2014 promises to be chock full of wonderful mystery conventions and conferences ranging from Bouchercon— the world’s largest crime fiction convention—to more tightly-focused conferences like Malice Domestic, which specializes in traditional and cozy mysteries. Thrillerfest is, of course, primarily about thrillers, and Left Coast Crime is regional, but also offers the year's only humorous mystery award. Most conventions feature opportunities not only to meet your favorite authors and get your book signed, but also to make tons of new friends who love crime fiction as much as you do.
So, here's a rundown of the major crime fan conventions and conventions taking place in 2014:
Left Coast Crime
March 20-23, 2014 Monterey, California
LCC is held annually during the first quarter of the calendar year somewhere in western North America. In 2014 there are two Lifetime Achievement recipients: Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini. Guests of Honor are Sue Grafton, Cara Black and Louise Penny. This year’s Toastmaster is Brad Parks. Left Coast Crima also has a Fan Guest of Honor, Sue Trowbridge. The Left Coast Crime Awards are given out during the event, and all attendees can vote for up to three in each category. They have some great side trips planned this year, including a tour of movie locations on the Northern California coast.
Malice Domestic 26
May 2-4, 2014 Bethesda, Maryland
Malice Domestic salutes the traditional mystery, loosely defined as mysteries without explicit sex or violence (sometimes known as the cozy.) This year’s slate of honorees includes Guest of Honor Kathy Lynn Emerson; Toastmaster Earlene Fowler; Lifetime Achievement winners Margaret Maron, Dorothy Cannell, and Joan Hess; and Fan Guest of Honor Audrey Reith. After being voted upon by attendees, the Agatha Awards are given out every year at the convention. All attendees who registered by December 31st of the previous year can nominate books and authors.
May 15-18, 2014 Bristol, U.K.
Not to be outdone by their American neighbors, the British have Crimefest where the motto is “Where the Pen is Bloodier than the Sword.” This convention was born after Left Coast Crime traveled to Bristol, England, in 2006, and the U.K. realized it needed one every year! The featured guest authors will include: Mark Billingham, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, and Jasper Fforde. The Crimefest awards are given out here and, although this is primarily a fan convention, they do offer pitch sessions with agents and writing workshops.
July 8-12, 2014 New York City, New York
ThrillerFest is hosted by ITW, the International Thriller Writers, and has something for everyone with three components—ThrillerFest, for thriller fans, CraftFest, for writers and AgentFest, for writers looking for agents. Attendees can go to one, two, or all three programs. ITW has its own awards given during the conference. For the fan portion of the convention, the 2014 Thrillermaster is Scott Turow, with Spotlight Guests including David Baldacci, Ian Rankin, and Heather Graham. The 2014 Silver Bullet Award Winner is Barbara Novak.
November 13-16, 2014 Long Beach, California
Named for mystery lover, writer, and critic Anthony Boucher (rhymes with voucher), Bouchercon is the world’s largest mystery convention and features three solid days of panels, keynotes, and parties. Bouchercon's own Anthony Awards, Mystery Readers International's Macavity Awards, Deadly Pleasures' Barry Awards, the Private Eye Writers of America's Shamus Awards, and Crimespree Magazine's Awards are all given out during Bouchercon. Guests of honor in 2014 include: J.A. Jance, Jeffery Deaver, Edward Marston, and Eoin Colfer. The Toastmaster is Simon Wood. This year's Fan Guest of Honor is Al Abramson, and they're also issuing an anthology of short stories with the theme Murder at the Beach—guidelines at the link, but hurry, because entries need to be postmarked by March 20, 2014.
Did I miss any of your favorites? Are you planning to attend a mystery convention in 2014?
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