If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Conferences and Festivals—Why I Go



This week, I’m going to Killer Nashville, a great conference for mystery writers and readers. I am looking forward to it after having finished my third Skeet Bannion novel and turned it in on my deadline. It will be a time to celebrate books, readers, writers, and the mystery field. And did I mention it’s in Nashville? I am ready for Music City, USA.

I’ll be on a panel called “Fiction on the Fringes: Writing about Other Cultures, Closed Societies and Countercultures.” Appearing with me will be Rabbi Ilene Schneider, Ed.D., Bharti Kirchner, Jill Yesko, and moderator Stacy Allen. We’ll be discussing writing about universities, the Cherokee, Jewish and (East) Indian communities, and the worlds of hackers and street people. I think it should be a fascinating panel.


My husband and I are carpooling to Nashville with Julie Tollefson, a friend from  Border Crimes, our local Sisters in Crime chapter. We’re not staying at the conference hotel but with Lorraine Lopez, a dear friend and wonderful literary fiction writer. And while we’re at Killer Nashville, we intend to run around with other great writer friends like Hilary Davidson, Chris and Katrina Niidas Holm, and Debra Goldstein. These are people I’m so fond of and, with the exception of Julie, seldom get to see.

 That’s one of the things that sends me to writers conferences—friends in the business who live far away and are as busy as I am, so we seldom see each other. The AWP (Association of Writers and Writers Programs) national conference held in late winter at various large cities around the country is a big one I almost never miss. Over 1,200 writers and publishers gather each year, and I can’t walk from one spot to another without constantly being pulled over by someone I know. Some of my favorite people in the world I only see at AWP anymore.


Then there are book festivals. Tucson holds a legendary book festival that numerous friends want me to attend, and I hope to do that soon. Los Angeles also puts on a famed book festival that friends and my poetry publisher in California would like me to attend, so I will try to make that happen in the next year or two. This fall, I’ve been invited to read at the Brooklyn Book Festival in New York City and at the Hudson Valley Writers Center in Sleepy Hollow, NY, just outside of the city, so September 20-23 will see me in New York. Again, many friends in the writing world will be there, and it will be a great opportunity to see them, as well as my agent and editor.


However, the main reason to go to these conferences and festivals, at least for me, is the readers who flock to them. It’s a wonderful way to make contact with readers from different parts of the country and a grand way for readers to meet and hear their favorite authors and learn about and find new favorite authors. At a conference or festival, a writer can connect with readers in a way s/he seldom has a chance to connect at other times. So, let’s hear it for all the wonderful conferences and festivals around and all the great people, usually volunteers, who work so hard to make them happen successfully!

What conferences and festivals do you like to attend? Why or why not?

15 comments:

Carla Damron said...

Wow, you do a great job at getting to events. Sounds like fun.

Sarah Henning said...

So many good reasons to go, Linda! Have a great time with Ben and Julie and all your other friends. Can't wait to hear stories when you come back!

James Montgomery Jackson said...

For me the opportunities are three-fold (1) meet new people or renew acquaintances (2) meet readers (3) learn new things. I think you covered the first two well, but I always want to continue to learn new things, to increase my skills and conferences and, to a lesser extent, festivals provide me that opportunity.

Have a great time; we'll await your stories in future blogs.

~ Jim

Shari Randall said...

Linda, have a wonderful time. Can't wait to hear about your panel - fascinating topic.
I've only been to Malice. I've heard it's called the "fans" conference because it is so relaxed and there are so many opportunities to chat with authors, editors, and other readers. (True!) Are the other conferences focused more on writing and craft?

Gayle Carline said...

I like book festivals and conventions for the readers I get to meet. I usually go to Left Coast Crime, the LA Times Book Festival, and the Duarte Author Festival.

Writer's conferences are a must for me (I go to two a year, held by the Southern California Writer's Conference) to recharge my writing batteries and make me want to write a better book.

Both kinds of venues are also fun for catching up with friends!

Gloria Alden said...

Linda, I love going to mystery conferences, too, for the exact reasons you do. Unfortunately, I have neither time or money to go to more than one, or occasionally two a year. It's through Malice Domestic that I've met almost all my mystery writing friends and a mystery reader with whom I've corresponded with for years and see every year at Malice.

Enjoy your time at Killer Nashville and connecting with a lot of dear friends.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Carla and Sarah, it will be fun, though pretty exhausting fun. :-)

Linda Rodriguez said...

Jim, I found the learning new things bit easier when I was newer to the biz. I often find that I can't get to panels or presentations that I'd wanted to attend because folks want to talk with me. When I am able to make it to the panels I want, I usually learn lots of stuff, but I learn a lot by hanging with people. One of the most useful times I spend at Malice Domestic is hanging out in the coffee shop or bar with Luci Zahray, the Poison Lady, and listening to her talk about ways to kill people. Makes the waiters nervous, though. :-)

Linda Rodriguez said...

Shari, the conferences that are genre-based tend to focus on readers. Bouchercon has a lot of great panels on topics of interest to writers, but it's still a conference for the reader in the genre. Writing conferences are a different animal. They focus on working with writers to help them learn techniques and strategies to be better writers and get published. I'm usually on the faculty of any of those I go to nowadays, but I often sneak into other faculty members' sessions and learn a lot.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Gayle, yes to recharging batteries and making one want to write a better book. I think genre conferences, writing conferences, and book festivals all work that way--at least, for me.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Gloria, I, too, have to watch the time and money costs of conferences. I had to miss Malice this year for that reason, and I hated that.

Malice is my favorite of all the genre conferences I attend. It's fairly small, warm and friendly, and the best organized out there. Each conference has its strong points. Bouchercon is the big daddy of mystery conferences and pretty much the whole industry turns out for it--a real plus. But I do think Malice is my fave, and I don't want to have to miss it again.

Kara Cerise said...

Killer Nashville sounds like a terrific conference, Linda. And what a fun location! I look forward to hearing about it.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Kara, the writer friend we're staying with has a lineup of local sights and events for us to see and do. I doubt that we'll be able to make half of them, but I'm looking forward to trying.

One thing Ben's going to do, which I'd love to tag along on if I can, is a visit to Ingram's headquarters. Nashville is the hometown of the largest of book distributors.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Terrific blog, Linda. Wishing you the best for a safe journey and looking forward to hearing about your experiences when you return!

Linda Rodriguez said...

Thanks, Paula! The nice thing about Killer Nashville is that we can drive to it. Malice, Bouchercon (most of the time), AWP, Book Festivals like the LA and Brooklyn ones, all mean I have to fly to get there. And though I used to love to fly, it's become one of my least favorite things to do anymore.