Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mystery & Suspense Writers Gather in Corte Madera, California This Month

18th Annual Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference

The 18th Annual Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference will take place July 21-24, 2011 at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA 94925.

Located just 15 minutes across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, this Conference has a strong tradition of outstanding authors and teachers. Mystery and suspense authors learn all the clues to a successful writing career. Editors, agents, and publishers share with students what they need to know to get published. Authors offer classes on setting, dialogue, suspense, point of view, and various mystery genres. Panels of detectives, forensics experts, and other crime-fighting professionals provide information that allows writers to put realism in their work. We’re proud of the successful mystery writers who began their careers at this conference.

The collegial atmosphere of the Conference attracts students and faculty from all over the country, many for repeat visits. Opportunities abound for faculty and students to talk, laugh, and exchange ideas in classes, workshops, panels, and informal lunches.

Over the past two decades, the Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference has drawn faculty who are the best in the business. This year’s Conference boasts an outstanding faculty of writers, agents, editors, publishing professionals, forensics experts, and crime-fighting pros including internationally-acclaimed authors Daniel Silva (The Rembrandt Affair, Moscow Rules, The Messenger) and Martin Cruz Smith (Three Stations, Stalin’s Ghost, Gorky Park), former Agent for the FBI & current head of security for ESPN George Fong, authors David Corbett (Do They Know I’m Running?, The Devil’s Redhead, Blood of Paradise), Marcia Clark (lead prosecutor on the O.J. Simpson murder case and author of Without a Doubt), Hallie Ephron (Never Tell a Lie, Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel), Robert Dugoni (The Jury Master, Wrongful Death), John Lescroart (Treasure Hunt, A Plague of Secrets), Dylan Schaffer (Misdemeanor Man, I Right the Wrongs), Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs, A Lesson in Secrets), literary agents Amy Burkhardt and Kimberley Cameron (Kimberley Cameron & Associates) & Amy Rennert (Amy Rennert Agency), Arielle Eckstut (Levine Greenberg Literary Agency), Lisa Gallagher (Sanford J. Greenburger Associates),  Miriam Parker (Marketing Director at Little, Brown and Company), and more!

Each Conference day is structured to provide an intensive writing experience. In the mornings and afternoons there are panels & workshops, and special presentations in the evenings.

The cost of the four-day Conference is $540. Optional 30-minute private consultations are available for $95. For complete details, a full schedule, faculty list, accommodations, or to register, please visit the Conference homepage at You may also contact Conference Coordinator, Kathryn Petrocelli, by phone at (415) 927-0960, ext. 239, or email

There are optional writing workshops taught by David Corbett, D.P. Lyle, and Hallie Ephron on Thursday afternoon just prior to the Conference. These pre-Conference classes are available to participants for an additional fee. The Mystery Writers Conference is chaired by mystery writers Sheldon Siegel and Jacqueline Winspear.

Authors say:

"The Conference bolstered my skills and helped me get published. You can’t beat the caliber or the inspiration." – Cara Black, author of Murder in the Latin Quarter

"Before I learned about Book Passage’s classes and the Mystery Conference, the only creative writing I’d ever done were a couple of particularly imaginative IRS submissions at tax time. Sure, I was an avid mystery reader, but that didn’t translate to being a mystery writer anymore than being a gourmet means you know how to cook. So I decided to learn from the pros. Within a year I’d written my first novel, partnered with a well-known agent, and sold the book to Time Warner’s Mysterious Press. ... It’s been a great year of book tours, signings and getting to meet some terrific readers, librarians and booksellers. It also feels good to fulfill a fantasy I’ve been dreaming about for close to fifty years. I can stick to nonfiction for the IRS submissions now." – Louise Ure, author of Forcing Amaryllis

"The Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference is the most interesting, most challenging, and most fun event for writers I’ve ever attended, a unique symposium that challenges all those who take part to think about this curious craft from both a practical and aesthetic point of view." – David Hewson, author of The Seventh Sacrament

"At the Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference I was lucky enough to get a consultation with thriller writer Lee Child, who took a very kind interest in the manuscript. ... He has championed the book ever since, and when we met up again at Book Passage, he asked whether I’d be interested in doing a joint book tour, since both my first book and his tenth were slated for publication in the same month." – Cornelia Read, author of A Field of Darkness

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Book Passage has served the Bay Area for more than 30 years, providing the community with an array of author events, writing and language classes, and highly-respected, annual writing conferences.

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