Off to Sleuthfest2018

If you are reading this blog on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, I am either preparing to leave for or on my way to Boca Raton, Florida for Sleuthfest 2018. (Sleuthfest2018) I’ve attended this conference, which is put on by the Florida Mystery Writers’ of America Chapter, several times now and have always come away with new ideas and information.

This year, rather than being on a panel, I’ll be conducting a workshop Thursday afternoon, so I’m a little nervous. If you’ve followed my blog recently, you know this workshop is on outlining, which I always plan on doing when I start a story, but usually abandon sometime after chapter ten or so. Preparing for this workshop has been good for me since I am starting a new story and I’ve applied some of the techniques I’ll be talking about to the development of this story. As a result, I feel more prepared to write the story.

Once my workshop is over, I’ll be able to relax and enjoy the rest of the conference, which promises to be great (as usual). It will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Boca Raton and Andrew Gross is the keynote speaker, with Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D. the forensic guest of honor. In addition to Gross and Ramsland, Hallie Ephron, Kristy Montee (PJ Parrish), Hank Phillippi Ryan, and James R. Benn will be special guest authors.

There will be around 200 authors, editors, and agents in attendance, with the editors and agents taking pitches and offering strategy sessions, as well as appearing on panels. Thursday is an “extra” day for attendees and offers 12 workshops (3 each hour) for those who sign up, and then, in the evening the full conference begins.

Friday through noon Sunday is filled with workshops that cover craft, career, and forensics. My main problem will be deciding which session to attend each hour, and I’m sure, by the time I arrive back at my home Sunday, I’ll be exhausted but filled with new ideas.

Over the next few weeks, I will try to summarize some of the sessions I attend. I think it will be interesting to hear what the agents and editors see as the future of publishing, and I am sure I’ll learn some new techniques for crafting a story that includes “real” procedures, not what we often see on TV.

So, see you in a week.

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10 Responses to Off to Sleuthfest2018

  1. Caroll Drudy says:

    Sounds great. Wish I could attend. Do you ever teach your class lically?

    • Maris Soule says:

      In the past I have taught classes through the local community college, but haven’t done so for several years now. This would be a good workshop to do locally.

  2. Kat Morrisey says:

    This sounds great! I never heard of it before and will have to look into it for next year (and maybe joining Mystery Writers’ of America, too!) (I found you via the RWA KOD chapter, by the way. Great blog!)

    • Maris Soule says:

      Thanks, Kat. If you’re writing mysteries, or romantic suspense, I suggest you look into both Mystery Writers of American and Sisters in Crime. Both are great, supportive organizations.

  3. Melissa Keir says:

    I’m jealous! Make sure you take notes to share with us! 🙂

  4. I have been intrigued with Sleuthfest since I read your blogs about it last year. I told Rich that we are going to plan winter vacation around it next year. Enjoy! I know you will be sharing the pearls of wisdom you glean from it – can’t wait!

    • Maris Soule says:

      Considering the weather you’ve had up north, coming to Florida for a few days in Feb or March would be a great break for you two, and the Florida MWA always puts on a great conference.

  5. Bonnie Alkema says:

    Have fun, Maris!!!

  6. Maris Soule says:

    Thanks, Bonnie. My workshop session on outlining is now behind me. (Big smile) I can now relax and learn from others.