By Lynn McPherson
Today marks only thirty days until Malice Domestic, the annual mystery conference. I can’t wait. I’ll be on a panel, too, which makes it extra exciting. For anyone who hasn’t been, I highly recommend it. I went last year so I know it is well worth attending. The conference is in North Bethesda, Maryland, not far from Washington D.C. I’m flying there from Toronto with fellow author Desmond P. Ryan. If the timing or location doesn’t work for you, there are lots of other fabulous conferences to choose from.
Here’s a list:
Left Coast Crime, Sleuthfest, Bouchercon, Thrillerfest, Crime Bake, Killer Nashville… I’m sure I’ve forgotten one or two, but it’s a start. As I menti
oned, I went to Malice Domestic last year. I was lucky enough to go to Thrillerfest in 2019 too. I was lucky enough to be on a panel there as well. It’s worth doing your homework to decide which conference works best for you. In the meantime, I thought I’d outline reasons for attending in the first place.
- It is a great way to meet fellow authors, readers, and industry professionals. Like a kid in a candy store, these festivals are perfect for anyone who loves mystery. Everywhere you look, you’ll be surrounded by other mystery lovers. What’s not to love?
- Networking. Love it or hate it, in today’s competitive market, it’s important to get your name out there. Mystery authors have a reputation for helping each other succeed. It’s nowhere more obvious than when you meet people in person. Author friends are fun because they understand what you do, they love to talk writing, and they will share tips about what works for them. It’s not always easy to put yourself out there but it’s worth the effort. What’s better than meeting a new friend who shares your passion? Maybe you could decide to cross promote or interview each other on your website or retweet good news. That’s all networking is–making friends and helping each other succeed. Not so bad, huh?
- A chance to get out of your comfort zone. As writers, it’s important to engage in the world. See how others think, behave, move. Why not do it where you can learn, have fun, and be inspired? Simple.
There you have it, folks. A few reasons to take a chance and attend a conference. Is anyone else planning to attend Malice? If so, hope to see you there. Please come and find me if you do!
Lynn McPherson is the former Vice-Chair of Crime Writers of Canada, and a fan of all things cozy. She is the author of the Izzy Walsh Mystery Series, and has a new book coming out with Level Best Books in 2024. She also has a book under the pseudonym Sydney Leigh coming out next spring with Crooked Lane Books. You can find her at www.sydneyleighbooks.com