It’s 468 miles – about eight hours to drive or $200+ to fly – from Chicago to Nashville. Still, I’m considering going to Killer Nashville, a mystery/thriller conference scheduled for August 20-22 at the Marriott Cool Springs Hotel & Convention Center. What’s attracting me is that it seems extremely well-organized, highlights authors I enjoy, and has many features for the not-yet-published author.
First, regarding organization. Although the schedule is still in development, the Killer Nashville website shows that workshops will be organized into four tracks:
- The Writing Track – providing support, information, and craft techniques for beginning authors, writers, playwrights, and filmmakers; and
- The Marketing Track – providing advanced information in the areas of business, finance, publishing, writing, and promotion.
- The Fan Track – providing a miscellaneous offering to readers and fans of literature
- The Forensic Track – providing insight into the latest in forensic investigations.
As I am writing, need help marketing, can always use more info on guns, blood splatter, and the like, and am definitely a big fan, there’s no doubt that I’ll have something great to do in every time slot. The hard part might be choosing. Plus, Jeffrey Deaver is the guest of honor.
When it comes to features for new authors, Killer Nashville has a great one: a contest that results in at least one new author getting a publishing contract from Avalon Books! I’ve already entered the Claymore Dagger award and sent the first 50 pages of my completed mystery in for consideration. And although you don’t have to attend Killer Nashville to enter, the contest has certainly piqued my interest in the conference.
Plus, there’s the pitch sessions. Jill Marr from the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency will be on hand. I queried them once because they publish Kate White – similar style to my Paula Berger books – but no luck. Also an acquisitions editor from Oceanview Publishing. And it appears they will be offering manuscript critiques, although the details are not on the website yet.
Early registration (through May 28) is $140 and includes all the sessions for the whole weekend; banquet tickets are extra, as are critiques, although pitch sessions are included. If anybody has gone in the past, I’d appreciate a comment to let me know if it was disappointing, okay, good or great!
I’ve attended Killer Nashville every year since its inception. I was very impressed the first year–and then it just kept getting better. The organization, quality of information, knowledge and accessibility of the experts is unparalleled in my experience. I will be there again this year and the next and the next . . .