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2018 Press Releases


For Immediate Release
June 7, 2018
Press contact:
Carol Tedesco/305-393-6450/caroltedesco@mac.com

Q&A with New York Times Bestselling Author Ace Atkins, this year’s Mystery Fest Key West Keynote Speaker

Ace Atkins, the multi-award winning, New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels is to headline the 5th annual Mystery Fest Key West, an annual gathering of award-winning and bestselling mystery authors and true crime experts and the readers who love them, set for this June 22-24 in Key West, Florida. Those attending the Fest will have the opportunity to meet and talk mysteries with him. In the meantime, the author has agreed to answer a few questions:

Q: You had already produced several acclaimed stand-alone crime classics and two highly successful fiction series of your own conception – the Quinn Colson series and the Nick Travers series – when you were tapped by the estate of the late Robert B. Parker to continue his long running and wildly popular Spenser series. How does writing Spenser differ from writing your own originally created characters?

Ace: The main difference in writing Spenser is making sure Spenser's voice remains constant with the style Robert B. Parker developed. If I try to diverge from the style and sound of Spenser, it's no longer Spenser. And then what's the point? I might as well write a completely new character. I've been reading Parker since I was a teenager and feel very at home in his world and with the feel of those novels. I wouldn't want to write for any other author, living or dead, but Parker. His work meant a great deal to me personally and professionally.

Q: You launched your writing career as a crime reporter for The Tampa Tribune, earning a Pulitzer Prize nomination for investigative journalism. With your true-crime background, what inspired you to start writing crime fiction?

Ace: I came to journalism wanting to develop the skills to be a novelist. Hemingway always advised young writers to spend some time in the newsroom—but not too much—and I took that advice very seriously. Getting to know the real world, meeting people of all walks of life, and seeing crime up close are absolutely invaluable if you want to write authentically. I wouldn't trade that experience for any creative writing program in the world.

Q: If you could have dinner with one fictional character from a crime novel—yours or one written by another author—who would it be and why?

Ace: That's easy. I have great respect for my main hero, Quinn Colson, and his world in Mississippi. But if I'm having dinner, there is no better companion and guide to great food than Spenser! I think we'd have a lot to discuss about beer, dogs, and music. And I'd let him advise me on what to order In addition to panels and presentations with some two dozen high profile and award-winning mystery authors and true-crime experts who’ll be sharing the inside scoop on story-crafting and the technicalities of criminal investigation and forensics, 2018 Mystery Fest Key West highlights are to include book signings, professional publishing and marketing discussions, a mini Conch Train tour, and presentation of the 2018 Whodunit Mystery Writing Award.

Sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter, the Helmerich Foundation and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, all panels and presentations will take place at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West. Event registration is $195 and includes all panels and presentations, a luncheon, and a brunch at Schooner Wharf Bar at the Key West Historic Seaport. For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and links to accommodations visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com.

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For Immediate Release
May 31, 2018
Press contact:
Carol Tedesco/305-393-6450/caroltedesco@mac.com

Winner Named in 2018 Mystery Writers Whod unit Writing Competition

E. E. King, of Salt Lake City, Utah , has been named First Place winner in an international competition to claim the 2018 Mystery Writers Whodunit Award. Sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks, King’s winning entry “The Hollywood Portal” wins her a Whodunit Award trophy, book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, complimentary Mystery Fest Key West 2018 registration, airfare and hotel accommodations for two nights.

King is a painter, performer, biologist and widely published writer whose stories the author Ray Bradbury has called “marvelously inventive, wildly funny and deeply thought- provoking.” She’s worked with children in Bosnia, crocodiles in Mexico, frogs in Puerto Rico, egrets in Bali, mushrooms in Montana, archaeologists in Spain, butterflies in South Central Los Angeles, lectured on island evolution and marine biology on cruise ships in the South Pacific and the Caribbean, and painted murals in Los Angeles and Spain. “ I really can’t express how thrilled and honored I am to have won First Place,” said King. And the added benefit is I get to go to the Keys! I love the Keys and am coming early to dive and snorkel ahead of the Mystery Fest.”

Joining King in the winner’s circle are P.F. Hudson who took Second Place with “The Hale Gig,” and Candace J. Carter of Aiken, South Carolina, who took Third Place with “Muddy Waters.”

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, movie 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 Rhoades, who is also 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.” King is to receive her award trophy at 11am on Saturday, June 23, at the Mystery Fest venue, DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort. 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 headliners Ace Atkins, the multi-award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels, including several in the continuation of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series; the multi-award-winning editor and publisher Otto Penzler - proprietor of the famed The Mysterious Book Shop in New York City; and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham. For information on attending the 5th annual Fest as well as complete Mystery Writers Whodunit Writing Competition guidelines and submission details, visit mysteryfestkeywest.com.

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May 30, 2018
For Immediate Release
Press contact: Carol Tedesco/305-393-6450/caroltedesco@mac.com

Editor and Publisher Otto Penzler, Proprietor of NYC’s Mysterious Bookshop, Talks About Sniffing Out Mystery Hits

otto PenzierMulti-award winning editor and publisher Otto Penzler, proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City and founder of The Mysterious Press, an imprint at Grove/Atlantic, is to be Special Guest of Honor at the upcoming Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 22-24 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West. In advance of the annual celebration of sleuthing, he has agreed to answer a few questions:

Q: You are widely regarded as the world’s foremost authority on crime, mystery and suspense fiction. What does it take to hook you? Is there a #1 feature or characteristic that tells you a book is a hit? And how long do you stick with a one that does not pull you in from the very start?

Otto: It takes the same thing to hook me that any work of literature does. Good writing. A unique and compelling style. Characters that I want to hang out with and HAVE to know more about. A compelling premise can hook me even if the writing is kind of ordinary, but it’s harder to do these days since I’ve read so much.

There is never one thing that tells you a book will be a hit—and I’m usually wrong when I think one will be. Big hits are uncommon, and some of the greatest writers I’ve ever read never made the best-seller list.

I used to finish a book if I started it. But P.D. James, who was about 65 at the time, broke me of the habit. She guessed she had about ten more years to live. If she could read a book a week, that meant only about 500 books for the rest of her life. Why waste your time with something you don’t love. I adopted that philosophy from that day on. I think I now read one of five books that I start from cover to cover.

Q: Do you have a hands-down favorite crime fiction character? One that you feel is by far the best written to date?

Otto: No, I don’t. So many disparate characters bring so many different pleasures to the page. I’d read any Michael Connelly Bosch book, any Lee Child Jack Reacher. But also John Harvey, James Carlos Blake, Thomas Perry, Nelson DeMille, Charles McCarry—no matter who the character is. I think McCarry is the greatest espionage writer that America ever produced, though I think the early John le Carre was also brilliant. To try to name THE best is hopeless because there are so many different criteria for picking it, and mine may be very different from yours.

Q: What author among your discoveries has become the most widely read? Otto: James Ellroy. I’ve discovered some outstanding writers, and published some outstanding writers but no one has surpassed Ellroy. “The Black Dhalia” became the first bestselling book that The Mysterious Press ever published, as well as our first New York Times bestseller.

Appearing with Penzler at Mystery Fest Key West 2018 are some two-dozen crime-fiction and true crime experts, including Keynote Speaker Ace Atkins, the multi-award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels; New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham; New York Times bestselling authors Lisa Black, Diane A.S. Stuckart, and Charles Todd; bestselling and award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen; award-winning authors Patrick Kendrick and Lewis C. Haskell and many others.

Event highlights include workshops on the business of being an author, how to write and sell a first novel, crisis negotiation and the forensic use of fingerprints, multiple panel discussions on subjects ranging from the state of the publishing industry to book marketing and promotion, plus author book signings, a Keynote luncheon with Ace Atkins, a Conch Train mini-tour of Key West, an Champagne social event with Atkins and Penzler at the historic Key West Lighthouse, and a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast courtesy of Mystery Writers of America, Florida Chapter, at the Schooner Wharf Bar at the Key West Historic Seaport.

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 Helmerich Foundation, and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts. Event registration is $195 and includes all panels and presentations, a luncheon and the Bloody Mary morning breakfast. For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and links to accommodations visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com.

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May 23, 2018
For Immediate Release
Press contact: Carol Tedesco/305-393-6450/caroltedesco@mac.com

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Heather Graham Talks About Writing, Karaoke Singing, and Why She Loves Mystery Fest Key West

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham has written more than 150 novels and novellas. She has more than seventy-five million books in print, published in more than twenty languages. The wildly popular author will appear at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West as Special Guest Presenter at the 5th annual Mystery Fest Key West, taking place June 22-24. In advance of the Fest Heather has agreed to answer a few questions:

Q: Can you tell us a little about your writing process? Are you an outliner or do you let the story reveal itself to you as you go?
Heather: My writing process just flows along with life. I tend to like mornings because we have five children and I spent years waking up at five-thirty to get people to school. I still like the morning. But, thanks to five children, no amount of noise bothers, and, so, while they're now grown, my style is something like a Dr. Seuss book . . . I can write in a car, going far, up in a plane, or on a train, by morning light, or the darkness of night . . . 

 

Q: Have you ever sung Karaoke in Key West and if yes, would you do it again?
Heather: LOL -- surely, you jest. Having spent my first make-a-living adult days in musical theater, I am happy at any time to head to a karaoke bar. Yes, I've had many a great night and met many interesting people in Key West's karaoke bars!

Q: Have you ever cried over a character that you killed off?
Heather: There’s a character in a book called “The Dead Room” I was very sorry to see go. But then again, I do often write about ghosts.

Q:  In 2017 you co-authored “The Rising” with Jon Land. How did the writing partnership come about and do you have any thoughts/insights to share on collaborative book projects?
Heather: I had been with Tor books editor Bob Gleason at NASA facilities many times and it was there that the concept of NASA-inspired books for young people originally came about. Jon is a dear friend and we came up with the idea for “The Rising” over dinner one night. I've also written a book with actor Chad Michael Murray. I'd first declined the offer since I am under contract, but, Chad turned out to be earnest, wonderful, and a great dad—and, when we first met, had to excuse himself to talk to his vet. His dog—he'd lived with the dog in his car when he'd first moved out to L.A. —needed surgery. I love animals even more than karaoke and therefore . . . animal talk turned into me saying yes. Both were wonderful experiences! Now, you can't write with just anyone—if you want to co-write, you need a kindred soul!

Q: Heather, you have appeared at every Mystery Fest Key West since the inaugural one in 2014. What keeps you coming back?
Heather: I love this con! The community support in Key West is like no other. I have loved Key West all my life, and it’s been a refuge and get-away for me forever. To have this con, with such fantastic information from experts in so many fields is amazing. I will always be there!

Appearing with Graham at Mystery Fest Key West 2018 are some two-dozen crime-fiction and true crime experts, including Keynote Speaker Ace Atkins, the multi-award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels; Special Guest of Honor, the multi-award-winning editor and publisher Otto Penzler; New York Timesbestselling authors Lisa Black, Diane A.S. Stuckart, and Charles Todd; bestselling and award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen; award-winning authors Patrick Kendrick and Lewis C. Haskell and many others.

Event highlights include presentation of this year’s Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition Award, workshops on the business of being an author, how to write and sell a first novel, crisis negotiation and the forensic use of fingerprints, multiple panel discussions on subjects ranging from the state of the publishing industry to book marketing and promotion, author book signings, a Keynote luncheon with Ace Atkins, a Conch Train mini-tour of Key West, an Champagne social event with Atkins and Otto Penzler at the historic Key West Lighthouse, and a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast courtesy of Mystery Writers of America, Florida Chapter, at the famous Schooner Wharf Bar at the Key West Historic Seaport.

All who register for the Fest by midnight June 1 will be automatically entered in a drawing to win a cameo walk-on role in author Diane A.S. Stuckart’s as yet untitled second release in her Tarot Cats cozy mystery series from Midnight Ink, due out in 2019.

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 Helmerich Foundation, and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts. All panels and presentations will take place at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West.  Event registration is $195 and includes all panels and presentations, a luncheon and the Bloody Mary morning breakfast. For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and links to accommodations visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com.

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For Immediate Release
April 25, 2018
Press contact:
Carol Tedesco/305-393-6450/caroltedesco@mac.com

One Mystery Fest Key West Guest Will Nab Cameo Role in “New York Times” bestselling author Diane A.S. Stuckart Novel

Key West, Florida Keys –Today, in a cunning plot twist, organizers of the upcoming Mystery Fest Key West have announced that one Fest guest will walk into the pages of an upcoming novel by “New York Times” bestselling and multi-award winning author Diane A.S. Stuckart.

Stuckart, author of numerous mysteries, historical romances and short fiction works, is slated to be a featured panelist at the upcoming “Mystery and Intrigue in Paradise” themed Mystery Fest Key West, a gathering of mystery, true crime and suspense writers and fans to take place in Key West, Florida, June 22-24. All who are registered for the Fest by midnight June 1 will be entered to win a cameo “character placement” role in the author’s as yet untitled second release in her Tarot Cats cozy mystery series from Midnight Ink, due out in 2019.

What is a “cozy” mystery? 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, light on sex, violence and coarse language and generally feature a non-professional detective in a small-town setting. In this case two of the star characters are cats, one with a gift for interpreting tarot cards.

“I love turning friends and family into fictional characters in my books,” said Stuckart, who is also the current Chapter President of the Florida region of Mystery Writers of America. “And the winner of this particular cameo has an opportunity to be memorialized in a really fun way. Since the Tarot Cat mysteries are told, in part, from the feline point of view, the winner can choose to be a human character…or, he or she can opt to walk on as a talking cat, dog, or any other member of the animal kingdom.”

Appearing with Stuckart at the Fest are a hit-list of high-profile and award winning mystery and crime fiction authors and true-crime experts, including Keynote Speaker Ace Atkins, the multi-award winning, “New York Times” bestselling author of twenty-one novels, including the recent Robert B. Parker “Spenser” mysteries; Special Guest of Honor, the multi-award winning editor and publisher Otto Penzler - proprietor of “The Mysterious Book Shop” in New York City, and Special Guest Presenter, “New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author Heather Graham, along with “New York Times” bestselling author Lisa Black, bestselling and award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen; “New York Times” bestselling co-author Charles Todd, and many others.

In addition to panels and presentations with some two-dozen high profile and award-winning mystery authors and true-crime experts, 2018 Fest highlights include book signings, professional publishing and marketing discussions, a mini Conch Train tour around the tropical island of Key West, and annual presentation of the 2018 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition and Award.

Sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter, the Helmerich Foundation and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, all panels and presentations will take place at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key. Event registration is $195 and includes all panels and presentations, a luncheon and a brunch at Key West’s historic seaport. For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and links to accommodations visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com.

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April 18, 2018
For Immediate Release

Mystery Writers and the Fans Who Love Them to Convene at 5th Annual Mystery Fest Key West

Celebrated mystery writers, acclaimed storytellers and the fans who love them are set to infiltrate the tropical island where so many have found their inspiration during the 5th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 22-24, 2018 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West, Florida.

Why is Key West such a popular incubator and setting for generations of authors— from Hemingway to Heather Graham, Tennessee Williams to John H. Cunningham, Elizabeth Bishop to Roberta Isleib? Maybe it’s the archipelago’s history as a haven for pirates and drug-runners, its salty off-the-grid renegade energy – or simply the hypnotic effect of swaying palm trees reflected against water on a tiny island surrounded by endless miles of ocean. Whatever it is, the locale has spawned a multitude of tales and a small army of authors.

Mystery Fest Key West was founded in 2014 and while it has grown in fame and attendance since then, “it still has the intimacy of a boutique-sized convention with lots of direct interaction between authors and audience,” commented author, publisher and Fest co-founder Shirrel Rhoades. "And, because of the exceptional caliber of our guest authors, the fascinating panels and unique social events—all in a tropical island paradise—we also attract writers and fans of other genres as well.”

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

2018 headliners are Keynote Speaker Ace Atkins, the multi-award winning, “New York Times” bestselling author of twenty-one novels, including the recent Robert B. Parker “Spenser” mysteries; Special Guest of Honor, the multi-award winning editor and publisher Otto Penzler - proprietor of the famed “The Mysterious Book Shop” in New York City; and Special Guest Presenter, “New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author Heather Graham.

Featured presenters include “New York Times” bestselling author Lisa Black, bestselling and award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen; “New York Times” bestselling author Diane A.S. Stuckart; “New York Times” bestselling co-author Charles Todd, award-winning authors Patrick Kendrick, Lewis C. Haskell and many others.

Event highlights include presentation of the 2018 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition Award, workshops on the business of being an author, how to write and sell a first novel, crisis negotiation and the forensic use of fingerprints, multiple panel discussions on subjects ranging from the state of the publishing industry to book marketing and promotion, along with author book signings, a Keynote luncheon with author Ace Atkins, a Conch Train mini-tour of Key West, an Champagne social event with Ace Atkins and Otto Penzler at the historic Key West Lighthouse, and a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at Key West’s historic Schooner Wharf Bar.

Sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter, the Helmerich Foundation and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, all panels and presentations will take place at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West. Event registration is $195 and includes all panels and presentations, a luncheon and a brunch at Key West’s historic seaport. For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and links to accommodations visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com.

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The 5th Annual Mystery Fest Key West is set for June 22-24, 2018 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West, Florida. (Photo by Carol Tedesco)
Click Here for High Res Photo


Author, publisher and Mystery Fest Key West co-founder Shirrel Rhoades. (Photo by Carol Tedesco)
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New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black, a real-life forensic scientist, will teach a workshop titled “The Forensic Use of Fingerprints” at the 2018 Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 22-24 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West, Florida. (Photo by Carol Tedesco)
Click here for High Res Photo

For Immediate Release
April 4, 2018


Otto Penzler, ‘Expert on all Things Hard-Boiled,’ to be Mystery Fest Key West 2018 Special Guest of Honor – Registration is now open

Mystery Fest Key West has announced that Otto Penzler, dubbed ‘expert on all things hard-boiled’ (Chris Talbot/AP Entertainment) and widely regarded as the world’s foremost authority on crime, mystery and suspense fiction, is to be Special Guest of Honor at the annual convention of mystery writers, aspiring authors, true crime experts and fans set for June 22-24 in Key West, Florida.

A multi-award winning editor and publisher, Penzler is proprietor of the renowned ‘The Mysterious Bookshop’ in New York City, the oldest mystery specialist bookstore in America, and founder of ‘The Mysterious Press,’ which now is an imprint at Grove/Atlantic, where it publishes literary crime fiction.

Penzler served as host for Turner Classic Movies ‘Month of Mystery’ in 2002 and has edited more than sixty mystery anthologies, including ‘The Big Book of Jack the Ripper,’ ‘The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes,’ ‘The Best American Noir of the Century,’ ‘The Best American Mystery Stories of the 19th Century,’ and ‘The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century.’ Continue reading here . . .

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For Immediate Release
March 28, 2018


New York Times Bestselling Author Ace Atkins to Headline Mystery Fest Key West 2018 in June – Registration is now open

Ace Atkins, the multi-award winning, “New York Times” bestselling author of twenty-one novels is to headline a smash hit-list of mystery writers and true-crime experts at the 5th annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 22-24 in Key West, Florida.

Ranked among the topflight of mystery writers, in addition to several acclaimed stand-alone novels, Atkins has produced two highly successful series of his own conception—The Nick Travers series and the Quinn Colson series. In 2010, already firmly established as an A-list author, Atkins came to the rescue of bereft Robert B. Parker “Spenser” fans when he was tapped by the late author’s estate to continue the iconic private eye series – no small compliment, as Parker’s character had spawned a passionate cult following sure to skewer a writer lacking the dexterity to characterize the private investigator’s unique persona.

Writing in flavors that range from Southern grit to Boston hard-boiled, and time-frames from historic to contemporary, Atkins, a former crime reporter for “The Tampa Tribune” has been nominated for every major award in crime fiction along with a Pulitzer Prize nomination for investigative journalism.

“I can’t think of a more fitting or beautiful spot to talk writing, editing, and publishing books over a few cocktails,” said Atkins. “From To Have and Have Not” to “92 in the Shade” and John D. MacDonald to James W. Hall, Key West is the perfect place to contemplate the enduring fascination of crime fiction.” Continue Reading Here . . .


March 24, 2018
For Immediate Release
 
Mystery Fest Key West Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition Entry Deadline is April 15
 
Key West, Florida Keys – Do you have a finished, but unpublished, mystery genre manuscript?
 
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 2018 registration, airfare, hotel accommodations for two nights, meals and a Whodunit Award trophy to be presented at the 5th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 22-24 in Key West, Florida.
 
Sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks, candidates wishing to compete 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, 2018. 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,” and in 2017 Mike Pettit of Gulf Breeze, Florida, for his entry, “Key West Flashpoint.”
 
Complete Whodunit Writing Competition guidelines and submission details are available at mysteryfestkeywest.com.
 
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March 14, 2018
For Immediate Release

Mystery Fest Key West Announces 2018 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition—Entry Deadline April 15

Key West, Florida Keys -- 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 2018 registration, airfare, hotel accommodations for two nights, meals and a Whodunit Award trophy to be presented at the 5th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 22-24 in Key West, Florida.

Sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks, candidates wishing to compete 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, 2018. 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 Mystery Fest Key West co-founder Shirrel Rhoades. “Healy 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,” and in 2017 Mike Pettit of Gulf Breeze, Florida, for his entry, “Key West Flashpoint.”

Whodunit Writing Contest judges for 2018 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; 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 2018 “Mystery and Intrigue in Paradise” themed Fest is to include multiple workshops, presentations, panel discussions and social events where attendees mingle with acclaimed mystery, suspense, crime fiction and true crime writers, including Keynote Speaker Ace Atkins, the multi-award winning, New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels, including continuation of the Robert B. Parker “Spenser” series; the multi-award winning editor and publisher Otto Penzler - proprietor of the famed “The Mysterious Book Shop” in New York City; New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black; New York Times bestselling co-author, award-winning writer and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter past-President Charles Todd; bestselling and award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen; author and President of Mystery Writers of America, Florida Chapter, Diane A.S. Stuckart; author and two-time Whodunit prize winner Lewis C. Haskell and many others.

Complete Whodunit Writing Competition guidelines and submission details are available at mysteryfestkeywest.com.

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Key West resident Lewis C. Haskell was the 2016 Whodunit Writing Competition winner for his entry titled "Tequila Mockingbird," and took Third Place in 2017 with “Kilimanjaro Snow.”


5th Annual Mystery Fest Key West

Renowned mystery writers, aspiring authors, true crime experts and fans will infiltrate the island paradise where Hemingway and Tennessee Williams found their inspiration during the 5th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 22-24 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West, Florida.

2018 headliners are Keynote Speaker Ace Atkins, the multi-award winning, New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels, including the recent Robert B. Parker “Spenser” mysteries; Special Guest of Honor, the multi-award winning editor and publisher Otto Penzler - proprietor of the famed The Mysterious Book Shop in New York City; and Special Guest Presenter, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham.

Fest highlights include panels, presentations and parties with some two-dozen high profile and award-winning authors, book signings, professional publishing and marketing discussions, presentation of the 2018 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition and Award, a mini Conch Train tour, and social events at different landmark locations in the Southernmost City of the United States.

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 $195 and includes all panels, presentations, events, a luncheon and a brunch at Key West’s historic seaport. 

Contact: 305-587-9392
Email:info@mysteryfestkeywest.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