Once a year, Canada welcomes mystery and crime fiction writers and readers from all over the world for our annual conference, Bloody Words. This year’s conference is rapidly approaching and will take place in Toronto from June 6–8. This year’s theme is ‘The Dance Macabre’, celebrating historical mysteries, but the conference isn’t solely about historicals—we’ll also celebrate everything from cozies to noir. This year’s guest of honour is well-known Canadian author Vicki Delany, the international guest of honour is Michael Jecks, master of the medieval murder mystery, and the Master of Ceremonies is the hilarious Melody Campbell.
I’m already registered and looking forward to it, but why should you consider going?
- Attendees: This conference isn’t just for writers, but for readers as well. I remember going to my first Bloody Words in 2010, and being pleasantly surprised at the number of readers attending. They sat in on lectures on craft and forensics, attended the banquet, went to readings, and had a chance to meet new authors and reacquaint themselves with old favourites.
- Panels and sessions: For the writers in the group, the sessions are many and varied. There’s great information for the beginner on how to outline, write, edit or pitch, and for more experienced authors, there are sessions on career management or how to maintain a series.
- Agent and editor pitch sessions: Do you have a new manuscript you want to get into an agent’s or editor’s hands? No better way to be able to really talk about your book than one-on-one. Sign up for a pitch session here. Also, as an aside, pitch sessions aren’t the only way to talk to agents about your book. At my first conference, I was chatting with an agent before the banquet and she requested the full manuscript simply based on that conversation. So there are many opportunities to meet with industry professionals.
- Loot bags: Because who doesn’t love free stuff?
- Sunday morning workshops: Want to get into the real nitty gritty of writing a gripping novel? These extended sessions taught by knowledgeable writers are a great way to really dive into your craft.
- Manuscript evaluations: You can sign up to have your manuscript evaluated by an editor or published author who will give detailed feedback on how to strengthen your story. But hurry, the deadline for manuscript evaluation submissions is April 1st! See more details here.
- Books with Legs: If you want to have a great laugh and to watch me prance down a catwalk wearing a funny hat and a placard of A FLAME IN THE WIND OF DEATH, this is your chance. This Friday night event will be a fantastic (and no doubt hilarious) way to see attending authors highlight some of the best new fiction from the first half of 2014. Fashion show commentator Caro Soles will host the event and keep the audience in stiches.
- The banquet: This year everyone is invited to come dressed as their favourite mystery character, historical or contemporary. Now… where did I put my deerstalker cap?
- The dealers room: Want to pick up the newest book from that author you just saw on a terrific panel? The dealers room will be carrying books from attending authors as well as other reading-related items.
- The convenient location: Bloody Words is located this year at the Hyatt Regency on King Street in Toronto, right in the middle of the theater district. There’s a special conference room rate if you book before May 5th, so treat yourself to come a day or two early to see the city and catch a show before the conference fun begins.
Don’t miss out—Register for Bloody Words 2014 today!
Its giveaway time again! Stop by Goodreads until Monday night at 11:59pm for the chance to win a signed ARC of A FLAME IN THE WIND OF DEATH. Enter here!