February: This one-day conference has a single track, but boy is it a good one. It’s a readers’ conference with plenty to offer writers. You’ll can learn more here: http://mmcmysteryconference.com/.
March: LLC is a long-running annual conference for writers and fans of crime fiction and give the Lefty awards. Learn more at http://leftcoastcrime.org/
April: An annual conference that salutes the traditional mysteries of the type best typified by Agatha Christie. For further information, go to http://malicedomestic.org.
July: Thrillerfest is presented by International Thriller Writers and is a premier conference, including Craftfest for writers, Pitchfest for those seeking agency representation, and Thillerfest for fans. To learn more, go here: http://thrillerwriters.org/.
August: Okay, this one is for writers, but it will be interesting to anyone with an interest in law enforcement and forensic science. Created by Lee Lofland (check out his Graveyard Shift), WPA offers hands-on experiences like putting on handcuffs, lifting fingerprints, clearing a building and more. It takes place at an actual police academy and gives you a chance to do car chase simulations and virtual shoot/don’t shoot training. It fills up FAST, so if you’re interested, sign up for the newsletter and watch for registration to open up. Then get on line that very second and do your best to get in. Learn more at http://writerspoliceacademy.com/.
August: This conference is large enough to attract good panelists but small enough to allow for a spirit of camaraderie. There are sessions and events for readers as well as writers. The forensic track is especially fascinating, and there’s a mock crime scene like those used in training at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Learn more at: http://killernashville.com.
September: With upwards of 1,000 authors and 70,000 attendees, the Decatur Book Festival. held Labor Day weekend, is the largest independent book festival in the country. Check it out here: https://decaturbookfestival.com/.
October: Bouchercon is an international mystery convention where several thousand readers, writers, publishers, editors, agents, booksellers and other lovers of crime fiction gather for a 4-day extravaganza of “education, entertainment, and fun.” This convention is held in a different city each year. The website is: http://www.bouchercon.com/.
October: Held during the second full weekend in October, this annual festival is put on by Humanities Tennessee at Nashville’s Legislative Plaza. Free an open to the public, the Festival annually welcomes more than 200 authors from throughout the nation and in every genre for readings, panel discussions, and book signings. Book lovers have the opportunity to hear from and meet some of America’s foremost writers in fiction, history, mystery, biography, travel, poetry, and children’s literature, among others. Learn more at http://humanitiestennessee.org/programs/southern-festival-books-celebration-written-word.