Tag Archives: New York City

Oh, I do SO want to go to the MWA Edgar Symposium and Banquet

inviteMy invite to the Mystery Writers of America Banquet and Awards Ceremony, plus all the details about the Edgar Symposium, came in the mail today.  I am an MWA member (albeit not an active member, I have not yet met the requirements).

I finagled my way to NYC once before at Edgar time, and it was simply marvelous.  Daytime events are held at Lighthouse International on 59th Street, which was a wonderful location.  I was just getting started with writing mysteries, and it was a thrill to be so close to so many authors.  Can you say starstruck?  Plus in addition to rubbing elbows with the not-known-to-me NY agents, I had a great conversation with with a big-name agent, who was encouraging.

Several years have passed.  Every year, I don’t go, but I get the lovely program book in the mail and read all the speeches and the congratulatory ads from publishers, imagining my name instead of say, Laura Lippman’s.  This year:  I really want to go!

Reasons as follows:

  1. The editors and agents cocktail party.  This event is teeming with New York agents, and I have a book to pitch.  It’s free to me as an MWA member, even if I don’t go to anything else!
  2. The symposium is a full day of useful information on topics including the inside scoop on agents, creating monsters, and more.
  3. Plus, symposium panels are comprised of Edgar nominees and winners.  Can you say big names?  Creme de la creme?
  4. There will be many speeches from smart people and perhaps the banquet food will be adequate.
  5. Finally, it’s in New. York.  City.  In May.  Where there are nice hotels, numerous bookstores, and Broadway shows.  Sigh.

 

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Literary New York. I’m so there.

30 rock treeToday’s New York Times is making me wish for another vacation, just a few short weeks after I returned from an 8-night Caribbean cruise.    What could cause this enthusiasm for a NYC winter solstice getaway?  No, it’s not the Christmas tree in Rockfeller Center.  Or even the 52 degree temperatures and constant drizzle… it’s this article in the travel section about literary Manhattan.  I’m nostalgic for places I haven’t really been!

cafe loupI yearn for the cafés and bars where the literati (past and present) elevated (and sometimes degraded) discourse.  The Café Loup sounds excellent.  I’ve actually seen Jimmy’s Corner, near Times Square, and avoided it, not appreciating its seedy charm.  Now that I know the folks from the NYT Book Review congregated there, I recognize how very shallow I was.  Dive, indeed.

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The Strand Bookstore

Bookstores, of course.  On previous vacations, I’ve blogged about my visits to  The Mysterious Bookshop (Otto Penzler’s famous store) and Partners & Crime.  I’m glad I got to visit the latter. It was a pleasure to shop there and I felt a pang when I read, just a few months ago, that it was closing.  I assume it’s shuttered now.  And of course, The Strand and its 18 miles of books!  It’s been there so long, it used to be just 8 miles of books.  Now there are so many books they are double-shelved.

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The Library Hotel

And, of course, hotels with a literary connection.  I’ve stayed at the Algonquin Hotel.  It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 100 years since Dorothy Parker and her literary posse gathered there daily.  I loved its convenient location, and thought the bar – and live music – was excellent.  They also have a hotel cat, which ups the experience.  The Chelsea is famous not only for its literary connections, but has a strong history of strung-out rockers.   But I’m drawn to the new and enticing Library Hotel, located just steps from the actual NYC Library.  They not only have 6,000+ books on site, they’re organized around the Dewey decimal system.  They have a reading room, complimentary breakfast and a complimentary evening reception, plus free wi-fi.   A quick check of their reservation system shows that it’s not outrageously priced.  By NYC standards, that is.

levAnd if I needed any further inducement, I could go see My Name is Asher Lev on Broadway.  Love the Chaim Potok book on which it is based!  It’s getting awesome reviews.  As are Steppenwolf’s Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?  A major inducement.

And there’s a new musical coming out soon, Matilda.  It’s based on the Roald Dahl book.  Oh, I’m sure that the days would be packed, if only I could go…

NYC’s ThrillerFest over

So I’ve been filled with envy and regret in recent days, perusing my Facebook page and seeing all those people I know and love (or at least interact with on FB and enjoy their books) at ThrillerFest in New York City.  Here’s why:

  1. Firstly, I do love me a thriller.
  2. The author line-up was phenomenal.  Lee Child, Karen Slaughter, John Sandford.  And more.
  3. And it’s not just for fans, it’s got great stuff for writers, including agent pitch sessions.   Think CraftFest and AgentFest.
  4. Finally, it’s in New. York. City.  Like many, I heart New York.

Of course, all the good stuff doesn’t come free.  As with the Broadway vacation I took with my son in the spring, it adds up quickly.  The cheapest thing was to attend only the Awards banquet at $197.  Attending the whole kit-and-kaboodle (ThrillerFest, CraftFest, AgentFest and the banquet) was $899 if you make your plans and pay the fees nine months in advance.   Must clear my calendar for July 2013 and save my pennies.