Bouchercon and Crime Bake Report

In the last couple of weeks, some of the Wickeds attended Bouchercon in Dallas, Texas, and some were at the New England Crime Bake in Woburn, Massachusetts. Barb was at both! Wickeds, what did you learn? What were your highlights? Liz, what were you up to while we were conferencing?

Sherry: I was pretty busy with Sisters in Crime events at Bouchercon. One of the best things in the past year was working with the board of SinC. The room we had our strategic planning sessions and board meeting in had this huge round table. I’m sure that King Arthur and his Round Table had nothing on us. The smarts of the women on the board was driven home one last time for me in the waning moments of my presidency when we had to deal with a problem. I’m so grateful to have worked with such a talented supportive group. It’s an experience I’ll always cherish.

Sherry Harris passes the “official seal of office” to incoming President Lori Rader-Day at the annual meeting of Sisters in Crime at Bouchercon

Jessie: Sherry, you and all the SINC National board amaze and inspire me! Thanks for all you do! I really enjoyed my trip to Bouchercon. I learned more about the audiobook business from a meeting I had with someone from my audiobook publisher. It is a sector of the business that interests me a great deal and I was delighted to learn more about it! It was also a great time of learning more about people I rarely get to visit with in person!

Edith: I was sorry to miss all the fabulous Bouchercon events, including the SINC National pre-con workshop, and I hope you’re getting some needed rest, Sherry. But it was worth it to conserve my strength for Crime Bake. SO many people came up to me saying how smoothly it was going and what a success. Barb was there throughout, and Julie arrived for the banquet.

One of my highlights was listening to and getting to know the brilliant Ann Cleeves better, capped by one-on-one time with her as I drove her to the airport! What a gracious and present guest of honor she was.

Hallie as she watched the tribute

Another highlight? Awarding Friend of the Wickeds Hallie Ephron with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and watching three other New England Sisters in Crime – Hank Phillippi Ryan, Lucy Burdette, and Paula Munier – sing and be the backup “girl” band in a musical tribute to Hallie. (Pix and video are all over Facebook…)

In the end, I might be most proud that we ordered pronoun ribbons in time for the conf. We are on record that we will not tolerate harassment of any kind, and making all feel safe and welcome is part of that.

Sherry, Kensington Publicist Extraordinaire Larissa Ackerman, and Julie

Julie: Edith, I loved that the New England Crime Bake used those ribbons for name tags. Such a great, simple inclusive gesture.

Well, I had a great time at Bouchercon and at Crime Bake, but I didn’t go to either conference. Let me explain. I went to Bouchercon for the SinC Into Great Writing event, and because I’m doing some work with the organization. But I had to go to NYC with my students on Friday, so I left before the conference got into full swing. Then I missed my Crime Bake registration time, because I thought that would be field trip weekend, so I asked Barb and Bill to get me a banquet ticket, which they did. I am so sorry I didn’t get pictures, but I did get hugs from friends. Both of these events are like a reunion–a great time to see folks and catch up. I do so love this crime writing community.

Barb: It’s all kind of a blur. Sherry and I were on the same panel at Bouchercon, moderated by the incomparable William Kent Krueger.

From left: Kate Moretti, Cathi Stoler, Barbara Ross, William Kent Krueger, Vanessa Lillie, Barbara Collins, Sherry Harris

I spent a bunch of time talking about how great Crime Bake was going to be for me this year because I had absolutely no responsibilities. But then an agent was stuck in an airport so I pitched in at Practice Your Pitch, and then poor James Ziskin was sick and the programming committee asked me to fill in for him on a panel, and Edith and co-chair Michele asked me to say a few words about our late friend Lea Wait at the banquet, which I was so happy to do. (Even though I cried while doing it.)

From left: Wendy Tyson, Edith Maxwell/Maddie Day, Roberta Isleib/Lucy Burdette, Sally Goldenbaum, Barbara Ross

But you know what, even though it didn’t turn out the way I expected, Crime Bake was still pretty great.

Edith: Thank you for filling in, Barb!

Readers: Who went to one of the crime fiction cons this year, and what was your highlight? Who has attended in the past, or wants/plans to go next year?

19 Thoughts

  1. I’ve said this a gazillion times–I must come to Crime Bake! I’ve never been to New England (southern New York State doesn’t count) and I’ve heard both it and the con are fabulous. Maybe 2020 will be the year.

  2. Oh, and Bouchercon was awesome but exhausting! Sherry, thank you for all you’ve done for Sisters in Crime!

  3. I didn’t go to any cons this year. But I’m hoping to make it to Crime Bake next year.

  4. Thank you for sharing your conference highlights! I didn’t make it to any conferences this year, but I enjoyed Bouchercon when I attended last year. One day I will make it there again.

  5. Sigh. I can’t get to every con and it is always bittersweet to hear about the one(s) I didn’t get to. Bouchercon was great for me this year – a total whirlwind of panels/friends/barbecue. Next year… Crimebake! Great to read your reports!

  6. Sounds like both events were great.

    No conventions for me this year, but I am going to Kensington’s cozy con tomorrow and Left Coast Crime in March. Looking forward to both events.

    1. Mark, I hope you enjoy the Cozy Con. I missed the one that was in Boston earlier this year and I know that would’ve been quite the adventure with so many authors in attendance. Since I’d only read a few, it would’ve been a whole lot more NEW authors to discover that’s for sure.

  7. I was at Bouchercon this year and I have to say having a full panel on a Sunday morning, moderated by the fabulous Lori Rader-Day, might have been the highlight.

    Crime Bake, 2020. It’ll be my slogan.

    Sherry, thanks for all you did for SinC over your presidency!

    1. I know! I was seriously hoping for more a traffic jam (which Boston is well capable of even on a Sunday early afternoon) than we got. (She had hours before her flight.)

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