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2019 Press Releases


For Immediate Release
6/17/19

Suspense Thrillers, True Crime, Cozy’s, and Noir: Mystery Fest Key West Welcomes Internationally Acclaimed Authors and the Fans Who Love Them

During a weekend series of panels, presentations and social events, writers and fans of all genres can get the inside scoop on crafting mystery fiction and true crime tales from some of the best of the best at the sixth annual Mystery Fest Key West, running Friday, June 28, through Sunday, June 30 at The Studios of Key West, 533 Eaton Street and other landmark Key West locations.

This year’s confab stars Jeffery Deaver, international bestselling and global multi-award winning suspense-thriller author of 40 novels, including the wildly successful “Lincoln Rhyme” series books, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling authors Lisa Black, Carla Norton and Diane A.S. Stuckart, and many other favorites.

Events kick off Friday evening with an opening wine and cheese party on the veranda of Key West’s iconic Custom House Museum with author Heather Graham and Key West Mayor Teri Johnston presiding, followed by a ramble over to Key West’s famous Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square.

Saturday morning features a series of three “Forensics for Writers” presentations by New York Times bestselling author and forensic scientist Lisa Black, author and forensic plant science expert Jane Bock, and award-winning author and police captain Micki Browning, along with a discussion on “The State of the Publishing Industry” by literary agent and former President of New American Library Bob DiForio.

Saturday afternoon offers up several panels spotlighting leading authors and experts representing a variety of mystery genres. They include, “Why I Write the Kind of Mysteries I Write,” with Cheryl Hollon (cozies), Bill Craig (P.I.), Carla Norton (True Crime), and Gray Basnight (Thrillers), moderated by Mike Dennis (Noir); “How I Got Started as a Mystery Writer,” with John H. Cunningham and Diane A.S. Stuckart, moderated by Heather Graham; and “How I Plot a Mystery,” with Wayne Gales, David Beckwith, Bob Coburn, and Renee Kumor, moderated by Rick Ollerman.

More Saturday highlights include a keynote luncheon with Jeffery Deaver, presentation of the annual Whodunit Mystery Writing Award, and a rum sampling event at Hemingway Rum Company/Papa’s Pilar Distillery. Sunday brings the traditional farewell Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at the historic Schooner Wharf Bar.

Mystery Fest Key West 2019 is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Centennial Bank, The Helmerich Trust, The Gardens Hotel, The Laureate Key West, Margaritaville Key West Resort and Marina, The Mermaid & the Alligator, and Key West Art & Historical Society.

Event registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, Keynote luncheon, Sunday brunch, and social events. Registrants can bring a friend to the Keynote luncheon, rum sampling tour, or brunch for $30 per event.

For the full Fest schedule and online registration, visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com.

 

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For Immediate Release
June 7, 2019


Winner Named in 2019 Mystery Writers Whodunit Writing Competition

J.E. IrvinJ.E. Irvin of Springboro, Ohio, has been named First Place winner in an international competition to claim the 2019 Mystery Writers Whodunit Award, to be presented at the 6th annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 28-30 at several Key West, Florida landmark locations. This is the second time in five years that Irvin has taken top honors in the blind-judged competition.

Sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks, Irvin’s winning 2019 entry “The Strange Disappearance of Rose Stone” wins her a Whodunit Award trophy, book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, complimentary Mystery Fest Key West 2019 registration, airfare and hotel accommodations for two nights.

A career educator and award-winning author, Irvin’s stories have appeared in a variety of publications, including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, The Zodiac Review, and SPARK, a creative anthology. Previous novels include “The Rules of the Game” (2016), and The Dark End of the Rainbow (2015) for which she won the Whodunit inaugural award.

“I am honored to be the recipient of the 2019 Whodunit Award. I’m grateful to the Mystery Fest and AAeBooks for the opportunity to send this novel out to the reading public, and I’m looking forward to renewing acquaintances at the Conference in June,” the author said.

Joining Irvin in the winner’s circle are Bev Thompson of New York, New York, who took Second Place with “Dog-Eared for Death,” and Paul Sinor of Barnesville, GA, who took Third Place with “Where There’s Smoke.”

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.

Irvin is to receive her award trophy at 11am on Saturday, June 29, at The Studios of Key West, headquarters for Mystery Fest Key West. 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 Jeffery Deaver, the international bestselling and global multi-award winning suspense-thriller author of 40 novels, including the acclaimed “Lincoln Rhyme” series books; New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling authors Lisa Black, Carla Norton, and Diane A.S. Stuckart, and many others.


For information on attending the 6th annual Fest as well as complete Mystery Writers Whodunit Writing Competition guidelines and submission details, visit mysteryfestkeywest.com.

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For Immediate Release
June 3, 2019

Q&A with Award-Winning Mystery Author Micki Browning

Micki BrowingMicki Browning, author of the award-winning Mer Cavallo Mysteries, is set to be a guest presenter at the upcoming Mystery Fest Key West, happening June 28-30 at The Studios of Key West and other landmark Key West locations. Browning’s debut novel, “Adrift,” was an Agatha Award Finalist for Best First Novel. “Beached,” the second in the series, won the 2018 Royal Palm Literary Award for Best Mystery and Published Book of the Year. Those attending the Fest will have the opportunity to meet and talk mysteries with her. In the meantime, the author has agreed to answer a few questions:

Q: You have a background in law enforcement that includes the FBI National Academy. How has that influenced your choice of genre and subject matter for your books and short stories?

MB:  I’ve had people express surprise that the protagonist in my first series is a marine biologist, diver, and amateur sleuth, but after twenty-two years as an officer, I wanted to focus on something else. My husband and I moved to the Keys and I became a professional divemaster. While I initially wasn’t ready to write a police procedural, I couldn’t escape writing about crime. My background certainly informs my writing, but the lessons that stuck with me were less about tactics and more about people. Life is messy. Complicated. That’s what I try to capture in my writing. Now I’m ready to return to my roots and my next novel is a police procedural set in Colorado.

Q: The Thirteenth Galleon, a mysterious Spanish ship that wrecked centuries ago, is a legend you invented for the plot of  “Beached.” How did you connect it to actual history? How do its details veer from history?

MB: I earned my degree in Medieval Studies and I’ve discovered that I enjoy blurring the line between history and fiction. It’s fact that King Philip V’s ill-fated Spanish treasure fleet left Havana on Friday, July 13, 1733, and within days was overtaken by a hurricane. The shipwrecks dot the Atlantic edge of the Florida Keys and their locations are historically well documented. Using a medieval expulsion order from 1492 for motivation, I laid a breadcrumb trail of gold “portrait dollars.” The coins are real, but rare—so rare, it made me wonder where the rest of the cache was and how I could go about finding it. So began the what-if game. I added 300 years, switched monarchs, mixed in a touch of colonialism, et voilà  the Legend of the Thirteenth Galleon was born.

Q: What makes you cringe when you are watching a crime program on television?

MB: Law enforcement officers who rack a round into their duty weapon right before they need to use it. Officers carry weapons that are ready to be fired the moment they clear the holster.

Q:  How much of Micki Browning resides in your protagonist Mer Cavallo?

MB: I believe authors inhabit every character they create, but Mer Cavallo isn’t my alter ego. We do, however, share a love of scuba diving, an appreciation of the ocean, and the occasional overuse of sarcasm.

Q: You write scenes that take place underwater. What challenges does that present?

MB: Not everyone knows what it feels like to be in an underwater environment. Sound travels about four times faster through water than in air, which makes it difficult to discern its origin. Pressure increases on the body as a diver descends, and color is lost as light waves are absorbed. The rules of gravity don’t apply to the same extent underwater, and divers can move in all directions. To a non-diver, the gear is confusing. Plus, dialogue is a challenge. Fortunately, a lot of excitement can take place underwater and I’ve had readers tell me that they found themselves holding their breath as they turned the pages.

Q: Your Mer Cavallo Mysteries are set in the Keys. So…key lime pie: meringue or whipped cream?

MB: Meringue. Always.

Mystery Fest Key West 2019 is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, The Helmerich Trust, The Gardens Hotel, The Laureate Key West, Margaritaville Key West Resort and Marina, and Key West Art & Historical Society.

Event registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, a lunch and a brunch, and social events. For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and hotel links visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com

###


May 22, 2019
For Immediate Release

 

Mystery Writers and the Fans Who Love Them to Convene at 2019 Mystery Fest Key West

Acclaimed mystery authors, celebrated storytellers and the fans who love them are set to rendezvous on the tropical island where so many have found literary inspiration during the 6th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 28-30 in Key West, Florida. 

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 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.

Jeffery Deaver2019 headliners are Keynote Speaker Jeffery Deaver, international bestselling and global multi-award winning suspense-thriller author of 40 novels, including his famous “Lincoln Rhyme” series; New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling authors Lisa Black, Carla Norton, and Diane A.S. Stuckart, along with authors Jane Bock, Micki Browning, Gray Basnight, David Beckwith, Robert Coburn, Bill Craig, Mike Dennis, Wayne Gales, Cheryl Hollon, Renee Kumar, Rick Ollerman, Shirrel Rhoades, bestselling Buck Reilly adventure series author John H. Cunningham, literary agent Bob DiForio, and Authors on the Air radio talk show host/Authors on the Air Global Radio Network executive producer Pam Stack, who will be interviewing participating authors live at the Fest.

Founded in 2014, the Mystery Fest Key West quickly grew in fame and attendance, but “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 star-power of our guest authors, the fascinating panels and unique social events, we also attract writers and fans of other genres as well.”

Beginning Friday afternoon, June 28, Mystery Fest highlights are to include an opening wine and cheese party on the veranda of Key West’s iconic Custom House Museum with author Heather Graham and Key West Mayor Teri Johnston presiding, keynote luncheon with Deaver, a killer line-up of panels and presentations examining everything from “Forensics for Writers” to “How I Plot a Mystery,” author book signings, a rum sampling event at Hemingway Rum Company/Papa’s Pilar Distillery, a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at the historic Schooner Wharf Bar, a chance to win a cameo “character placement” role in author Gray Basnight’s next mystery tale, and presentation of the annual Whodunit Mystery Writing Award.Mystery Fest Key West

Event registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, a lunch and a brunch, and social events, with panels and presentations taking place at The Studios of Key West in the island’s Old Town historic district. Those who register by June 1 are automatically entered into a Gray Basnight “character placement” contest.

Mystery Fest Key West 2019 is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, The Helmerich Trust, The Gardens Hotel, Centennial Bank, The Laureate Key West, Margaritaville Key West Resort and Marina, and Key West Art & Historical Society.

For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and hotel links visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com

###


4/25/19
Mystery Fest Key West

International bestselling and global multi-award winning suspense-thriller author Jeffery Deaver to headline Mystery Fest Key West in June

Jeffery DeaverJeffery Deaver, the international bestselling and global multi-award winning suspense-thriller author of 40 novels, returns by popular demand to headline a sizzling Who’s Who of mystery writers at the 2019 Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 28-30 in America’s southernmost city.

Widely hailed as the “master of psychological suspense,” Deaver has won or been nominated for just about every mystery writing award you can think of. His “Lincoln Rhyme” series novel “The Bone Collector” was made into a blockbuster film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie and now NBC has a TV pilot-in-progress based on the brilliant forensic criminalist Rhyme.

“We are thrilled that Jeffery Deaver is returning as this year’s headliner,” said Fest co-founder Shirrel Rhoades, a publisher who has held executive positions with Reader’s Digest, Scholastic, Harper’s, Marvel Entertainment and other publishing companies. “He absolutely mesmerized the 2015 keynote audience, was accessible to fans at the social events, and even befriended some of the ‘Hemingway cats.’”

Each year since 2014, top-tier authors in a variety of mystery genres – from thrillers to true crime to cozy’s – have rendezvoused at Key West’s boutique-sized conference to share several days immersed in panel discussions, presentations, and social events with fellow-authors, aspiring authors and book fans.

Other featured mystery-makers set to appear with Deaver in June are New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling authors Lisa Black, Carla Norton, and Diane A.S. Stuckart, along with area and national favorites including Jane Bock, Micki Browning, Gray Basnight, David Beckwith, Robert Coburn, Bill Craig, Mike Dennis, Wayne Gales, Cheryl Hollon, Renee Kumar, Rick Ollerman, Shirrel Rhoades, bestselling Buck Reilly adventure series author John H. Cunningham and literary agent Bob DiForio.

Mystery Fest Key WestBeginning on Friday afternoon, June 28, Mystery Fest highlights include an opening wine and cheese party on the veranda of the Custom House Museum with author Heather Graham and Key West Mayor Teri Johnston presiding, keynote luncheon with Deaver, a killer line-up of panels and presentations examining everything from “Forensics for Writers” to “How I Plot a Mystery,” a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at the historic Schooner Wharf Bar, and presentation of the annual Whodunit Mystery Writing Award.

Event registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, a lunch and a brunch, and social events, with panels and presentations taking place at The Studios of Key West. Those who register by June 1 are automatically entered to win a cameo “walk-on role” in author Gray Basnight’s next novel.

Mystery Fest Key West 2019 is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Centennial Bank, The Helmerich Trust, The Gardens Hotel, The Laureate Key West, Margaritaville Key West Resort and Marina, and Key West Art & Historical Society.

For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and details on the Whodunit Mystery Writing Contest visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com

###


April 17, 2019

For Immediate Release

Mystery Writers and the Fans Who Love Them to Convene at 2019 Mystery Fest Key West

Jeffery DeaverAcclaimed mystery authors, celebrated storytellers and the fans who love them are set to rendezvous on the tropical island where so many have found literary inspiration during the 6th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 28-30, 2019 in Key West, Florida.

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 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.

2019 headliners are Keynote Speaker Jeffery Deaver, the international bestselling and global multi-award winning suspense-thriller author of 40 novels, including the wildly popular “Lincoln Rhyme” series books; New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling authors Lisa Black, Carla Norton, and Diane A.S. Stuckart, along with authors Jane Bock, Micki Browning, Gray Basnight, David Beckwith, Robert Coburn, Bill Craig, Mike Dennis, Wayne Gales, Cheryl Hollon, Renee Kumar, Rick Ollerman, Shirrel Rhoades, bestselling Buck Reilly adventure series author John H. Cunningham and literary agent Bob DiForio.

Founded in 2014, the Mystery Fest Key West quickly grew in fame and attendance, but “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 star-power of our guest authors, the fascinating panels and unique social events, we also attract writers and fans of other genres as well.”

Beginning Friday afternoon, June 28, Mystery Fest highlights are to include an opening wine and cheese party on the veranda of Key West’s iconic Custom House Museum with author Heather Graham and Key West Mayor Teri Johnston presiding, keynote luncheon with Deaver, a killer line-up of panels and presentations examining everything from “Forensics for Writers” to “How I Plot a Mystery,” author book signings, a rum sampling event at Hemingway Rum Company/Papa’s Pilar Distillery, a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at the historic Schooner Wharf Bar, a chance to win a cameo “character placement” role in author Gray Basnight’s next mystery tale, and presentation of the annual Whodunit Mystery Writing Award.

Event registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, a lunch and a brunch, and social events, with panels and presentations taking place at The Studios of Key West in the island’s Old Town historic district. Those who register by June 1 are automatically entered into the Gray Basnight “character placement” contest.

Mystery Fest Key West 2019 is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, The Helmerich Trust, The Gardens Hotel, Centennial Bank, The Laureate Key West, Margaritaville Key West Resort and Marina, and Key West Art & Historical Society.

For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and hotel links visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com

 
###


April 10, 2019
For Immediate Release

Last Call for Entries
Mystery Fest Key West Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition Entry Deadline is April 15

Lewis C. Haskell
Do you have a finished, but unpublished, mystery genre manuscript?
Mystery Fest Key West has announced a ‘last call’ for submissions to this year’s Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition. Deadline is Monday, April 15.

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. There is no fee to enter, finalists will be notified by May 1, and will have until May 10 to submit full manuscripts.

The winner will claim a book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, free Mystery Fest Key West 2019 registration, airfare, hotel accommodations for two nights and a Whodunit Award trophy to be presented at the 6th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 28-30 in Key West, Florida.

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,” in 2017 Mike Pettit of Gulf Breeze, Florida, for his entry, “Key West Flashpoint,” and in 2018 E.E. King of Salt Lake City, Utah, for “The Hollywood Portal.”

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

###


For Immediate Release
April 4, 2019

One Mystery Fest Key West Guest Will Nab Cameo Role in Next Gray Basnight Novel

BasnightKey West, Florida Keys – Organizers of the upcoming Mystery Fest Key West have announced that one Fest guest will walk into the pages of an upcoming novel by Gray Basnight, author of “Shadows in the Fire,” “The Cop with the Pink Pistol,” and most recently, “Flight of the Fox,” an “electrifying, propulsive and timely thriller” that one reviewer has called “worthy of Robert Ludlum.”


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 next release, the sequel to “Flight of the Fox,” tentatively titled “Madness of the Q” and expected in 2020 from Down & Out Books.


“Since Key West is the final action scene in “Flight of the Fox,” I’m especially looking forward to my first Mystery Fest Key West festival.  It’ll be that much more fun when I meet the winner who gets to be named as either a ‘good guy or gal’ or ‘bad guy or gal’ in the sequel.  And I can promise there are plenty of both to keep the action moving,” said Basnight.


Basnight, a former broadcast newsman and actor is slated to be a 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 set to take place in Key West, Florida, June 28-30.

All Mystery Fest Key West panels and presentations will take place at The Studios of Key West, a center for the arts located in the island’s historic Old Town district. Event registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, a lunch and a brunch, and social events.

Sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, the Helmerich Trust, The Gardens Hotel, Centennial Bank, The Laureate Key West, and Margaritaville Key West Resort and Marina. For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and details on the Fest’s 2019 Whodunit Mystery Writing Contest, visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com.

###


International bestselling and global multi-award winning suspense-thriller author Jeffery Deaver to headline Mystery Fest Key West in June

3/27/19
For Immediate Release

Jeffery DeaverJeffery Deaver, the international bestselling and global multi-award winning suspense-thriller author of 40 novels, returns by popular demand to headline a sizzling Who’s Who of mystery writers at the 2019 Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 28-30 in America’s southernmost city.

Deaver, widely hailed as the “master of psychological suspense” has won or been nominated for just about every mystery writing award you can think of. His “Lincoln Rhyme” series novel “The Bone Collector” was made into a blockbuster film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie and now NBC has a TV pilot-in-progress based on the brilliant forensic criminalist Rhyme.

“We are thrilled that Jeffery Deaver is returning as this year’s headliner,” said Fest co-founder Shirrel Rhoades, a publisher who has held executive positions with Reader’s Digest, Scholastic, Harper’s, Marvel Entertainment and other publishing companies. “He absolutely mesmerized the 2015 keynote audience, was a brilliant contributor during the various panels, was accessible to fans at the social events, and even became friends with some of the ‘Hemingway cats.’”

Each year since 2014, top-tier authors in a variety of mystery genres – from thrillers to true crime to cozy’s – have rendezvoused at the unique boutique-sized conference to share several days immersed in panel discussions, presentations, and social events with fellow-authors, aspiring authors and book fans.

Other featured mystery-makers set to appear in June are New York Times bestselling authors Heather Graham, Lisa Black, Carla Norton, and Diane A.S. Stuckart, bestselling Buck Reilly adventure series author John H. Cunningham, Noir author Mike Dennis along with many others.

Beginning Friday afternoon, June 28, Mystery Fest highlights are to include an opening wine and cheese party on the veranda of Key West’s iconic Custom House Museum with author Heather Graham and Key West Mayor Teri Johnston presiding, keynote luncheon with Deaver, a killer line-up of panels and presentations examining everything from “Forensics for Writers” to “How I Plot a Mystery,” a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at the historic Schooner Wharf Bar, a chance to win a cameo “character placement” role in author Gray Basnight’s next mystery tale, and presentation of the annual Whodunit Mystery Writing Award.

Event registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, and social events, with panels and presentations taking place at The Studios of Key West in the island’s Old Town historic district. Those who register by May 30 are automatically entered into the Gray Basnight “character placement” contest.

Mystery Fest Key West 2019 is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, The Helmerich Trust, and Key West Art & Historical Society.

For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and details on the Whodunit Mystery Writing Contest visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com

###


Mystery Fest Key West Announces 2019 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition—Entry Deadline is April 15

March 20, 2018
For Immediate Release

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 the 2019 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition. The winner will claim a book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, free Mystery Fest Key West 2019 registration, airfare, hotel accommodations for two nights and a Whodunit Award trophy to be presented at the 6th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 28-30 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, 2019. 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,” said Fest 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 agreed with that assessment, and decided to use it as a yardstick for the competition.”

Contest judges for 2019 are Dr. Toby Armour, 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 Tattooed,” 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 2019 Mystery Fest Key West, featuring Keynote Speaker Jeffery Deaver by popular demand, will include multiple presentations, panel discussions and social events at landmark Key West locations where attendees mingle with acclaimed mystery, crime fiction and true crime writers.

Whodunit Writing Competition guidelines and submission details, complete schedule of Mystery Fest Key West events and a Fest registration form are all available at mysteryfestkeywest.com.

###


Mystery and Intrigue is afoot in Key West, Florida

Key West / June 28 - 30

International bestselling and global multi-award winning author Jeffery Deaver returns by popular demand to headline a conclave of world-class mystery writers and celebrated authors during the 6th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 28-30, 2019 in Key West, Florida. 

Open to authors, aspiring authors, and non-writing book fans alike— the annual celebration of sleuthing includes multiple presentations and panel events with renowned crime fiction and true crime authors, including New York Times bestselling authors Heather Graham, Lisa Black, Carla Norton, and Diane A.S. Stuckart along with authors Jane Bock, Micki Browning, Gray Basnight, David Beckwith, Robert Coburn, Bill Craig, Mike Dennis, Wayne Gales, Cheryl Hollon, Renee Kumar, Rick Ollerman, Shirrel Rhoades, bestselling Buck Reilly adventure series author John H. Cunningham, and literary agent Bob DiForio.

Fest highlights include book signings, social events at different Key West landmark locations and presentation of the annual Whodunit Mystery Writing Award. 

Sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, The Florida Keys Council of the Arts, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, and the Helmerich Trust, event registration is $195 and includes all panels and presentations, keynote luncheon with Jeffery Deaver, and a Bloody Mary morning brunch at the historic Schooner Wharf Bar. For a full Mystery Fest schedule, event locations, and online registration visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com.

www.mysteryfestkeywest.com
Contact: 305-587-9392
info@mysteryfestkeywest.com

 


2018 Press Releases


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)
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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)
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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