Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jacqueline Winspear and Book Passage's Mystery Writers Conference

In this short Q&A, bestselling novelist Jacqueline Winspear discusses why she enjoys participating in Book Passage's Mystery Writers Conference, which will be held from July 24-27, 2014 in Corte Madera, CA. Winspear is on the faculty this year as a conference chair. She is the author of New York Times bestsellers A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, An Incomplete Revenge, and Leaving Everything Most Loved, as well as four other nationally bestselling Maisie Dobbs novels. Her next novel, The Care and Management of Lies, will be published on July 1st. Winspear has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and was a New York Times Notable Book.

What is the most rewarding part of teaching at the conference?

JW: The most rewarding part of the conference is in seeing the participants bloom over the course of the four days that they are with us - their confidence in themselves as writers increases dramatically, and you can see the content really having an impact on the work, and how they approach issues such as revision, character development, dialogue and the important quality of knowing how to weave their background research into the narrative.

What do you hope aspiring writers will get out of this conference?

JW: One of the points I always make during the opening session, is for participants to have a clear idea of what they want to come away with. I encourage them to take some time alone and write down aspects of their work and life as writers that they would want to see impacted by the conference - this helps them to make choices when there are optional sessions, and it inspires them to ask questions of the faculty that will help them in their work. I hope that each participant leaves with a breadth and depth of knowledge that they did not have at their fingertips before.  But more than anything, I want them to leave fearless and enthused about their work - indeed, with a plan to take the next major step in becoming a published author.  Many come without a clear path - but we do all that we can to ensure they are on track towards publication and success in their writing careers.

About the 21st Annual Book Passage Mystery Writers ConferenceThe Mystery Writers Conference has a strong tradition of great authors and teachers. Mystery writers learn all the clues to a successful writing career. Editors, agents, and publishers share with participants what they need to know to get published. Authors offer classes on setting, dialogue, suspense and point of view. Panels of detectives, forensic experts, and other crime-fighting professionals provide invaluable information that allows writers to put realism into their work. We’re proud of the successful mystery writers who began their careers at this conference. More information:

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