Celebrated mystery writers, acclaimed storytellers and the fans who love them are set to infiltrate the tropical island where so many have found their inspiration during the 5th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 22-24, 2018 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West, Florida.
Why is Key West such a popular incubator and setting for generations of authors— from Hemingway to Heather Graham, Tennessee Williams to John H. Cunningham, Elizabeth Bishop to Roberta Isleib? Maybe it’s the archipelago’s history as a haven for pirates and drug-runners, its salty off-the-grid renegade energy – or simply the hypnotic effect of swaying palm trees reflected against water on a tiny island surrounded by endless miles of ocean. Whatever it is, the locale has spawned a multitude of tales and a small army of authors.
Mystery Fest Key West was founded in 2014 and while it has grown in fame and attendance since then, “it still has the intimacy of a boutique-sized convention with lots of direct interaction between authors and audience,” commented author, publisher and Fest co-founder Shirrel Rhoades. “And, because of the exceptional caliber of our guest authors, the fascinating panels and unique social events—all in a tropical island paradise—we also attract writers and fans of other genres as well.”
During the weekend’s series of panels, presentations and social events, Mystery Fest attendees will have the opportunity to learn first-hand how to craft or simply refine their own tales of crime, murder and mystery from a stellar line-up of high-profile mystery and suspense luminaries and true-crime experts.
2018 headliners are Keynote Speaker Ace Atkins, the multi-award winning, “New York Times” bestselling author of twenty-one novels, including the recent Robert B. Parker “Spenser” mysteries; Special Guest of Honor, the multi-award winning editor and publisher Otto Penzler – proprietor of the famed “The Mysterious Book Shop” in New York City; and Special Guest Presenter, “New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author Heather Graham.
Featured presenters include “New York Times” bestselling author Lisa Black, bestselling and award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen; “New York Times” bestselling author Diane A.S. Stuckart; “New York Times” bestselling co-author Charles Todd, award-winning authors Patrick Kendrick, Lewis C. Haskell and many others.
Event highlights include presentation of the 2018 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition Award, workshops on the business of being an author, how to write and sell a first novel, crisis negotiation and the forensic use of fingerprints, multiple panel discussions on subjects ranging from the state of the publishing industry to book marketing and promotion, along with author book signings, a Keynote luncheon with author Ace Atkins, a Conch Train mini-tour of Key West, an ice-cream social event with Ace Atkins and Otto Penzler at the historic Key West Lighthouse, and a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at Key West’s historic Schooner Wharf Bar.
Sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter, the Helmerich Foundation and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, all panels and presentations will take place at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West. Event registration is $195 and includes all panels and presentations, a luncheon and a brunch at Key West’s historic seaport. For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and links to accommodations visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com.