Attending Conferences

Mystery Writers Contests

Here are some writers’ contests. I got this information from the following website, which lists many other types of writers’ conferences. You will need to go to the websites listed to find out the current submission deadlines and submission guidelines. I added a general deadline to give you an idea of when to enter. Good luck.

Adventure Writers Competition

15418 N Castillo Drive
Fountain Hills AZ 85268


The Adventure Writer’s Competition is sponsored by the Clive Cussler Collector’s Society. It is a annual writing competition for published and non published authors in the action-adventure genre who meet the entry requirements.

entry fee – $25.00; deadline: Spring

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Agatha Awards

 [Malice Domestic]

P.O. Box 8007
Gaithersburg MD 20898-8007


The Agatha Awards honor the traditional, “cozy” mystery. That is to say, books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie. Agatha Awards are given for materials first published in the United States by a living author during the calendar year 2014 (January 1-December 31), either in hardcover, as a paperback original, or e-published by an e-publishing firm.

“Hard-Boiled” fiction is not considered, nor is any work with gratuitous violence or explicit sex.

Awards are given in six categories: Best Novel; Best First Mystery; Best Historical Novel; Best Short Story; Best Non-Fiction; Best Children’s/Young Adult Mystery.

Deadline:  December

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Anthony Awards
  [Bouchercon World Mystery Convention]

96 Forest Garden Rd
Stevensville MD 21666-2855


The Anthony Awards are literary awards for mystery writers presented at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention since 1986. The awards are named for Anthony Boucher (1911–1968), one of the founders of the Mystery Writers of America. Among the most prestigious awards in the world of mystery writers, the Anthony Awards have helped boost the careers of many recipients.

Deadline: Spring

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Barry Award
  [Deadly Pleasures]

P.O. Box 997
Bountiful UT 84011



The Barry Award is prize for excellence in crime fiction. This literary prize has been awarded annually since 1997 by the editors of Deadly Pleasures, an American quarterly publication for crime fiction readers. The prize is named after Barry Gardner, a well-known American fan reviewer.

Deadline:  December;

Some have asked me from time to time, what are submission guidelines for the Barry Award. It is pretty simple: get us a copy of the book or short story and hope one of us reviews it.  Our staff doesn’t even attempt to read everything.  We try to keep our ears to the ground and read what people are talking about.  And from time to time we find Barry Award nominees by our own idiosyncratic reading.  In short, we don’t have an organized reading program whereby all members of the nominating committee read the same books.  We choose people on the committee who read widely and try to find consensus among them.  It isn’t perfect, but no system is.

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Kindle Book Awards


The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Book Awards is co-sponsored by book sites like Kindle Boards, Digital Book Today, World Literary Cafe, and Author Marketing Club. Any independent or small press author can submit books in the categories of Mystery/Thriller, Romance, Y/A, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Literary Fiction, Horror/Suspense, and Non-Fiction

Cost to Enter: $29

Submission Deadline: Spring

First Prize: $350 in Cash & Over $900 in Prizes

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Mystery & Mayhem Awards
  [Chanticleer Books]

1050 Larrabee Ave
Suite 104 #334
Bellingham WA 98225


The M&M Awards reward independently published books and unpublished manuscripts in the following categories: Amateur Sleuth, Romance, Animals, Hobbies, Blended Genres, Medical/Lab Lit, Travel/Vacation/Exotic Locales, Humourous, Senior Sleuths, Historical/Period, Y/A, and Classic/British-English Cozy to Not-so-Cozy

Award winning books may be eligible to be included in the Chanticleer Collections (which sell and promote the winning titles) in North America through Promontory Distribution. The Chanticleer Collection is represented to Independent Book Stores and major bookseller chains such as Barnes & Noble and Books A Million through an exclusive agreement with Promontory Distribution for our vetted Chanticleer Collection.

Cost to Enter: $45

Submission Deadline: Spring

First Prize: TEN genre Grand Prize winning titles will compete for the $1,000 purse for CBR Best Book and Overall Grand Prize.

Other: First in Category winners will compete for the M&M Awards Grand Prize Award for the $250 purse and the M&M Grand Prize Ribbon and badges.

* * * * *

Mystery & Mayhem Awards – Cozy Mystery Writing Contest

1050 Larrabee Avenue, Suite 104, PMB 334
Bellingham WA 98226


Chanticleer Book Reviews is looking for the best books featuring “mystery and mayhem”, amateur sleuthing, light suspense, travel mystery, classic mystery, British cozy, hobby sleuths, senior sleuths, or historical mystery, perhaps with a touch of romance or humor, we will put them to the test and choose the best among them. (For suspense, thriller, detective, crime fiction see our Clue Awards)

Prizes to be won:

All First in Category Winning Titles will be placed in the queue to receive a coveted Chanticleer Book Review Package (value $425) and go on to compete for the Mystery & Mayhem (aka M&M) Grand Prize
The M&M Grand Prize Winner is named Chanticleer Reviews Best Cozy Mystery Fiction Book of the Year, and goes on to compete for the Chanticleer Overall Grand Prize Best Book of the Year

The Overall Grand Prize Winner is named Chanticleer Reviews Best Book of the Year, and awarded the $1000 prize.  All Winners receive a Chanticleer Prize Package which includes a digital badge, a ribbon and a whole assortment of goodies detailed below (winners outside the US pay a shipping & handling fee)

The M&M Awards Categories are:

Romantic Suspense
Mystery Caper/Adventure
Amateur Sleuth
Classic/British Cozy
Historical Mystery
Animal Mystery
Small Town Cozy Mystery

Cost to Enter: $75

Submission Deadline: Spring

First Prize: Prize ribbon, digital badges, and a review package valued at $425

* * * * *

Operation Thriller Writing Competition


This is an open call for US and UK writers who write thriller fiction. Your story must be for an adult audience and have a thriller intrigue as main component. Cosy crime or cosy mystery novels will not be accepted. Paranormal elements are allowed as long as the thriller element stays predominant. You must be the owner of the book rights. Your work cannot be previously published by a traditional publisher even if it is out of print. Works that are self-published are acceptable.

Submission Deadline: Spring

First Prize: $750 plus manuscript consulting services

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Shamus Awards

  [Private Eye Writers of America]

3665 S. Needles Hwy, 7G
Laughlin NV 89029


Eligible works must feature as a main character a person PAID for investigative work but NOT employed for that work by a unit of government. These include traditionally licensed private investigators; lawyers and reporters who do their own investigations; and others who function as hired private agents. These do NOT include law enforcement officers, other government employees or amateur, uncompensated sleuths. There is no application fee and no submission form; as a simple cover letter will suffice.

Submission Deadline: Spring

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The Black Orchid Novella Award

PO Box 3233
New York NY 10163-3233


The Black Orchid Novella Award offers a $1,000 prize to the best original, unpublished novella that conforms to the tradition of the Nero Wolfe series. Entries must be 15,000 to 20,000 words in length, and submitted by the deadline.

Submission Deadline: Spring

First Prize: $1,000

* * * * *

The Killer Nashville Claymore Award

PO Box 680759
Franklin TN 37068


Every year, the Killer Nashville Claymore Award assists new and rebranding English-language fiction authors get published, including possible agent representation, book advances, editor deals, and movie and television sales.

Cost to Enter: $40

Submission Deadline: Spring

* * * * *

The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award

  [Killer Nashville]

PO Box 680759
Franklin TN 37068


The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award seeks to
discover and honor the best books of the previous year.

Cost to Enter: $79

Submission Deadline: Summer

First Prize: $500

* * * * * *

WhoDunIt Contest

Mystery Fest Key West / Absolutely Amazing Books


Deadline: Spring

Submit the first three pages of a completed mystery novel

First Prize: round trip airfare, two days at hotel, free admission to Mystery Fest Key West, publishing contract.

Other prizes: free admission to Mystery Fest Key West and publishing contract.

Humor Writing Contests

Erma Bombeck Writing Competition

  [University of Dayton]

300 College Park
Dayton OH 45469-1323



The Erma Bombeck Writing Competition is hosted every two years by the University of Dayton and the Washington-Centerville Public Library in Centerville, Ohio, where Erma wrote the books and columns that launched her national fame.

Capture the essence of Erma’s writings, and you could win $500 and a free registration to the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop.

 (essay – 450 words)

Cost to Enter: $15

Submission Deadline: December

First Prize: $500 and a free registration to the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop

  • * * * * *

Mona Schreiber Prize for Humorous Fiction and Nonfiction

3940 Laurel Canyon Blvd. #566
Studio City CA 91604


An award for humor, comedic essays, articles, short stories, poetry, shopping lists and other forms. Works should be 750 words or less.

Entries are not returned and must be unpublished. Winners will have their entries posted on All other rights belong to the authors. Humor is subjective. Uniqueness is suggested. Weirdness is encouraged.

Cost to Enter: $5

Submission Deadline: Fall

First Prize: $500

Second Prize: $250

Third Prize: $100

  • * * * * * 

DWAA Annual Writing Competition

  [Dog Writers of America ]

DWAA Contest Chair,
2243 Kelmscott Court
Westlake Village CA 91361


The Maxwell Medallion writing contest is open to all writers, editors, publishers, photographers, artists and others whose work falls into the designated competition categories, which include newspaper, online and magazine columns or articles on canine health, training, rescue or other topics; as well as short stories and poetry.

Book categories include reference, mystery, children’s and non-fiction genres.

Entrants do not have to be DWAA members, but work must be published in print or online.

Cost to Enter: $10 to $15

Submission Deadline: Summer

DWAA Annual Writing Competition is listed in the following categories: Children Short Stories Non-Fiction Mystery Poetry Humor Self-Published

Mystery Writers and the Fans Who Love Them To Convene at 6th Annual Mystery Fest Key West 
Acclaimed mystery authors, celebrated storytellers and the fans who love them are set to rendezvous on the tropical island where so many have found literary inspiration during the 6th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 28-30, 2019 in Key West, Florida.
During the weekend’s series of panels, presentations and social events, Mystery Fest attendees will have the opportunity to learn first-hand how to craft or refine their own tales of crime, murder and mystery from a stellar line-up of high-profile mystery and suspense luminaries and true-crime experts.
2019 headliners are Keynote Speaker Jeffery Deaver, the international bestselling and global multi-award winning suspense-thriller author of 40 novels, including the wildly popular “Lincoln Rhyme” series books; New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling authors Lisa Black, Carla Norton, and Diane A.S. Stuckart, along with authors Jane Bock, Micki Browning, Gray Basnight, David Beckwith, Robert Coburn, Bill Craig, Mike Dennis, Wayne Gales, Cheryl Hollon, Renee Kumar, Rick Ollerman, Shirrel Rhoades, bestselling Buck Reilly adventure series author John H. Cunningham and literary agent Bob DiForio.
Founded in 2014, the Mystery Fest Key West quickly grew in fame and attendance, but “still has the intimacy of a boutique-sized convention with lots of direct interaction between authors and audience,” commented author, publisher and Fest co-founder Shirrel Rhoades. “And, because of the star-power of our guest authors, the fascinating panels and unique social events, we also attract writers and fans of other genres as well.”
Beginning Friday afternoon, June 28, Mystery Fest highlights are to include an opening wine and cheese party on the veranda of Key West’s iconic Custom House Museum with author Heather Graham and Key West Mayor Teri Johnston presiding, keynote luncheon with Deaver, a killer line-up of panels and presentations examining everything from “Forensics for Writers” to “How I Plot a Mystery,” author book signings, a rum sampling event at Hemingway Rum Company/Papa’s Pilar Distillery, a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at the historic Schooner Wharf Bar, a chance to win a cameo “character placement” role in author Gray Basnight’s next mystery tale, and presentation of the annual Whodunit Mystery Writing Award.
Event registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, a lunch and a brunch, and social events, with panels and presentations taking place at The Studios of Key West in the island’s Old Town historic district. Those who register by June 1 are automatically entered into the Gray Basnight “character placement” contest.
Mystery Fest Key West 2019 is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, The Helmerich Trust, The Gardens Hotel, The Laureate Key West, Margaritaville Key West Resort and Marina, and Key West Art & Historical Society.
For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and hotel links visit
Register now! And be automatically entered in drawing for a “walk-on part” in a new mystery novel!

30 Fantastic Writer’s Conferences for Authors, Bloggers, and Freelancers

Here are list of conferences. The first 30 are from an article I downloaded from the internet. The last few are conferences I attended and recommend, especially for those who live in the area.

Ready to connect with literary agents, editors and other writers at a writers conference? If you’re tired of learning about interesting opportunities just a little too late, bookmark this list of annual writers conferences for future planning, so you can join in on the mingling, learning and inspiration in years to come!

General interest

1. Writer’s Digest Conference

When: Annually in August

Where: New York City

The Writer’s Digest editors bring you this annual conference with resources for craft, career and creative inspiration. More than 50 agents and editors participate in the infamous Pitch Slam, and dozens of industry experts lead educational sessions.

2. San Francisco Writers Conference

When: Annually in February

Where: San Francisco, CA

Held annually in February, this conference is a “celebration of craft, commerce and community.” Connect with industry experts, bestselling authors, agents, editors and leaders in both self-publishing and traditional publishing.

3. San Francisco Writing for Change Conference

When: Annually in September

Where: San Francisco, CA

This annual one-day conference asks nonfiction writers, “Can your book change the world?” The conference brings together writers and industry experts to teach nonfiction writers about writing, publishing, marketing and technology.

4. Northern Colorado Writers Conference

When: Annually in May

Where: Fort Collins, CO

The Northern Colorado Writers group provides support and encouragement to writers of all genres and levels through this annual conference, as well as through monthly meetings, classes and other networking and social events. The event typically has just 130 to 150 attendees, so you’ll get a more intimate experience.

5. Association of Writers and Writing Programs

When: Annually in Spring

Where: Various North American cities

Each year, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) hosts the Annual Conference & Bookfair in a different city. The event celebrates authors, teachers, students, writing programs, literary centers and publishers in the region hosting the conference. With more than 12 thousand writers and readers attending each year, AWP is the largest literary conference in North America.

6. Las Vegas Writers Conference

When: Annually in spring

Where: Las Vegas, NV

Henderson Writers Group hosts this annual conference for writers. The organization also hosts 150 meetings a year in Las Vegas. They’re open to the public, and members can read their writing for critique by attendees.

7. Midwest Writers Workshop Super Mini-conference

When: Annually in July

Where: Muncie, IN

This day-and-half conference is a more affordable option for writers at all levels. The Midwest Writers Workshop gives writers the opportunity improve their craft, mingle with industry experts and successful writers, and network and socialize with peers and colleagues.

8.Writing Day Workshops

When and Where: Year-round throughout the U.S.

Each of these day-long workshops offers a crash course on how to get your book published, with classes and presentations on everything from writing queries to working with an agent to marketing your book.

9. Show Me Writers Masterclass Minis

When: Throughout the year

Where: Columbia, MO

Replacing the annual masterclass, Missouri Writers’ Guild and Mizzou Publishing present these workshops for writers of all genres. Past topics include character development, how to prioritize point of view and Pitching 101. Follow Show Me Writers Masterclass on Facebook for upcoming events.

10. Writer’s Winter Escape Cruise

When: Annually February-March

Where: Departs from Miami, FL for the Bahamas

Join this unique writers’ conference… at sea. For five days, writers can enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean Sea while networking and learning about the publishing industry.

Genre fiction

11. Romance Writers of America Annual Conference

When: Annually in July

Where: Location varies

Romance writers gather at this annual genre conference to learn more about the business of being an author. Get an opportunity to meet and mingle with budding and successful romance authors, as well as workshops and events to boost your author career.

12. SleuthFest

When: Annually in February-March – 14-17 March 2019

Where: Boca Raton, Florida

SleuthFest is an annual conference for mystery, suspense and thriller writers sponsored by the Florida chapter of Mystery Writers of America. This conference includes writing and marketing workshops, networking events, and pitch sessions with guest agents and editors. It even includes hands-on forensic workshops!

13. Worldcon and North American Science Fiction Convention

When: Annually

Where: Various locations around the world

The World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”) is an annual gathering of the science fiction and fantasy community, held in a different location around the world each year. When Worldcon is held outside of North America, the corresponding NASFC is held in North America. This five-day international conference is attended by thousands of writers, artists, fans, editors, publishers, academics and dealers. The event embraces science fiction in all the forms, including film, TV, art, comics, anime and manga, and gaming.

14. Killer Nashville

When: Annually in August

Where: Nashville, TN

While attractive to mystery/thriller authors and screenwriters for its unique crime-focused sessions, Killer Nashville welcomes writers of all levels and genres. Conference sessions fall under seven categories: general writing, genre-specific writing, publicity, and crime and detection.

“Imagine hearing a CIA Analyst, an FBI agent on terrorism, Dr Bill Bass on The Body Farm, bestselling CJ Box on how he juggles his writing and plans his days, Heyward Gould on screenplays, and so much more. They even had a crime scene, with awards to those those who studied the clues and figured out the mystery,” mystery author C. Hope Clark reflected on her 2012 Killer Nashville experience.

15. Thrillerfest

When: Annually in July

Where: New York City

“It is the only conference where I really feel at home — and [International Thriller Writers] is truly the tribe I belong to . . .says Joanna Penn (thriller author J.F. Penn) at The Creative Penn. “I can sit in the bar talking about ways to murder people and weapons of choice and not feel weird. I can learn from some of the biggest names in the business, whose hours of writing experience number in the many thousands.

“The education program is absolutely the best in the thriller business. I can fangirl like a geek with big name authors who are actually just a load of bookish geeks too. I can have a drink with people I have only previously worshipped from afar. I also feel absolutely accepted as an indie, with no judgement around my business choices . . . I love ITW and I absolutely loved Thrillerfest!”


16. BlogHer

When: Annually in Summer

Where: Various U.S. cities

“During keynote speaker presentations some people will snicker under their breath, while others will find themselves crying. Which only goes to demonstrate the subjectivity of the entire business of blogging. You can’t appeal to everyone,” says Janie Emaus in her post Top 10 Things I Learned at Last Year’s BlogHer Conference.

17.We All Grow Summit

When: Annually in March

Where: Near Los Angeles, CA

We All Grow is a unique professional conference for Latinas working in the digital space. If you’re an online influencer or creative entrepreneur, this conference can help you network with others, learn strategies for personal and business growth, and connect with brands that want to reach your community.

18. World Domination Summit

When: Annually in July

Where: Portland, OR

Well-known in the blogosphere for delightful surprises like 2012’s $100 investment, WDS is a gathering of thousands of unconventional thinkers — bloggers, entrepreneurs, travelers and more. Join sessions to learn how to live a good life, travel around the world or write your first book — whatever your “big dream” may be.

19. South by Southwest

When: Annually in March

Where: Austin, TX

South by Southwest has become the country’s premier event for the music, comedy, film and digital technology industries — basically, any creative person or fan! Bloggers should keep an eye on the details for SXSW Interactive, the festival’s “incubator for cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity.”  “What I love about SXSW — it always brings out my spontaneous side. I don’t make any plans until five minutes beforehand, and I love it,” says Jenny Blake in a post on Life After College, The Number One Tip for SXSW Newbie.


20. American Society of Journalists and Authors Annual Conference

When: Annually in Spring

Where: New York City, plus occasional one-day events throughout the year in other U.S. cities

More than 150 speakers and 650 attendees join this annual event for “insights and inspiration for emerging and established nonfiction writers” Speakers and events cover writing business topics like storytelling, custom content, self-publishing and negotiating.

21. Society for Professional Journalists Spring Conference Series

When: Annually in Spring

Where: Various U.S. cities

These day-long professional development meetings take place across 12 regions throughout the U.S. They draw pros, students and educators for networking and training in topics ranging from writing skills to using new technologies.

22. Society of American Business Editors and Writers

When: Annually in Fall and Spring

Where: Fall in New York City, Spring in Various U.S. cities

Learn about new media for journalists, writing for various industries, managing your freelancing business, and more in this two-day conference for journalists and business writers and editors.

Children’s book writing and illustrating

23. SCBWI Annual Conferences

When: Various dates

Where: Various locations

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators hosts a slew of regional conferences around the world throughout the year, including the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles each August, and the Annual Winter Conference in New York each February.

24. WriteOnCon

When: Annually in February

Where: Online,

WriteOnCon is an online-only writers’ conference for children’s writers. You can access keynote events and critique forums for free and the rest of the conference content for a fee starting at $5. You’ll also have an opportunity to buy critiques from industry professionals. Publisher’s Weekly describes the features of this unique virtual conference experience:

“Without incurring travel expenses, lining up childcare and battling crowds, more than 11,000 aspiring children’s and young adult authors attended WriteOnCon, a free online writing conference . . . From the comfort of home, they were able to log onto the conference’s Web site and view blogs, vlogs, panel discussions, workshops and live streaming presented by literary agents, editors and published authors.”

Christian writing

25. Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference

When: Annually in May

Where: near Asheville, NC

Held annually at LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center nestled in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina, The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference is the premier training and networking event for both seasoned and aspiring writers and speakers.

International (Outside of U.S.)

26. The London Book Fair

When: Annually in Spring

Where: London, UK

In its own words: “The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels.” LBF brings together authors, publishers and readers in the cultural hub of London to explore and understand the rapidly-changing publishing world.

27. Surrey International Writers’ Conference

When: Annually in October

Where: Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

The Surrey International Writers’ Conference is the “most comprehensive professional development conference of its kind in Canada.” Open to writers of all levels and genres, the conference offers an opportunity to show off your work to the international literary marketplace as well as to hone your craft and business skills.

28. The Vancouver International Writers & Readers Festival

When: Annually in October

Where: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

In the cultural heart of Vancouver, B.C., on Granville Island, this festival invites authors, poets, spoken word performers and graphic novelists to celebrate the art of the story. It takes place for six days each October and continues throughout the year through the Incite reading series. In its own words: “Our mission is to bring readers and writers together to reimagine our lives and our world.”

Indie publishing and self-publishing

29. Self Publishing Advice Conference (SPACON)

When: Annually in spring and fall

Where: Online

This online conference for authors interested in self-publishing runs fringe to the London Book Fair and Digital Book World. The conference is free and runs 24 sessions — one an hour for 24 hours. You can register to learn how to attend the next conference, and you can attend sessions live or catch up on your own time.

30. Indie Bookfest

When: Annually in fall

Where: Orlando, FL

This four-day event includes workshops, panels and social events for indie, hybrid and traditionally-published authors. It features sessions on craft and marketing, as well as events that let you mingle with readers and fellow authors.

This post originally ran in September 2014. We updated it in August 2018 so it’s more useful and relevant for our readers!About the Author: Dana Sitar

Dana Sitar is a freelance blogger and a writer at The Penny Hoarder. Say hi and tell her a good joke on Twitter @danasitar.

 2019 Atlanta Writing Workshop on March 9, 2019.

I’ve attended this conference and while it is just one day, it is informative and a great place to connect with agents. However, you have only ten minutes to pitch your book and it does cost extra. But they list the agents and what they are looking for, so you can pick the ones that best match your novel.

New this Year

This year we’ve added sessions on humor writing, southern fiction writing and self-publishing! We’ve also added some fresh voices with excellent insight on how to write other popular categories, such as science fiction and fantasy, romance, young adult/middle grade, mystery/thrillers/crime and picture books. Plus, we have plenty of general sessions to cover writing query letters, building your writer platform and more. 

For a list of this year’s instructors, click here:

Agents in Attendance

We have 12 wonderful agents, looking to connect with writers, most of whom are attending for the first time this year. For a list of this year’s agents and editors in attendance (and what they represent), click here:

*NOTE: We’re always working to add agents, so be sure to keep an eye on the site as we get closer to the event. 

Registering for the Event

Registering for the 2019 Atlanta Writing Workshop is simple. By registering now, you can reserve your spot(s) with any agent of your choice (until he or she sells out). You can also add a 10-Page Critique with any of our faculty members listed here, getting professional feedback and a chance to ask questions. 

As always, if you know any writers or writing groups, please help spread the word. We have too many writers tell us after the fact, “I wish I would have known about the event before it was too late!” We appreciate your help letting fellow writers know. 

If you have questions, let us know.


Atlanta Writing Workshop coordinator


*Attendees must sign up for the basic all-day workshop package of $189 to be eligible for any add-on agent consultations. If you like, you may sign up for multiple one-on-one meetings ($29 for every 10 minutes), either to extend a meeting, or pitch multiple people during the day. If you have a preferred agent/editor to pitch to, please say so at the bottom of this letter or over e-mail. Because agent schedules can fill up, please feel free to give us your alternate preferences, just to be safe.

All price figures include tax. 

___ $189 early bird pricing for all AWW sessions on March 9, 2019

___ $29 per 10-minute agent/editor pitch consultation (How many? ___)

___ $69 per query critique 

___ $89 critique of your first 10 pages (Which instructor? / What genre?)


For more information about Bouchercon 2019 in Dallas, Texas; email .

I love this conference. Many of the publishers support the conference by providing snacks and special events. Others provide free books and promotional items. Most importantly, everyone provides helpful tips and encouragement to those who beginning their mystery writing career. It’s a weekend of fun and great learning opportunities.

All aspiring writers should make it a point to attend at least one conference a year. Whether it is a major conference in a large city or a local one where all attendees fit into one room, these conferences can be great experiences. Writers learn about the publishing business, how other writers work, pick up tips on writing, and make connections. For this page, I will highlight some of my experiences with conferences I have attended. Fortunately, mine have all been positive.


This is the trophy for the WHODUNIT Award, a mystery writing contest held by Amazing Books, a sponsor of the Mystery Fest Key West. A great mystery writers’ conference in the Florida Keys. It’s small and that means you get to meet everyone. It also has lots of social events giving you a chance to mingle and network.

me at Mystery Fest 2

Here I am doing a reading from my novel Homicide in the Headlines, which won Honorable Mention in the WHODUNIT Competition. It is this kind of recognition and encouragement that gives me the desire to write. The first time I attended this conference, I participated in an editor’s roundtable. I got some great writing tips and support when the editor asked me for the manuscript. The novel didn’t get published, but the editor did let me know the book had merit. It’s always good when others let you know they like your writing.

Mystery Fest Key West

        This is a small, local conference started by Shirrel Rhoades and Michael Haskins, but don’t let that stop you. It’s a fun three days of interacting with writers not only from Florida, but many others invited from across the country. The conference starts with workshops where attendees learn about police procedures and some publishing tips. The second day is a series of panel discussions by authors and others in the publishing industry. The last day is an opportunity for writers to hang out in Key West and visit some of the sights before heading home. In addition, there are social events, a buffet lunch, and brunch. This is a great place to make connections with some big names in the mystery writing world. An added attraction is the Whodunit Contest with a publishing contract and a small trophy as prizes. The conference takes place in Key West during the summer, so look for information about it in the spring.

Bouchercon 2018

     Good bye to Saint Petersburg, Florida and Bouchercon 2018. Four days of mystery writers talking to other mystery writers about mystery writing. For those who like who-dun-its, this was a great weekend. One good thing is we get to do it again next year in Dallas, Texas. For more information about Bouchercon 2019, email .

     I loved this conference. Many of the publishers supported the conference by providing snacks and special events. Others provided free books and promotional items. Most importantly, everyone provided helpful tips and encouragement to those who beginning their mystery writing career.

     I was not an official photographer, but I did take lots of photos at the conference. I am posting them on my website. Please feel free to download any of the photographs you want. I will caution everyone that I am just beginning to learn how to manage the website. If for any reason you cannot download the photos you want, please contact me directly at . However, you must use the header “Photos from Bouchercon 2018” in the subject line. This way I know the email message is not spam or contains a virus. Please ask for the photos you want by number. I cannot remember the people or events that I took photos of.

     To all of the publishers who provide coffee, snacks, books, and support of the event – thank you for all that you did.

Bouchercon 2
Bouchercon 5
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Bouchercon 14
Bouchercon 15
Bouchercon 16
Bouchercon 17
Bouchercon 19
Bouchercon 20
Bouchercon 21
Bouchercon 22
Bouchercon 23
Bouchercon 24
Bouchercon 25
Bouchercon 26