Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Canada Calling: Bloody Words
Bloody Words IX
It’s an Ottawa hat trick.
Bloody Words IX, Canada’s only national mystery conference, happens June 5 to 7, 2009, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Ottawa is, of course, the capital of Canada. A hat trick is usually three goals scored by the same player in a single hockey game, but it’s become slang for three of anything. The hat trick happening in Ottawa is an opportunity to meet with an agent, have your manuscript critiqued, and possibly win a prize.
First, the Bloody Words is offering mystery writers a chance to pitch ideas to an agent and discuss representation. This is a free, fifteen-minute with an agent, and available slots fill up quickly, so get your request form in early. The form and details can be found here.
Second, you can opt for a manuscript review by and a meeting with a published mystery writer or editor. Length of work critiqued will be of the first 30 pages of a novel-length work or up to 30 pages of a short story. The fee is $35 Canadian, and the manuscript must be postmarked and in the mail April 1, 2009. Entry guidelines, formatting and entry form are here.
To complete the hat trick is the Bony Pete short story contest. Entries have a 5,000 word limit, must be crime fiction or mystery, and Ottawa (in any time period) must figure in the story somehow. Entry must be post-marked by April 15, 2009. Winner receives a “Bony” which is a small statue of a skeleton, and $100. Information and submission guidelines are all here.
Now that the kicker for all of these is that you have to be eligible, you must be registered to attend the Bloody Words convention. In addition being able to meet with an agent, have a critique, or win a prize, here’s what else is going on at Bloody Words this year.
Guest of Honor:
Louise Penny, author of the fabulous Chief Inspector Gamache series. Her first book, Still Life, won the UK Dagger, the Canadian Arthur Ellis, as well as the US Anthony, Barry and Dilys awards. Her second book, Dead Cold, won the Agatha Award for Best Novel, the first Canadian writer to win that award. Her third, The Cruellest Month, was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis for Best Novel and debuted at #1 on the US Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller lists. Her latest novel is The Murder Stone.
International Guest of Honor
Denise Mina, from Scotland. Her first novel Garnethill won the Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Dagger for the best first crime novel and was the start of a trilogy completed by Exile and Resolution. A fourth novel followed, a stand alone, named Sanctum in the UK and 'Deception' in the US. In 2005 The Field of Blood was published, the first of a series of five books following the career and life of journalist Paddy Meehan from the newsrooms of the early 1980s, through the momentous events of the nineteen nineties. The second in the series, The Dead Hour, was published in 2006.
Then there’s the charming and funny Mary Jane Maffani as Master of Ceremonies for the banquet, the Arthur Ellis awards, The Mystery Café with 12 or so authors from across Canada and beyond reading from and discussing their books; panels and workshops, schmoozing with great mystery talent, and of course, Ottawa itself.
You’ll be about a month late for the tulip festival, but there’s still exploring the Rideau Canal (a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which runs through downtown Ottawa) by canoe or paddle boat, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Canadian War Museum, the National Gallery, the National Arts Centre, tons of smaller museums and galleries, and haunted walks tours, which show the darker side of Canada’s national capital.
The only thing I haven’t figured out is if Canada is a metric country, why is crime afoot in Ottawa? Shouldn’t it be crime is a.0348meters in Ottawa? Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
Quote for the week:
The thing you have to be prepared for is that other people don't always dream your dream.
~Linda Ronstadt, musician
To which I would add, the nice thing about mystery conventions is that they are filled with people who also dream your dream.