Crimebake–Conferences at a Glance

Happy Wednesday, all.  Jennifer the scribe here.

Let’s start Wednesday off with a confession.  I’m not a crime writer, nor do I play one on TV. So, why the heck was I at Crimebake a few weeks ago?

The short answer, I was invited.

New England Crime Bake is an annual conference celebrating the work of New England crime fiction and nonfiction authors. Registration is open to anyone, including authors (published and unpublished), readers, booksellers, librarians, agents, and publishers. New England Crime Bake is organized by an all-volunteer committee comprised of members from the New England chapters of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. All proceeds go to support the activities of SinCNE and MWA/NE.

The conference itself was comprised mostly of panels like The Plot Conjurers, where a group of stellar authors conjured a plot off the cuff, right in front of the audience. Or, Writing the Characters on the dark side of Human Behavior (a must for any crime writer, I’m sure).

Crimebake offered one-on-one pitch sessions. A marketing workshop (taught by yours truly) and afternoon master class workshops, on topics like character building and revising your query letter.

All in all, it was the RWA national for crime writers. So, after the conference being over for more than 2 weeks, why is it on my mind?  Simply put, the experience of hanging out with writers for an entire weekend is worth its weight in GOLD.

I met new friends. (Hi, Andy Adams and Ray Daniel!).  I got to hear many of the same concerns we have a romance writers, like market trends, do I self publish or go traditional, but from a different angle. I mixed it up with a few agents. Katharine Sands and Janet Reid are phenomenal! And, anytime I get to hang with Superfab (aka Eric Ruben) is time well spent.

As writers, I believe we should go to conferences as often as we can afford to. It’s not cheap. It’s time consuming. But, the benefits outweigh the amount of money it takes to attend. Conferences nourish the writers soul.  To me, it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve heard a workshop on Character Building. Without a doubt there will be one thing said that will be new.

So, here’s my advice.  Jump out of your comfort zone and plan to attend a conference that you’ve never been to before.  Take a friend along, if you are nervous. You’ll be glad you did!

So, conference attendees past and future, tell me what conferences have you attended that you’ve gotten a lot out of or which ones do you plan to attend in the future….inquiring minds want to know.

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6 thoughts on “Crimebake–Conferences at a Glance”

  1. I really should have attended this conference. The ideas/workshops I’ve heard that have come out of it sound exactly what I need to write my books. Now that I am writing for HQN’s Love Inspired Suspense, my suspense/crime arc needs to be stepped up.

    I have just finished my revisions for my first release with LIS, and everything I had to revise had to do with vamping up the suspense and crime parts. I got the romance down, thank you RWA, but something like Crimebake needs to be in my future.

    1. Katy – Get on the Crime Bake mailing list now and be ready to register in July. Seriously. This conference can sell out fast, especially if you’re interested in signing up for any of the Master Classes on Fridays. Not only is CB good, but it’s relatively economical for us Nutmeggers who don’t have to fly in.

  2. I always enjoy the Ask the Experts program at Crime Bake, which is usually run during the pitch session. Each expert sits at a table. You get to sit down with them and ask them questions specific to your WIP. I got to brainstorm a series-long thread with former assistant district attorney William Landay, the author of DEFENDING JACOB.

  3. Good advice Jen. For writers, I have attended all our local conferences. They have been valuable. Conferences are critical learning places. For all my career in interior design, I went to every yearly conference. That’s more than 30 or more. It is a place to update all parts of a business, a great place to network, purchase/get info, samples and awards. A place to raise your awareness in your field. There is even more to the plus side, travel, you get to travel to different places/states/countries to attend. No drawback, just time and money. Worth every minute and every penny.

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