Sunday, June 17, 2007

Last week my husband, ever mindful of my interests, and ever listening to the news broadcasts, heard about this event:

Saturday, June 9
In Celebration of National Crime Writing Week Crime Writers of Canada present

A Mini-Conference on Crime for Writers and Readers

and thought I would want to attend, especially since it was free and on the Saturday.
Mind you, the last time Mark poked me about a mystery-writing opportunity it was the Debut Dagger competition, and he found out about it 2 weeks before the deadline. They only want 3,000 words including an outline, he said blithely of that, you could knock that off in one weekend, easily, and you've got two! What about the research, I asked, when do I do the research?
The annoying aspect is that he was right, and I did manage to come up with a detective and a setting and an opening chapter, though I had to brainstorm with him to figure out what the baddie was actually trying to accomplish with his attempted murder. While attending an out-of-town SCA event. Thus I twitched when he started to tell me about another opportunity, and hid my head.

Fortunately, this demanded nothing of me except showing up and listening to panels. Schedule as follows:

9:30 a.m. Toil and Trouble: Plotting
Featuring authors Stan Evans, Bob Scott and Kay Stewart

11:00 a.m. The Heart of Darkness: Confronting Evil
Featuring authors Chris Bullock, Roy Innes and Linda Richards

12:30-1:30 p.m. Blue Pencil Cafe
Bring one typed page of your writing for a 10-minute critique by a published author

2:00 p.m. A Local Habitation: Setting
Featuring authors Lou Allin, David Russell and Ron Chudley (who didn't make it)

3:30 p.m. The Mystery of What Sells and Why?
Featuring author James Hawkins, bookseller Frances Thorsen and freelance editor Lynne van Luven

4:45 p.m. Book signings

I was relieved to note that all the authors were published by commercial publishers, since sometimes, at small local workshops or classes, people who published with PublishAmerica or other vanity or scam publishers may lecture and be attended to as if they had gone through the mill properly.
The biggest press mentioned was St. Martin's / Minotaur and Mira, who published Linda Richards. NeWest Press, Rendezvous Crime and Touchwood Editions I'd class as small Canadian publishers. I hadn't heard of Dundurn, described as the biggest independent Canadian publishing group (not even sure what a publishing group is), or of Avalon Books, who produce books for libraries, rather like Five Star.
The Crime Writers of Canada catalogue that was a freebie at the event was informative, though I was less reassured by finding one PublishAmerica book, one Trafford, and two Hilliard and Harris titles. The requirements for joining CWC range from being professionally published (undefined) to being 'interested in crime writing' (fan).
It's late, and I'm sleepy and stupid. I'll describe the talks tomorrow.

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