SCHEDULE

HOME
x

REGISTER

WHODUNIT
AWARD

ADVERTISE

PRESS
RELEASES

INTERVIEWS

CONTACT
US

Press Releases

4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West Welcomes Renowned Spinners of Suspense and Intrigue

Those interested in bloodstain pattern analysis, forensic science, how to craft the perfect crime – or who just like to hang out with fascinating storytellers - can follow the clues to the 4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 16-18, 2017 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key.

During a weekend of panels, presentations and social events, Fest guests can learn first-hand how to craft tales of murder and mayhem from a stellar hit-list of mystery and suspense luminaries and true-crime experts.

Event headliners are John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest and author of ‘Strange Tribe,’ Keynote Speaker Clifford Irving and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter past-President Randy Rawls.

Featured presenters include New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black, award-winning crime and science fiction writer James O. Born, award-winning ‘cozy’ mystery writer Nancy J. Cohen and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham, each of whom will also moderate and appear on panels with mystery/suspense authors David Beckwith, Robert Coburn, Bill Craig, John Cunningham, Mike Dennis, Lewis C. Haskell, Susan Haskell and Norah-Jean Perkin, Renee Kumor, Siera London, Meg Muldoon, Rick Ollerman, Reef Perkins, Ken Rijock, Shirrel Rhoades, Marjory Sorrel Rockwell, Paul Sinor and Charles Todd.

2017 attendee’s will also have an opportunity to meet with and pitch their own book ideas to several on-sight literary agents—Dianna Collier, owner/agent Collier & Associates, Tom Colgan of the Berkley Publishing Group, Jessica Faust of Bookends Literary Agency, and Scott Miller of Trident Media Group.

“In its first three years our Mystery Fest Key West developed a reputation not only for the caliber of authors that attend and participate, but the wide range of mystery genres they represent,” said Shirrel Rhoades, co-founder of the Fest. “It’s an intimate environment where authors and fans get to mix and mingle while exploring the craft in a tropical island paradise.”

Additional highlights include a reception and dinner at the Hemingway Home and Museum, presentation of the 2017 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition Award, a ghost tour hosted by Heather Graham, a panel on ‘How to Commit a Perfect Murder,’ author book signings, a ‘mysterious’ special event at the Custom House Museum, a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at Key West’s historic Schooner Wharf Bar and several back-to-back true-crime workshops led by Florida Keys Law Enforcement Officers who will present a bird’s eye view of how detectives and CSI investigators collect and work with evidence in real life.

Those who register by June 1 will be automatically entered in a drawing to win a walk-on role in popular author Meg Muldoon’s next book. Registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, social events and four meals.

The 2017 Mystery Fest Key West is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter the Florida Keys Council of the Arts and supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and the Helmerich Trust. For registration and information visit mysteryfestkeywest.com.

Author John Hemingway, a 2017 Mystery Fest Key West headliner, pauses next to a painting of his grandfather Ernest, in the late author’s Key West writing studio. 2017 Fest highlights include a reception and dinner at the Hemingway Home and Museum. (Photo by Carol Tedesco)

Please click here for High res of this photo

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham is to co-host a Saturday evening ramble with Sloan’s Haunted Key West during the upcoming Mystery Fest Key West. (Photo by Carol Tedesco)

Please click here for High res of this photo
New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black, a real-life forensic scientist, will teach a workshop titled “Blood Spatter Forensics” at the 2017 Mystery Fest Key West. (Photo by Carol Tedesco)

Please click here for High res of this photo

For Mystery Fest Key West media relations contact:
Carol Tedesco
KismetKeyWest@gmail.com



Winner Named in 2017 Mystery Writers Whodunit Writing Competition

Mike Pettit of Gulf Breeze, Florida, has been named First Place winner in an international competition to claim the 2017 Mystery Writers Whodunit Award, to be presented at the 4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 16-18 in Key West, Florida.

Supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks, Pettit’s winning entry “Key West Flashpoint” wins him a Whodunit Award trophy, book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, complimentary Mystery Fest Key West 2017 registration, airfare and hotel accommodations for two nights.

No stranger to mystery writing, Pettit is author of 29 fiction suspense thriller novels as well as several short stories and how-to books for independent authors. Joining Pettit in the winner’s circle are Kathryn K.M. Hershberger of Richmond, VA, who took Second Place with “Triggerpoint;” Lewis C. Haskell of Key West, FL, (who was also 2016 First Place winner and 2015 Second Place winner) who took Third Place with “Kilimanjaro Snow;” and Susan Chiappone, who placed with “The Choirboy Sings.”

Candidates for the award were required to submit the first three pages of a finished, but unpublished manuscript to a “blind” judging committee comprised of Dr. Toby Armour, a playwright, author and performer whose credits include the murder mystery book “Blood Tells” and the play, “Is This 24 Lily Pond Lane?”; Carol Lazar, an author, columnist, photojournalist and former senior editor for South Africa’s Independent Newspapers; Captain Reef Perkins, author of “Sex, Salvage and Secrets,” Screwed, Blu’d and Tattoed,” and the mystery novel “Deep Air”; Robin Robinson, an author, syndicated newspaper columnist, educator and horticulturist; and Shirrel Rhoades, an author, film critic, media consultant and publisher of Absolutely Amazing eBooks.

“Why just the first three pages? That criterion is a nod to late author Jeremiah Healy, a world-class mystery writer and a great judge of mystery writing,” says Shirrel Rhoades, co-founder of Mystery Fest Key West. “Jerry's opinion was that a book either captures a reader in the first three pages…or it doesn’t. The competition judges all agreed with that assessment, and decided to use it as a yardstick for the competition.”

"I am honored and truly humbled to have won the First Place award,” said Pettit. “It is an amazing and talented group of authors that entered the contest and how fortunate I am for even placing in the run off. I thank the organization for selecting my book and look forward to receiving the Whodunit Award at the Key West Conference in June."

Pettit is to receive his award trophy at 11am on Saturday, June 17, at DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort, headquarters for the Key West Mystery Fest, and will read his entry for the audience. The Fest itself is to include multiple workshops, presentations, panel discussions and social events where attendees mingle with acclaimed crime fiction and true crime writers including this year’s headliners John Hemingway, Clifford Irving, Randy Rawls and Charles Todd, featured presenters Lisa Black, James O. Born, Nancy J. Cohen, Heather Graham and many other authors and true-crime experts.

For information on attending the 4th Annual Fest as well as complete Mystery Writers Whodunit Writing Competition guidelines and submission details, visit mysteryfestkeywest.com.

For Mystery Fest Key West media relations contact:
Carol Tedesco
KismetKeyWest@gmail.com



One Mystery Fest Key West Guest Will Nab Cameo Role in Author Meg Muldoon’s Next Novel

Key West, Florida Keys – In a startling plot twist, organizers of the upcoming Key West Mystery Fest have announced that one Fest guest will walk into the pages of bestselling author Meg Muldoon’s next “Christmas River” series novel.
 
Muldoon, a former news reporter and author of more than a dozen “cozy” mystery titles, is slated to be a featured panelist at the upcoming “Murder & Mayhem in Paradise” themed Key West Mystery Fest, a gathering of true-crime, mystery, and suspense writers and fans to be held in Key West, Florida, June 16-18. All who are registered for the Fest by midnight June 1 are eligible to win a cameo “character placement” role in the author’s forthcoming “Meltdown in Christmas River: A Christmas Cozy Mystery Book,” which is due out this August.
 
What is a “cozy” mystery, you ask? Cozies are one of numerous sub-genre’s in the mystery writing world. While a “hardboiled” mystery typically follows a gritty Private Investigator in a corrupt urban setting, and “noir” is known for its “no heroes, no happy endings” darkness, “cozy” mysteries are written with a warm and often humorous approach, are light on sex, violence and coarse language and generally star an amateur detective in a small-town setting.
 
“Part of the fun is that the winner will get to choose whether they want to be a good character or a bad character in my next book,” Muldoon said. "I can't wait to see which one they go for!"
 
Over the past three years, the Santa Fe, New Mexico-based author, who is originally from Bend, Oregon, has earned considerable renown as a run-away success story in the self-publishing world. “When someone picks up one of my books, I want them to feel as if they’re coming to a special place full of mystery, romance, memorable characters, and delicious pie,” Muldoon said. “I try to put a lot of heart and honesty into my stories, and I think readers have really responded to that.”
 
Appearing with Muldoon at the Fest are a hit-list of high-profile and award winning mystery and crime fiction authors and true-crime experts, including headliners John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest and author of “Strange Tribe,” Keynote Speaker Clifford Irving, investigative reporter and author of more than 20 novels - including a faux Howard Hughes “autobiography” for which he served prison time - and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter past-President Randy Rawls.
 
Featured presenters include New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black, award-winning crime and science fiction writer James O. Born, and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham, each of whom will also moderate and appear on panels with award-winning “cozy” mystery writer Nancy J. Cohen and many others.
 
Mystery Fest Key West 2017 is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter, the Florida Keys Council of the Arts and supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and the Helmerich Trust.
 
Event registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, social events and four meals. All panels and presentations will be held at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key. For registration, information and a full fest schedule visit mysteryfestkeywest.com.

For Mystery Fest Key West media relations contact:
Carol Tedesco
KismetKeyWest@gmail.com



4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West Set to Infiltrate Southernmost City June 16-18, 2017



Celebrated mystery writers, acclaimed storytellers and their fans are set to infiltrate the tropical island city where Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams found their inspiration during the 4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 16-18, 2017 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West, Florida. 

During the weekend’s series of panels, presentations and social events, Fest guests will have the opportunity to learn first-hand how to craft their own tales of crime, murder and mystery from a stellar line-up of high-profile mystery and suspense luminaries and true-crime experts.

Headliners for 2017 are John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest and author of ‘Strange Tribe,’ Keynote Speaker Clifford Irving and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter past-President Randy Rawls.

Featured presenters include New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black, award-winning crime and science fiction writer James O. Born, award-winning ‘cozy’ mystery writer Nancy J. Cohen and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham, each of whom will also moderate and appear on panels with mystery/suspense authors Dan Ames, David Beckwith, Robert Coburn, Bill Craig, John Cunningham, Mike Dennis, Lewis C. Haskell, Susan Haskell and Nora-Jean Perkin, Renee Kumor, Meg Muldoon, Siera London, Rick Ollerman, Reef Perkins, Ken Rijock, Shirrel Rhoades, Marjory Sorrel Rockwell and Paul Sinor.

“In its first three years our Mystery Fest Key West developed a reputation not only for the caliber of authors that attend and participate, but the wide range of mystery genres they represent,” said Shirrel Rhoades, co-founder of the Fest. “It’s an intimate environment where authors and fans get to mix and mingle while exploring the craft in a tropical island paradise.”

Event highlights include a reception and dinner at the Hemingway Home and Museum, presentation of the 2017 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition and Award, a ghost tour hosted by Heather Graham, a panel on ‘How to Commit a Perfect Murder,’ author book signings, a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at Key West’s historic Schooner Wharf Bar and several back-to-back true-crime workshops led by Florida Keys Law Enforcement Officers who will present a bird’s eye view of how detectives and CSI investigators collect and work with evidence in real life – vs. popular television and film depictions.

The 2017 Mystery Fest Key West is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts.  Event registration is $175 and includes all panels, presentations and four meals.  For more information, visit mysteryfestkeywest.com.

Author John Hemingway, a 2017 Mystery Fest Key West headliner, pauses next to a painting of his grandfather Ernest, in the late author’s Key West writing studio. 2017 Fest highlights include a reception and dinner at the Hemingway Home and Museum.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham is to co-host a Saturday evening ramble with Sloan’s Haunted Key West during the upcoming Mystery Fest Key West

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black, a real-life forensic scientist, will teach a workshop titled “Blood Spatter Forensics” at the 2017 Mystery Fest Key West.

For Mystery Fest Key West media relations contact:
Carol Tedesco
KismetKeyWest@gmail.com



Last Call to Submit Whodunit Mystery
Writing Competition Entries

Key West, Florida Keys, April 6, 2017 – The final day to submit entries for this year’s Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition is Saturday, April 15. The winner will claim a book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, free Mystery Fest Key West 2017 registration, airfare, hotel accommodations for two nights, meals and a Whodunit Award trophy to be presented at the 4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 16-18 in Key West, Florida.

Sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks and supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, candidates wishing to compete for the 2017 Whodunit Writing Competition are invited to submit the first three pages (maximum 750 words) of a finished, but unpublished manuscript to: whodunitaward@mysteryfestkeywest.com no later than April 15. There is no fee to enter, finalists will be notified by May 1, and will have until May 10 to submit full manuscripts.

The inaugural, 2015 award was won by J.E. Irvin of Springboro, Ohio, for her entry titled "The Dark End of the Rainbow." Lewis C. Haskell of Key West, Florida, took the 2016 Whodunit with “Tequila Mockingbird.”
  
Complete Whodunit Writing Competition guidelines and submission details are available at mysteryfestkeywest.com.

For Mystery Fest Key West media relations contact:
Carol Tedesco
KismetKeyWest@gmail.com



Mystery Fest Key West Announces 2017 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition and Award

Key West, Florida Keys, March 10, 2017 -- Mystery Fest Key West has announced a call for entries for this year’s Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition. The winner will claim a book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, free Mystery Fest Key West 2017 registration, airfare, hotel accommodations for two nights, meals and a Whodunit Award trophy to be presented at the 4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 16-18 in Key West, Florida.
 
Sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks and supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, candidates wishing to compete for the 2017 Whodunit Writing Competition are invited to submit the first three pages (maximum 750 words) of a finished, but unpublished manuscript to whodunitaward@mysteryfestkeywest.com no later than April 15, 2017. There is no fee to enter, finalists will be notified by May 1, and will have until May 10 to submit full manuscripts.
 
“Why just the first three pages? That criterion is a nod to late author Jeremiah Healy, a terrific mystery writer and great judge of mysteries,” says Shirrel Rhoades, co-founder of the Mystery Fest Key West. “Jerry often said a book either captures a reader in the first three pages…or it doesn’t. The competition judges all agreed with that assessment, and decided to use it as a yardstick for the competition.”
 
The inaugural, 2015 award was called “The Jerry” in Healy’s honor and was won by J.E. Irvin of Springboro, Ohio, for her entry titled "The Dark End of the Rainbow." Lewis C. Haskell of Key West, Florida, took the 2016 Whodunit with “Tequila Mockingbird.”
 
Whodunit Writing Contest judges for 2017 are Dr. Toby Armour, a playwright, author, dancer and choreographer, whose credits include the murder mystery book “Blood Tells” and play, “Is This 24 Lily Pond Lane?”; Carol Lazar, an author, columnist, photojournalist and former senior editor for South Africa’s Independent Newspapers who has chased stories, mysteries and even bodies to continents as disparate as Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas; Captain Reef Perkins, author of “Sex, Salvage and Secrets,” Screwed, Blu’d and Tattoed,” and the mystery novel “Deep Air”; Robin Robinson, an author, syndicated newspaper columnist, educator and horticulturist; and Rhoades, an author, film critic, media consultant and publisher of Absolutely Amazing eBooks.
 
The 2017 “Murder & Mayhem in Paradise” themed Mystery Fest Key West is to include multiple writers workshops, presentations, panel discussions and social events where attendees mingle with acclaimed mystery, suspense, crime fiction and true crime writers, including headliners John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest and author of “Strange Tribe,” Keynote Speaker Clifford Irving, and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter past-President Randy Rawls; New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham; bestselling and award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen; award-winning crime and science fiction writer James O. Born; bestselling Buck Reilly adventure series author John H. Cunningham and many others.
 
Complete Whodunit Writing Competition guidelines and submission details are available at mysteryfestkeywest.com.
 
###

 



For Mystery Fest Key West media relations contact:
Carol Tedesco
KismetKeyWest@gmail.com

To Contact Mystery Fest Key West

Please write to: Mystery Fest Key West,
926 Truman Avenue,
Key West, Florida 33040
or Email Us info@mysteryfestkeywest.com