The New England Crime Bake is the premier conference for writers and lovers of crime writing in New England. Held every Veteran’s Day weekend, Friday through Sunday, Crime Bake has sold out annually for almost a decade, so be sure to register quickly when registration opens in May.
Jointly sponsored by the New England chapters of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, Crime Bake is a learning experience, a networking opportunity, and a wonderful time. Attendees include writers at all stages of their careers, representing every genre in crime writing, including mystery, thriller, suspense, YA, historical, and true crime. In addition to writers, the conference appeals to all lovers of reading and crime, including librarians, booksellers, agents, editors, publishers, and fans.
Crime Bake enrollment is deliberately kept small so you can meet lots of people informally—in the hall, around a table for a meal, or in the bar. Have a drink with an agent, chat with a favorite author, make a new friend. Registration is limited to 250 participants and approximately 75 additional instructors, presenters, agents, editors, panelists. and committee members.
Crime Bake is highly affordable. Your single registration fee covers not just Friday evening, all-day Saturday, and Sunday morning programming, it also includes several meals. Master classes, manuscript critiques, agent pitches, and the Saturday dinner are optional at extra cost. Participants who take advantage of them find they provide lasting value. And our room block hotel prices are among the most affordable in a major metropolitan area.
Friday afternoon Master Classes focus on honing writing skills and becoming agile and savvy in a complex and rapidly changing publishing world. Well-known authors and industry experts teach these limited-class-size sessions. You can sign up for one or take two back-to-back. (You must preregister for Master Classes. Many classes sell out.)
Friday Evening Seminars kick off the full conference programming. If your goal is to find an agent, you may choose to attend Practice Your Pitch, a safe, fun way to get ready for Saturday’s pitch sessions. Or you can listen to an industry expert, who might be speaking about the future of publishing, the art and craft of the crime novel, or another fascinating aspect of the writing life.
You can also sign up for a Manuscript Critique. An established author will review up to 15 pages of your manuscript. You meet at a mutually agreeable time during the conference for feedback and discussion. (Preregistration required.)
On Saturday, the main part of the conference commences. Crime Bake has hosted many illustrious Guests of Honor. Throughout the conference, you’ll see our GoH in action—on panels, in an in-depth lunchtime speech or interview, at multiple book signings, and at our Saturday night dinner. Join us in learning from the best of the best.
If snagging an agent or editor for your work is one of your goals, you will have multiple opportunities. In addition to the Friday night Practice Your Pitch, there is an Agent & Editor Session Saturday afternoon, and One-on-One Pitch Sessions later in the day.
If you’re not looking for an agent, there are other activities offered during those time slots, including our Ask the Experts Roundtables. Feel free to find out if one of our law enforcement or technology experts can get your manuscript unstuck, literally or figuratively.
Also on Saturday, the Crime Bake Committee bestows the coveted Al Blanchard Award for the best short story set in New England or by a New England author.
Saturday closes with our Dinner, themed every year for the Guest of Honor. There will be food, dancing, games, and costumes, as well as plenty of time to talk to your tablemates and friends. (Pregistration required)
Sunday is devoted to two Expert Sessions offering authorities from the fields of law, policing, medicine, and other fields of interest in crime writing. Sunday also brings our final panel, which includes the guest of honor.
As you can see, Crime Bake programming is rich. But you’ll also have plenty of time to meet people who share your passion for the genre. The included meals—Friday night Pizza Party, Friday night Death and Desserts, Saturday continental breakfast and boxed lunch, and Sunday full breakfast—are easy times to talk to those around you. You’ll also end up chatting with people in the bar, waiting for elevators, mingling in the lobby, standing in line for the breakfast buffet and at other times throughout the conference. Don’t know anybody in the New England crime-writing community? No worries. You won’t be able to say that when you leave.