ThrillerFest Recap 2017

by | Jul 19, 2017 | KJ Howe | 5 comments

by K.J. Howe

ThrillerFest is the annual conference of the International Thriller Writers, and I’m honored to be the executive director of the event.  We just had a whirlwind week in NYC as we celebrated the 12th annual conference, and it was memorable to say the least.  For those of you who couldn’t come, we missed you.  If you’d like to listen to any of the fabulous CraftFest or ThrillerFest sessions, please feel free to visit and order up a set.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

2017 ThrillerMaster Lee Child

Some of the highlights included:

*The FBI hosted a special event focusing on forensics, talking about the cutting edge technology.

*Steve Berry interviewed Peter Cannon, Senior Editor from Publishers Weekly, and they dispelled the mystique of how books are considered and reviewed.

*The ATF and a US Marshall joined us to share some of the insights into their jobs.  Hoping they will come back next year.

*PitchFest was a resounding success with over 60 agents and producers.

*ThrillerMaster Lee Child shared his writing secrets in a jam-packed CraftFest session.  And New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin also interviewed Lee for his spotlight.

*Silver Bullet Award recipient Lisa Gardner was interviewed by Karin Slaughter for a very entertaining hour.

*MATCHUP authors at the Friday night cocktail party.  Karin Slaughter did a Facebook Live event if you’d like to see up close who attended and what happened.  Brilliant party with some of the most talented authors in the genre.

*David Morrell, Rambo’s Daddy, moderated the Rogue Women Writers panel, and it was a riot.  We talked about international geopolitics, publishing, and the discussion was rogue hot!

*The debut author breakfast hit a milestone of 500 debuts, so this year was the Debutona 500.  We keep supporting our authors of the future, and I was honored to be on stage this year.

*The banquet is always a special evening.  I love seeing who wins all the coveted thriller awards.  We honored our first Thriller Legend Award recipient, Tom Doherty from TOR/Forge.  He’s a true gentleman and a hero in our genre.

Then Lisa Gardner touched all of our hearts with her emotional acceptance speech for the Silver Bullet Award.  The talented Heather Graham sang a song to honor Lee.  The finale was brilliant with Daniel Palmer and Brad Parks singing a Beatles Medley to bring Lee Child, our 2017 ThrillerMaster, to the stage to honor his amazing career thus far.  What a week.  Please come join us next year where we will be honoring George RR Martin as our 2018 ThrillerMaster!  Yes, that’s right.  The Game of Thrones creator will be coming to join us next year.

Don’t Miss a Thing!



  1. Jamie Freveletti

    Had a wonderful time Kim and thanks for all your hard work. Enjoy Harrogate!

  2. Gayle Lynds

    What an exciting ThrillerFest, Kim. Thanks for all your creative work in making it happen, and for the fabulous roundup!

  3. KJ Howe

    Thanks, Jamie and Gayle. Loved seeing you both!!!

  4. Karna Bodman

    If that wonderful recap of this year's Thrillerfest conference doesn't entice more authors (both published and aspiring) to attend next year's event, I don't know what would. I hated to miss being there this year, but I absolutely promise to be there next July. In fact, I think I may just reserve my hotel room now. Thanks for that post, K.J. and for all your great work for Thrillerfest!

  5. Dena

    I've wanted to go to Thrillerfest for several years. I think I'll have to make it happen next year.