Although most crime writers are well acquainted with American Writers’ Conferences such as Boucheron, Thrillerfest and Malice Domestic, I wonder if many have heard of the Sleuthfest Conference, this being the Florida branch of the Mystery Writers of America, which is held every year at the end of February.
Sleuthfest is not quite as big as the very well known conferences but it does have a great deal of advantages.
There are approx 250 delegates in number and most of them are mystery writers. Many of them are well known mystery novelists, both in the traditional and also in the e-book publishing sense. The Guest speakers this year were Laura Lippman, Ace Atkins, Hank Phillipi Ryan.
Also present each year at the conferences are many literary agents, editors and publishers, and interview sessions can be booked where writers can pitch their work to them.
The Sleuthfest conference runs for four days, starting on the Thursday and finishing on the Sunday morning with a farewell brunch. The price for attending the conference this year was $305dollars, and this included two luncheons, a Saturday night cocktail party, where you can mingle with agents, publishers etc, and a continental style farewell Sunday breakfast.
The hotel where the conference was based this year was the Grand Wyndham at Bonnet Creek, Orlando, a four star hotel with lots of swimming pools, at least two restaurants, and several work out centres.
The big advantage of this conference is that this year it was almost next door to Disneyland and just a few hours drive to Miami or to the west coast of Florida with its wonderful white beaches. So if you feel like a summer holiday in February after the dreariness of a British winter, then Sleuthfest could be for you.
This has been my second visit to Sleuthfest and as before I am always impressed by the friendliness and helpfulness of the organisers and the other delegates that attend there. Next year, hopefully, I’ll be there again.