Monday, February 26, 2018

Mystery Conference Talk

I recently attended a MWA-NY event “Making The Most of Mystery Conference” held at the Club Quarters in New York City. Triss Stein and Radha moderated this event with Nancy Bilyeau, Edith Maxwell Jeffrey Siger, and Shawn Reilly Simmons, talking respectively about ThrillerFest, New England Crime Bake, Bouchercon and Malice Domestic.

Each panelist was introduced with a recap on how they became involved and the one key factor that played in most was “the bar.” So, if you want to become part of the inner workings of these mystery conferences, head to the bar.

Then during the next 30 minutes the audience got to hear about each: Malice and Bouchercon are reader/fan conventions while New England Crime Bake and ThrillerFest are writer’s conferences.

Bouchercon is the only one of this group where the location varies each year. This year, the conference is being held in St. Petersburg, Florida, while New England Crime Bake is in Boston, ThrillerFest is in New York City and Malice Domestic is in Bethesda, Maryland.

At the fan conventions you get to mingle with authors and other readers; you attend panels and have a cornucopia of activities for your choosing. Same holds true for writer’s conferences as well as learning more about the craft of writing.

To be on a panel at Malice and Bouchercon, you have to check the box when filling out your registration. At New England Crime Bake, authors are invited to be on a panel and at ThrillerFest, they try to accommodate all authors attending.

In terms of sizes, Bouchercon is the largest with 1,500 attendees, followed by ThrillerFest with 800; Malice at 600 and New England Crime Bake at 300. All numbers are approximate.

They also talked about the costs and it can be a bit expensive: New England Crime Bake ($199 for SinC/MWA members; $229 public); Bouchercon ($225 for St. Petersburg, FL); Malice ($345 includes banquet; $295 Basic) and ThrillerFest (ranges from $150-$1,000+).

All in all, it was a good talk and gave me more clarifications between these four conferences which I was lucky to have attended.

On dru’s book musings, I posted a list of 2018 mystery conferences, click here.


What conferences have you attended in the past? Are you going to any this year? I am and I look forward to seeing you there.

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