|Murder and Mayhem Conference Chicago, March 23rd|
by Jamie Freveletti
It’s March, and in Chicago that usually means that though Spring is around the corner, it’s still cold and blustery. It also means that it’s a perfect time to stay indoors and head to a writing conference. I’ll be speaking at the Murder and Mayhem Conference, shown above, along with Scott Turow and Sophie Hannah.
I started attending writing conferences when I was writing my first manuscript. I’d always been an avid reader and sometimes attended signings of my favorite authors, but it took the manuscript attempt to prod me to attend a writers’ conference, and the result was….magical.
My first was a conference called Bouchercon. This conference focuses on mystery and thriller books and because I was, at that time, writing a mystery, I thought it would be of interest. I rode my bicycle down Lake Shore Drive on a beautiful September weekend, walked into the conference and gaped. Within fifteen minutes three authors that I recognized strolled past me. The extensive list of panels and presentations was varied and interesting. By the end of the weekend I was hooked.
So began my foray into conferences. Since that time a couple of my favorites in the Chicago area have discontinued (Love is Murder, The Aurora Literary Fest), but some new ones have sprung up ( Murder and Mayhem Chicago shown above, the Chicago Writers Association).
And there are many others, each with its unique perspective. Love Thillers? Then the International Thriller Writers Thrillerfest is where you should go. ITW, started by our own Gayle Lynds and David Morrell hosts this conference. There you’ll see most of the Rogue Women Writers. Last year, in fact, Rogue K.J. Howe won the Best First Novel award for The Freedom Broker. She wrote a recap here.
|Thrillerfest Conference New York, July 9-13|
Love Romance? The Romance Slam Jam is held in Kansas City every year. And if you love historicals, there’s the Historical Writers of America conference and the Historical Novel Society of North America.
Harry Potter fan? There’s Leaky Con, which is dedicated to all things Potter and one I attended with my teenage daughter. Three thousand young people celebrating their favorite books. This one travels the world and I highly recommend it.
This is just a small sampling of these conferences and only a list of those in the United States. Writers conferences span the globe. England has The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Conference.
If you love books, then conferences are a fun way to connect with other readers. Check these out, and if you have any other favorite conferences we’d love to hear about it!