We are thrilled to announce our panels and fabulous panelists. Looking for the actual schedule? That’s here.
Tess Gerritsen will teach a workshop on “How to Find Your What-If.”
The good plot idea vs. the meh plot idea. Because better plots make for better books.
Catriona McPherson will teach her workshop called “Deep in a Bowl of Porridge.” This will be an in-depth look at one specific, crucial skill in mystery-writing: the hiding of clues. She’ll explain how, where and when to plant Goldilocks clues – not too obvious, not too obscure, but just right. Catriona will also discuss how to make sure readers enjoy the story even if they do spot a clue.
Craft Track: The Foundation
Bringing the Past to Life
Historical Mysteries may cover a wide variety time periods, but there are some things they have in common: forensic challenges, the importance of setting, unexpected benefits, and gobs of research.
Moderator: A.E. Wasserman (The Langsford Series)
Built to Last: Creating Your Series
How do you design a series that can last 5, 7, 10, or more books?
Moderator: Rachel Howzell Hall (The Detective Elouise Norton Series)
Winning Isn’t Everything (But it Helps)
Winning a competition can provide an ego boost, financial support, a boost to your sales, and sometimes all three. Our panelists know the competitive scene from both behind the scenes and the winner’s circle.
Moderator: Vera Chan (Winner, Eleanor Taylor Bland Award)
Chapter One: Your Debut Novel
Is there a more thrilling moment than your first book launch? Our panelists will share their excitement, mistakes, successes, and what-I-wish-I’d-known.
Moderator: Michael Robertson (The Baker Street Letters Mystery Series)
The Art and Business of Short Stories
Short stories are an art form all their own. They can also launch your career.
Moderator: Holly West (editor, Murder-A-Go-Go’s)
Cozies on the Edge: Meeting and Subverting Reader Expectations
While some cozies nail the form, others are constantly pushing the envelope with unconventional protagonists, darker subject matter, complex relationships, and even a little bit of snark.
Moderator: Leslie Karst (The Sally Solari Culinary Mystery Series)
Craft Track: Next Level
Laughing at Death: Adding Humor to Mysteries
From quirky cozies to gallows humor, to misdirecting the reader, humor has a place next to the most dastardly of crimes. Our panel will talk strategies and the uses and misuses of humor in a mystery.
Moderator: Kathy Krevat (The Gourmet Cat Mystery Series)
Take a cue from screenwriters, playwrights, and dialogue experts in this panel on how to make your characters sound authentic.
Moderator: Anne Cleeland (The Doyle & Acton Scotland Yard Series)
Workshop: Thriller Writing with Laurie Stevens
Laurie Stevens, author of the Gabriel McRay Thrillers, will teach you how to balance plot, character, pacing, and sheer fear factor to create pulse-pounding thrillers.
The Dark Side: Thriller, Suspense, Noir
Moderator: Jennifer Younger (Co-chair of CCWC)
Steal tips and tricks from the most visual of storytellers: writers of TV, film and video games.
Moderator: Alison McMahan (Award-winning Screenwriter, Filmmaker, and Author)
Having (and Maximizing) a Long Career
Moderator: Naomi Hirahara (Edgar Award-winning Author)
Business and Marketing
The State of Publishing: Editors and Agents Panel
Moderator: Jennifer Younger (Co-Chair, CCWC 2019)
Finish the Damn Book: Get Organized, Get Started, Get Words on the Page
Moderator: Mary Feliz (The Maggie McDonald Mysteries)
Marketing Without a Budget
Moderator: Terry Shames (Macavity Award-winning author of the Samuel Craddock Series)
A Winning Team: Writer, Agent and Editor
We are delighted to be able to have the extraordinary opportunity to present a conversation with all three key players of a traditionally-published author team: the writer (Leslie Karst), her agent (Erin Niumata), and her editor (Terri Bischoff) to demystify the relationships, creative support, and mutual responsibilities of this winning team.
Indie Publishing: New Frontiers
Moderator: Sue Hinkin (Vega & Middleton Mystery Series)
As always, we will give you a chance to get up close and personal with weapons, investigative techniques, and real-live law enforcement. Our workshops this year include:
- Ellen Byron interviewing Private Detective Nancy Swaim
- Interrogation Techniques with former LAPD Detective Ninette Toosbuy
- A workshop on Suicide Bomber Indicators
- The Serial Killer Next Door with James L’Etoile
- True Crime, Redemption, and Compassion Fatigue with the Inmate Whisperer, Bethany Jones
- And a look at fabulous (and deadly) weaponry with Swordmaster Roberta Brown.
Hooray for Hollywood! We’ll be taking advantage of our proximity to LaLaLand by including panels with screenwriters and producers to discuss book options and adaptations. What do you do when Hollywood calls? The four panels (Drama Queens… and Kings, moderated by Ellen Byron; Adapting Your Novel to the Screen; Your Book Has Been Optioned – Now What?; and Unraveling the Hallmark Mystery, moderated by Carlene O’Neil) will be followed by an Ask Me Anything with our Hollywood and Editorial Guests.
New tech! Presenters include Smashwords, Wattpad, and Pub Site.
Disclaimer: While we wish we controlled the universe, alas, we do not (yet!). All guests are subject to availability on the day.