, and EMS training at an actual police academy. Top instructors and experts! In 2013, the registration fee will be partially underwritten for Sisters in Crime members.

Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival
Stirling, Scotland • September 13-15
The best of Scottish crime fiction featuring fifty

Creatures, Crimes & Creativity
Baltimore, MD • September 13-15
A literary conference designed to gather readers and writers of mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, sci-fi, fantasy and steam punk. It will present three days of panels and workshops of interest to both writers and fans. The main objective is to provide opportunities for authors and fans to meet and mingle, chat and network, and strengthen the bond between the creators of genre fiction and those who enjoy reading it. There will be presentations from two impressive key note speakers (Jeffrey Deaver and Christopher Golden) and interviews with two inspiring local special guest authors (John Gilstrap and Trice Hickman).

Agatha Christie Festival
Torquay, UK • September 15-22
The English Riviera transforms itself into the murder mystery capital of the country, with ladies and gents in their period finery immersing themselves in tea parties, theatre, dinners on steam trains and vintage bus tours in honor of the Queen of Crime, who was born in Torquay on 15th September 1890. Garden parties to die for, lunches at Burgh Island, exclusive Twilight Tours of Christie’s home, Greenway, and plenty of Devon Cream Teas.

SinC Into Great Writing! Workshop
Albany NY • September 18
"CREATE" Your Writing Career is the title of this year's pre-Bouchercon SinC into Great Writing Workshop. Cathy Pickens will lead the session on the creative process, including developing, learning to tap into creativity more deeply, and producing creative work more readily. Robert Dugoni will lead the session on selling your novel. More information and registration form coming in Spring.

Bouchercon 2013
Albany NY • September 19–22
Honorees at the world mystery conference include Sue Grafton for lifetime achievement, P. C. Doherty as international guest of honor, Tess Gerritsen as American guest of honor, Steve Hamilton as toastmaster, and Chris Aldrich and Lynn Kaczmarek as fan guests of honor.

Magna cum Murder Crime Writing Festival
Indianapolis, IN • October 25-27
This year, the conference will be held in Indianapolis (rather than Muncie) at the historic Columbia Club on Monument Circle. Guest of Honor, Steve Hamilton. Dinner speaker, Hank Phillipi Ryan.

New England Crime Bake
Dedham, MA • November 8-10
Details TBA.

Crime and Justice Festival
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia • November 15-17
The public, writers, social commentators, judicial luminaries and the legal profession come together to both celebrate and promote contemporary writings in the fields of justice and human rights, and to overlay these discussions with guest writers in the genre of crime fiction.

Know of a crime or mystery conference I haven’t mentioned? Leave us a comment!

Marcia Talley is the Agatha and Anthony award-winning author of the Hannah Ives mysteries including All Things Undying and The Last Refuge. Book twelve in the series, Deadly Passage, will be published in the summer of 2013. She is a past president of Sisters in Crime.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Song of Sisters in Crime

Did you know that Sisters in Crime has its own song?

In September of 2006 (Sisters in Crime's 20th anniversary year), newly-installed president Rochelle Krich celebrated with goddesses (that is, our past-presidents) Nancy Pickard, Margaret Maron, Carolyn Hart, Eve Sandstrom, Sue Henry, Kate Flora, and Libby Hellmann and their guests. The evening closed with a performance by Parnell Hall with a song he'd written for the occasion.

To hear him perform the song, go to his website and click on "Sisters in Crime Song" which you will see listed on the left. We've updated the song to reflect 26 years of our organization.

SISTERS IN CRIME by Parnell Hall

Twenty-six years ago
On a dark and stormy night
Some feisty woman authors
Were itching for a fight
They said, "How come it's just the guys
Having a good time?"
They went out and founded
Sisters in Crime

Sisters in Crime, boys,
Sisters in Crime
You show me your gun
I'll show you mine
They have car chases
Stop on a dime
Just like the guys do
Sisters in Crime

It started small
Nothing much to see
All that they wanted
Was parity
Parity schmarity
In next to no time
Who's in the forefront
Sisters in Crime

Women succeeded
In nothing flat
How did the fellas
Feel about that?
I've got the answer
Here in this rhyme
Brothers are joining
Sisters in Crime

So gather round
And lets give three cheers
Now that we've lasted
For twenty-six years
Twenty-six years is nothing
It's next to no time
We're just getting started
Sisters in Crime

Now and forever
Sisters in Crime

©2006 Parnell Hall