Monday, May 12, 2014

Small Conferences

By Vicki Delany

Aline wrote last week about attending the CWC Conference in Guernsey. I have also just been to a conference, but on a much smaller scale.

And it seems to me that these days perhaps the smaller conferences are the way to go.

This weekend saw the one day conference titled Capital Mayhem put on by the Capital Crime Writers group in Ottawa.  It was small – in one auditorium in a library, with one track of panelling, and great fun.

The day was moderated by mystery-lover and Ottawa City Councillor, Katherine Hobbs, and the guest of honour was Peter Robinson.  Peter was interviewed by the wonderful Ottawa writer, C.B. Forrest.  And then we had panels of Ottawa-area writers on topics such as writing characters, and building suspense (I was on that one, and it was titled Mystery Striptease) an very interesting panel on short stories, and a talk about his job by a crime-beat reporter for a newspaper.

All that and coffee and breakfast cakes to begin and a delicious lunch as well.

And did I mention the cost:  $0.00

In the US, conferences seem to be thriving – I am just back from Malice Domestic which was as well attended as always, and plans for Left Coast Crime and Bouchercon are well underway.  But here in Canada we're faced with the death last year of Wolfe Island's Scene of the Crime and now the last Bloody Words coming up in June.

Perhaps smaller, easier to organize conferences such as Capital Mayham are the way to go?

Good conferences need someone to step up to the plate and organize them. Writers can't be expected to organize conferences, most of us are just too busy cranking out our books. It's up to fans and readers and lovers of the genre.

How about you? How about putting something together in your city?

On that note, as I said above, this year's Bloody Words will be the last. Sniff. So, if you have ever thought that you might want to go to Bloody Words someday, you had better make it this year.

We'll see you there.  Here's the link:

(The picture above is from a small festival in Lake County, Florida.  I am still struggling with how to get pictures onto a blog post using an iPad)


Ellen said...

It's sad that larger Canadian conferences are dying out. We had our annual GenreCon convention this past weekend, and although it wasn't as well attended as in other years, we had enthusiastic authors and future authors there.

Donis Casey said...

So sad about Bloody Words. What other conferences are specifically for Canadian mystery writers?

Vicki Delany said...

Donis: None. But, Bloody Words is not specifically for Canadian mystery authors. All authors are welcome, as are all fans and readers. It just happens to be in Canada. If you want to come, we'd love to have you. Scene of the Crime was just for Canadian authors, but it was a festival, not a conference.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Vicki, I'm so sorry to hear about Bloody Words. It's been on my someday maybe list forever, and now it's too late.