Wednesday, February 02, 2011
The last Saturday in January was the date of the best ever Murder Goes South mystery conference. This conference distinguishes itself from others with its concentration on mysteries set in the South or written by Southern authors. This year's lineup included featured author Erica Spindler, who spoke at the Friday night dinner; local authors Patricia Sprinkle; and Georgia Adams; and many others.
The conference also offered speakers in other areas of interest to mystery readers and writers, including, Susan Kirkpatrick Smith, an assistant professor, who teaches forensic anthropology. Smith talked about what bones can and can not tell about cause or time of death, and about how the TV shows Bones and CSI get it wrong.
For the first time, the conference offered critiques of 20 pages of a manuscript by a real live New York agent (that last should be said in your best Beverly Hillbillies accent for maximum impact). We welcomed literary agent Janet Reid, from FinePrint Literary Management, who bills herself as the sharkliest agent out there.
Janet also presented one of the breakout sessions, offering information on what agents do and don’t do, what they are looking for and what a rejection letter means. It does NOT mean you and your writing suck!
To have a great time—and learn something about writing while you’re doing it—think about attending MGS next year. The Atlanta Chapter of Sisters in Crime helped sponsor the conference, which is put on by the Friends of the Smyrna Library at the Smyrna Community Center.