Wed. April 24, 2019

Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Location:  Grand Hyatt Hotel – Mezzanine Level – Regency Room
East 42nd Street @ Grand Central Station


Symposium Schedule as a PDF, as a Word Document

Preliminary Symposium Schedule
(Subject to change)


8:30 - 8:50:                    Registration

8:55 – 9:00:                   Welcome – MWA’s Executive Vice President – Donna Andrews

9:00 – 9:50                    Suspicion: The Shady Characters of Crime Fiction How does a writer create a multi-faced character readers will want to follow into the dark—including some they shouldn’t?

Moderator:                   Nora McFarland (At-Large Director – MWA National Board of Directors)
Panelists:                     Tony Abbott (2019 Best Juvenile Nominee – Denis Ever After, HarperCollins Children’s Books/ Katherine Tegen Books)
                                    Mariah Fredericks (2019 Mary Higgins Clark Award Nominee  - A Death of No Importance, Minotaur)
                                    Martha Freeman (2019 Best Juvenile Nominee — Zap!, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books)
                                    Victor Methos (2019 Best Novel Nominee – A Gambler’s Jury, (Amazon Publishing/Thomas & Mercer)
                                    Matthew Weiner (2019 Best Teleplay Nominee with Donald Joh — “The One That Holds Everything,”                                    The Romanoffs, Amazon Prime Video)


10:00 – 10:50                Legalize It: Lawyers & Legal Professionals as Protagonists How do writers capture                                                       the complexity of law—and the gray areas of morality—in fact and fiction?
Moderator:                   Meg Gardiner (2019 MWA National President)
Panelists:                     Mike Lawson (2019 Best Novel Nominee – House Witness, Grove Atlantic/Atlantic Monthly Press)
                                   Sujata Massey (2019 Mary Higgins Clark Award Nominee – The Widows of Malabar Hill, Soho Press/Soho Crime)
                                   Michaeley O’Brien (2019 Best TV Episode – “Episode 1,” Mystery Road, Acorn TV)
                                   Jonathan Green (2019 Best Fact Crime – Sex Money Murder: A Story of Crack, Blood, and Betrayal, W.W. Norton & Company)


11:00 – 11:50                Reality Bites: Extracting Stories from Actual Events Life may be stranger than fiction—or it                                           might just give writers lots of ideas. How do writers borrow from reality?

Moderator:                   Joseph Goodrich (2008 Edgar Best Play Winner – Panic)
Panelists:                     Robert W. Fieseler (2019 Best Fact Crime Nominee – Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation, W.W. Norton & Co./Liveright).
                                    Bradley Harper (2019 Best First Novel Nominee – A Knife in the Fog, Seventh Street Books)
                                   Carl Hoffman 2019 Best Fact Crime Nominee - The Last Man of Borneo: A True Story of Death and Treasure, HarperCollins Publishers/William Morrow)
                                    Laura Thompson (2019 Best Critical/Biographical – Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life, Pegasus Books)
                                    T.R. Simon (2019 Best Juvenile Nominee – Zora & Me: The Cursed Ground, Candlewick Press)


11:50 – 1:30                  Lunch Break (On Your Own)
1:30 – 2:20                    Coming Back to Haunt Me: “The Past” as Antagonist William Faulkner said, “The past is                                               never dead. It’s not even past.” How do writers reveal secrets from their characters’ pasts?

Moderator:                   Alex Segura (At-Large Director – MWA National Board of Directors)
Panelists:                     Catherine Ryan Howard (2019 Best Novel Nominee – The Liar’s Girl, Blackstone Publishing)
                                   Debra Jo Immergut (2019 Best First Novel Nominee – The Captives, Harper Collins Publishers/Ecco)
                                   Alison Gaylin (2019 Best Paperback Original Nominee – If I Die Tonight, HarperCollins Publishers/William Morrow)
                                   Lisa Unger (2019 Best Paperback Original Nominee – Under My Skin, Harlequin/Park Row Books)
                                   Sasha Dawn (2019 Best Young Adult Nominee – Blink, Lerner Publishing Group/Carolrhoda Lab)


2:30 – 3:20                    Borderlands: Taking Mysteries to the Edge of the Genre How do writers play with the expectations of genre—and knock down barriers between mystery and horror, sci-fi, romance, more?

Moderator:                          Dori Hillestad Butler (2011 Best Juvenile Edgar Winner - The Case of the Lost Boy)
Panelists:                     Erin Bowman (2019 Best Young Adult NomineeContagion, HarperTeen)
                                    Nova Ren Suma (2019 Best Young Adult Nominee – A Room Away from the Wolves, Algonquin Young Readers)
                                    Ben Guterson (2019 Best Juvenile Nominee – Winterhouse, Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt BFYR)
                                    Deanna Raybourn, (2019 Best Novel Nominee – A Treacherous Curse, Penguin Random House/Berkley)
                                    Pete Hautman (2019 Best Juvenile Nominee – Otherwood, Candlewick Press)


3:30 – 4:30                    Saboteur: Day Jobs, Self-Sabotage, and Beating the Odds Agatha Christie said, “My house is never so clean as when I am writing.” Writers share their best tips on how to get the work done.

Moderator:                   Mark Stevens (President, MWA Rocky Mountain Chapter)
Panelists:                     A.B. Greenfield (2019 Best Juvenile Nominee – Ra the Mighty: Cat Detective, Holiday House)
                                   Lori Rader-Day (2019 Best Paperback Original – Under a Dark Sky, HarperCollins Publishers/William Morrow)
                                   Paul Doiron (2019 Best Short Story Nominee – “Rabid – A Mike Bowditch Short Story,” Minotaur Books)
                                   Nancy Novick (2019 Robert L. Fish Memorial Award – “How Does He Die This Time?,” Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)



Cost:  $95 members, $125 non-members - with a $15 retroactive discount for those who join Mystery Writers of America within 30 days after Symposium. Registration closes on Friday, April 19, 2019.

You may also pay online via the MWA Store.  Member Rate Tickets and  NonMember Rate Tickets.
 Symposium Schedule as a PDF, as a Word Document