Our town of 50,000 hosts a writers conference every fall. The Manhattan Mystery Conclave started several years ago when one woman became the spark to found a mystery writers conference in our town. Marolyn Caldwell, herself a mystery writer, wanted to gather both writers and readers of mysteries in a three day conference.
She begged writers in the community to form a committee and begin planning. With grave doubts, a handful of us got started. To the writers, we added a computer expert and a food chairman, and a financial expert. With more the a full year's planning, meeting on a weekly basis, we pulled off a great conference, including a writing contest. We closed the conference that year to pleas to repeat the meeting the next year.
The second year was easier as we knew what we were doing, not swimming in deep water like the first time. The committee that plans the conference has changed a great deal, but the results have been good each year.
Despite the fact that attendees have to fly to Kansas City and then rent a car to drive two hours to Manhattan, the conference still draws people from around the country. The fact that well-known mystery writers are the featured speakers is reason number one. Reason number two is that the conference is run well and writers have benefited from the sessions.
This year's Manhattan Mystery Conclave which is termed A Celebration of Small Town Mysteries, is scheduled for October 30 to November 1. If you're interested, go to http://www.manhattanmysteries.com/ for all the details.And remember that this conference is for readers as well as writers. It's a great opportunity to meet well-known mystery writers like Nancy Pickard and Earlene Fowler, both award winning authors.