The countdown has started for SleuthFest, Florida’s premier conference for mystery writers, which will be held February 29 through March 4, 2012, at the Royal Plaza located in the Walt Disney World® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, Florida.This annual event has been sponsored for the past seventeen years by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.
Guests of Honor include Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, which inspired the popular HBO® series,True Blood; Jeffrey Deaver, award-winning, international bestselling author of the Lincoln Rhyme novels and the new James Bond novel, Carte Blanche; and Chris Grabenstein, Anthony Award winner and bestselling author of adult and middle grade thrillers.
“Registration is running well ahead of where we were last year,” says conference co-chair Linda Hengerer. “We still have room for people to join us at the gun range on Wednesday, April 29. There’s a slight extra fee for gun rental, 50 rounds of ammunition, eye and ear protection, a target, and soft drinks at the range. Transportation will be provided to and from the hotel to the range. Instructors will go over basic gun safety information. We also will have experts on hand to answer questions and offer help.”
“Third Degree Thursday,” a tradition with the conference, features three tracks on the craft of writing. A two-part e-book workshop will be presented as part of “Third Degree Thursday” by Neil Plakcy.
Friday offers a full-day of panels on plotting, publicity, self-discipline, working with reviewers, choosing series versus stand-alone fiction, and a forensics track. There will also be a roundtable discussion by literary agents on publishing trends.
Saturday’s sessions start with a discussion on humor, a panel on how to write sex scenes, e-publication success stories, tips for avoiding muddy middles, a roundtable discussion by editors about what they are looking to buy, and ideas for marketing your work.
On Sunday, Sun Sentinel book reviewer Oline H. Cogdill will interview Charlaine Harris, Jeff Deaver and Chris Grabenstein.
Attendees also have the option of registering to meet with agents and editors to “pitch” their projects with an eye toward publication. Advance registration for all portions of the conference is highly advisable. Go to http://www.mwaflorida.org/sleuthfest.htm