Sunday, September 20, 2020

The World's Biggest Crime Fiction Convention: Coming to a Screen Near You

By Claire Booth

I’ve missed a few Sundays and I thought I’d explain why. For the past four years, I’ve been involved in planning the 2020 edition of Bouchercon, an annual crime fiction convention that draws people from all over the world. The location is different every year, allowing attendees to experience cities throughout the United States (and Canada, too). This year, it was supposed to be in my hometown of Sacramento, California.

And you know what happened …friends moving GIF

So our little organizing committee has had to pivot—from an in-person convention with two hotels, dozens of author panels and book giveaways, a bar with poolside seating that had created a special cocktail just for our group, and a farm-to-fork awards dinner held under the stars—to a completely online format that doesn’t come with food or drinks or hugs with friends.

 

And you know what? It’s going to be fabulous. A new kind of fabulous, to be sure. But what isn’t new right now?

The Bouchercon Local Organizing Committee hard at work. How many of us were in pajama pants? We'll never tell.

We’re going to have two days of live events, plus multiple taped features that attendees can watch at their leisure. We’re taking advantage of the format; for instance, the Guest of Honor interviews will not only have the standard interviewer-interviewee interaction, but also glimpses into their creative lives that aren’t possible when everything takes place in a hotel convention center. We’ll have live panels full of authors who wouldn’t have been able to attend the in-person convention but can do this virtual one. And audience members will still be able to ask questions (from the comfort of their living rooms!).

Now I’m not going to lie—having to cancel the in-person convention was a gut punch. We all were really looking forward to welcoming the world to our city. But with the new format, one of our hopes is that this virtual convention draws people who haven’t been before. This is a great way to try it out, get to know new-to-you authors, and have some fun.

To register or for more information, go to http://bouchercon2020.org. 

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