Crime Bake FAQs

This FAQ page covers

  • Anti-Harassment Policy

  • Registration, Payment, Waitlist, Refunds

  • At the Conference

  • Agents & Editors

  • Manuscript Critiques

  • Evaluations

Anti-Harassment Policy

Do you have an anti-harassment policy?

Yes. Please see our Anti-Harassment Policy page.

Registration, Payment, Waitlist, Refunds

How much does the in-person conference cost?

SinC and MWA members, as well as librarians, early bird pricing until August 15, 2021 for this 3-day conference is $209. Starting August 16, 2021, the price increases to $239.

For the general public, early bird pricing is $239 until August 15, and $269 after.

Optional add-ons (with fees) include: Friday master classes ($50 each), Agents & Editors package ($100 for the track), and manuscript critiques ($75 per MS). See the full schedule on the Crime Bake website for details.

Registration includes an incredible line up of seminars and/or panels each day, as well as Saturday breakfast & lunch, and Sunday breakfast.

NOTE: There will be no dinners provided at Crime Bake 2021. Dietary options will be listed on the registration form are for breakfasts and Saturday’s lunch.

Why not offer dinners for Crime Bake 2021?

Many in our community want to attend the sessions and can do so masked, but meals may provide a challenge. Others may want to “day trip” to the conference and not stay overnight. We have created a program that focuses on daytime sessions for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with buffet/and box-style meals that allow for an individual’s comfort.

How do I register?

You must register online HERE.

How do I change my registration?

You can add or drop options on your registration, subject to availability. Follow the link on your confirmation email. Add or drop options as desired. If you have added to your total price, you will need to make additional payment at that time.

If I cancel, can I get a refund?

Until September 7, 2021, we will refund your registration fee minus applicable processing fees. No refunds after September 7.

What if the in-person event is canceled due to COVID?

In the possibility that in-person events are shut down, all registrants will have access to Crime Bake’s online event and your registration will be credited toward Crime Bake 2022.

Do you have a wait list?

Historically, Crime Bake has sold out within days of opening registration. If you try to register once the registration cap of 250 for the in-person event is reached, you will be automatically placed on a wait list and contacted if a space opens up on a first on/first off basis.

How does the waitlist work?

Once our registration cap has been reached, people attempting to register will be offered the opportunity to sign up for our waitlist. When we receive a cancellation, the person at the top of the waitlist is notified automatically by our registration system and has 24 hours to accept or decline the spot. If the potential registrant declines the spot or fails to respond, the system moves on to the next person.

Can I find out how far down I am on the waitlist?

If you contact us at [email protected] we can tell you what number you are on the waitlist. We cannot, however, tell you what that means in terms of your chances.

I can’t seem to figure out how to sign up for XX Master Class. What am I doing wrong?

First, read through the descriptions of the master classes and decide on no more than one (1) per session, then use the drop-down menu below the selections and select the class you want. Be sure to press SELECT after choosing from the drop-down menu. If the master class is not appearing in the drop-down menu, that means it is full.

Can I get on a waitlist for a master class?

Unfortunately, no.

Is anyone looking for a roommate?

If you are interested in sharing a room, email [email protected] and let the registrar know. She’ll maintain a list and connect individuals as appropriate.

I’m only able to attend one day of the conference. Do I still have to pay the full conference price?

Yes.

I am an author who is not on a panel. Will the conference bookstore sell my book?

The conference bookstore only sells books by presenters and panelists. However, we will have a table available if you would like to bring promotional items for your book (bookmarks, postcards, etc.).

I registered for Crime Bake, but didn’t sign up for pitches/master class/dinner/critique – can I do so later?

Absolutely. However, everything is on a space-available basis and we can’t tell how quickly something will fill up.

My spouse/friend/SO is coming to the conference with me. Are any sessions open to visitors?

No, everything is for registrants only.

How can I get another copy of my registration? I seem to have misplaced/deleted it.

You can sign into your registration HERE and request a copy, or e-mail [email protected] and request a copy.

If I volunteer, is any part of the conference comped?

No.

At the Conference

What should I wear?

Dress for comfort – you’ll be sitting for most of the day. We recommend bringing layers, as temperatures can vary in different conference rooms.

I have dietary concerns. Can I request special meals?

Yes. Dietary options will be listed on the registration form are for breakfasts and Saturday’s lunch. Should you have other dietary requests, you can let the hotel know at your time of check-in what your needs/requirements are. The hotel is very accommodating.

How many books can I have signed by the Guest of Honor?

Although there is no set limit to the number of books you can ask an author to sign, we ask that you be considerate to those in line behind you.

Can I bring books from home to be signed?

Books can be brought from home or purchased at the conference.

Agents & Editors

Crime Bake gives you several terrific opportunities to connect with respected agents and editors in our newly redesigned Agents & Editors Program. Crime Bake attendees who register for the A&E Program get to participate in four great sessions that will help them on the path to publication: Practice Your Pitch, Query Feedback, First-Page Feedback, and One-on-One Pitches.

What if I only want to go to the One-on-One Pitches (or any other subset of the four sessions)?

That’s entirely up to you. The charge for the A&E Program remains the same $100; there’s no prorating. But you might reconsider skipping any of the sessions. Past attendees have reported that they learned a ton even if they weren’t the one getting feedback.

Practice Your Pitch Seminar

What’s this all about?

On Friday night, you’ll have an opportunity to practice your pitch with an agent or editor. This popular seminar opens with a short introductory presentation on what makes a good pitch. Then participants get to work on their pitches in small groups led by a literary agent or editor. The goal is for every writer who wants to practice pitching to get that opportunity in a supportive environment. Participants benefit not just from working on their own pitches, but from listening to and participating in critiques of their fellow writers.

What should I bring?

Just your pitch and your willingness to learn. You won’t bring anything in writing.

Will the agent or editor consider taking me on?

Not in this session. This is just for practice. Your chance to actually pitch your book comes on Saturday.

Query Feedback

How will I know which table I’m assigned to?

We’ll let you know when you check in for the conference. Each table will have ten participants and a guest agent or editor.

What if the agent or editor isn’t someone I’d be interested to have read my work?

Even if the agent or editor isn’t the right person for your submission, you’ll still receive valuable, professional feedback. You’ll have a chance to pitch the people you want during the One-on-One pitch sessions later that day.

What should I bring with me?

A copy of your current query letter. It shouldn’t be very long. (If it’s more than a page, you might want to trim it down.) You also probably want to bring a pen and some paper for taking notes. There will be lot of helpful information at these sessions, even when it’s not your submission being discussed.

How much time will there be for my submission?

About six minutes. Maybe a little more. That includes reading the submission out loud and receiving the feedback from the agent or editor.

What if I disagree with some of the feedback from the agent or editor or the published author?

Writing is a very subjective field. The feedback you receive may be just that person’s first impression. Don’t take it personally and don’t argue about it. Just take it as that person’s opinion and learn what you can from it. Because of time constraints, you won’t be able discuss your work (or the work of other writers) during the program.

What if the agent or editor is interested in seeing more of my manuscript?

The agents and editors will not request any follow-ups during the session. He or she may make a note and communicate with you privately afterward. These roundtables are not formal pitch sessions, so don’t worry if no one asks to read more.

Page One Feedback

How will I know which table I’m assigned to?

We’ll let you know when you check in for the conference. Each table will have ten participants, a guest agent or editor, and a volunteer published author.

What if the agent or editor isn’t someone I’d be interested to have read my work?

Even if the agent or editor isn’t the right person for your submission, you’ll still receive valuable, professional feedback. You’ll have a chance to pitch the people you want during the One-on-One pitch sessions later that day.

What should I bring with me?

A single sheet of paper with your title, subgenre, a logline (more on that in a moment), and the first page of your novel (standard double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman). You also probably want to bring a pen and some paper for taking notes. There will be lot of helpful information at these sessions, even when it’s not your submission being discussed.

What’s a logline?

It’s a very short—usually only a sentence—description of your book that gives the listener an idea of what it’s about while piquing his or her curiosity to find out more. There’s a good article about writing loglines here.

How much time will there be for my submission?

About six minutes. Maybe a little more. That includes reading the submission out loud and receiving the feedback from the agent or editor and the published author. The published author will be in charge of timekeeping for your table.

What if I disagree with some of the feedback from the agent or editor or the published author?

Writing is a very subjective field. The feedback you receive may be just that person’s first impression. Don’t take it personally and don’t argue about it. Just take it as that person’s opinion and learn what you can from it. Because of time constraints, you won’t be able discuss your work (or the work of other writers) during the program.

What if the agent or editor is interested in seeing more of my manuscript?

The agents and editors will not request any follow-ups during the session. He or she may make a note and communicate with you privately afterward. These roundtables are not formal pitch sessions, so don’t worry if no one asks to read more.

Pitching Agents and Editors

Where can I find information about the agents and editors attending the conference?

The bios for the agents and editors will be posted as they are confirmed through the summer.

In past years, I was assigned an agent or editor based on choices I gave ahead of time. Are we not doing that this year?

That’s right. Used to be you only had the chance to pitch a single agent or editor, and you may not have been able to get your first choice. We recently changed the format to give you more opportunities to pitch to the people you want. It’s been a big success, and we’re doing it again this year.

How do I choose which agents and editors to pitch to?

That’s up to you. First, you should study the bios of the agents and editors and decide who might be a good fit, and who won’t be. We’ll be giving you a summary of their likes and dislikes when you check in. If you find an agent or editor who you’re really excited to talk to, you might decide to make a beeline for him or her at the beginning. Some agents and editors may end up with longer lines; you’ll have to decide if you’re better off waiting to talk to them, or whether you’d be better served talking to people with shorter lines. We will make maps available so that you can easily find the agents and editors you want to pitch to.

I’m not really a map person. What if I can’t find the person I want to pitch to, even with the handy map?

Don’t worry. We will have volunteers in the rooms to help you find the person you want.

Three minutes? How can I pitch an entire novel in only three minutes?

Three minutes is actually plenty of time to pique an agent’s or editor’s interest. You’ll want to limit your talk to the essential points, rather than try to give a chapter-by-chapter overview of the whole book. And be sure to check out the Practice Your Pitch Seminar on Friday night, where you’ll learn valuable tips on pitching.

What if I go over my three minutes?

You won’t. At the end of the three minutes, a bell will sound. Maybe a foghorn. You get the idea. When it does, thank your agent or editor and move on to the next one you’re interested in.

How many people will I get to pitch?

Depends on your strategy. But we expect that everyone will get to pitch to at least two people, most will get to pitch to three, and some will pitch to four or even more.

Should I bring my manuscript with me?

No. You don’t need to bring anything. If the agent or editor is interested in reading your material, he or she will ask you to email it. They might ask for five or ten pages, a few chapters, or even the entire manuscript.

Does my manuscript have to be finished?

It’s not required, but it’s a good idea. If the agent or editor asks for a full manuscript, you’re not going to want to keep him or her waiting very long.

OK if I talk to friends while I’m waiting in line?

It’d be better if you didn’t. The rooms are apt to be fairly crowded, and the more talking in line, the harder it will be for agents and editors to hear pitches.

I’m nervous about pitching.

Of course you are. Everyone gets nervous. Try not to think of it as a make-or-break chance to sell your book. Agents and editors are people like you who love great books. Instead of feeling like you’re performing, try approaching it the way you’d tell your friend about the great movie you just saw (or book that you just read). Also: breathe. You’ll be great.

Manuscript Critiques

Can I request a particular author to critique my manuscript?

No. Your manuscript will be assigned by the coordinator on a first come, first served basis to the best available author to critique it.

My manuscript won’t be ready by the October 1st deadline. Can I request an extension?

Yes. A $10 late fee will be assessed for manuscripts received October 2-14. Manuscripts will not be accepted after October 14th.

Evaluations

I didn’t see any evaluation forms. Is there a way I can submit feedback?

Surveys are now e-mailed to registrants shortly after the conference. The committee reviews all feedback submitted to make the next conference even better than the most recent one.

If you have any further questions, please e-mail [email protected]