Friday, July 10, 2015

ThrillerFest Exploits (Part One)

Hello from New York City!  ThrillerFest is the annual conference for mystery and thriller writers, held each July at the Grand Hyatt in midtown Manhattan.  Conference-wise, TFest is sort of home turf for me, as it was the first big conference I'd attended since starting to write with intention, and it's also where I first met my literary agent two years ago (more on that below!)

Thrillerfest is the short-hand name for a combination of events, with different aims.  There are pre-conference teaching sessions with law enforcement, forensics, and other specialists.  The FBI day has been especially popular the last couple of years.

Wednesday and Thursday are for CraftFest, which offers a variety of great classes taught by leading authors.  Here's friend and fellow HarperCollins author Jaime Freveletti talking about when and why to kill off characters:

Thursday afternoon is given over to PitchFest.  This is the time of week when the whole conference buzzes with excitement and tension.  PitchFest is essentially speed dating with literary agents.  Aspiring authors wait in line for each agent (having wisely done their homework ahead of time to know which agents are looking for the kinds of books they write!), and have 3-5 minutes to pitch their ideas.  If the agent likes what she or he hears, they may ask the writer to send them some or all of their manuscript.  In the course of about 3 hours, a writer can usually talk to 8-10 agents.  When I went through PitchFest in 2013, I got a lot of interest in the book that became PAST CRIMES, and that subsequent turned into a couple offers of representation.  You can read more about that in the Success Story I wrote for the ThrillerFest site:

Here's a photo of this year's practice session.  The established and very successful authors who help to run ThrillerFest offered their time to give the pitchers a dress rehearsal:

Each day there are coffee gatherings and cocktail parties (official and unofficial), where we all have a chance to mingle and relax.  

Come back to the blog later this week for more on the Friday and Saturday portions of ThrillerFest.  And the cocktail parties.  'Cause those can be a minefield. 


No comments:

Post a Comment