About Us


Bestselling Author & 2006 Guest of Honor Carol Higgins Clark

2006 Guest of Honor Carol Higgins Clark

Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference was founded in 2006 by writer and filmmaker Clay Stafford as a trademarked charitable production of American Blackguard, Inc.  Since then, it has developed a reputation as a leading advocate for writers and readers of all genres.  Media analysis conducted by a third party in the fall of 2012 found that Killer Nashville was the most written about writers conference on the web. What makes Killer Nashville different from other writers conferences is that it’s about the relationships.

Our objectives are simple:

  1. Assist authors of all writing genres and formats
  2. Develop a better understanding of the craft of the mystery, thriller, suspense, and crime fiction and nonfiction genres specifically
  3. Portray law enforcement and forensic science in a fair and accurate manner


Clay Stafford talks about Killer Nashville with 2nd & Church

Clay Stafford talks about Killer Nashville with 2nd & Church

We achieve these objectives by working year-round on behalf of writers, readers, and forensic experts.  We connect writers with publishers, literary agents, publicists, attorneys, and other writers through our online efforts, our virtual resources, our sponsored book signings, and our author showcases at foreign book festivals.  We sponsor the Silver Falchion and Claymore Awards, which have been directly responsible for the publication of new authors’ work with established, legitimate publishers.

Of course, the signature event for Killer Nashville is our annual conference held in Nashville, Tennessee at the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville. Designed as an intimate conference with an emphasis on networking, education, and career planning, maximum attendance is capped at 500.

Both novice and seasoned authors increase their knowledge and meet new contacts through our:

  • Scheduled Sessions
  • Manuscript Critiques
  • Roundtables & Panels
  • Networking Parties
  • Direct Connections


Suspense Magazine praises Killer Nashville

Suspense Magazine praises Killer Nashville

At the conference, we try diligently to ensure that the weekend has something for every lover of literature and our sessions are structured to assist writers on multiple career levels. Killer Nashville’s conference sessions fall under seven broad subject areas in five concurrent tracks including:



  1. General Writing
  2. Genre Specific Writing
  3. Publishing
  4. Publicity, Promotion, and Marketing
  5. Screenwriting
  6. Sessions for Fans
  7. Forensics

In 2015, Killer Nashville added a book conference component to the annual event. The bookcon, which is free and open to the public, consists of various vendors (including Barnes & Noble and the Killer Nashville Bookstore), and live music from locally and internationally known artists. Killer Nashville has also implemented a variety of panels that the public may attend free of charge.

2008 Mock Crime Scene with TBI Special Agent Dan Royse - Credit American Blackguard

2008 Mock Crime Scene with Agent Dan Royse

The forensic/CSI track provides insight into the latest in forensic investigations and crime detection and is hosted by law enforcement branches, including a realistic crime scene staged by forensic professionals and special agents and solved by conference guests for prizes.

The Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference also features: nine breakout sessions for intense smaller group interaction, Mystery bingo, the authors’ bar, wine tasting, two cocktail receptions, the Guest of Honor Dinner, film previews, live music performances and – of course – all the great activities in downtown Nashville over the weekend round out the high-impact four days. How can you not network to your heart’s content when surrounded for a full weekend by an array of bestselling authors, agents, editors, publishers, attorneys, publicists, representatives from the FBI, TBI, CIA, NSA, ATF, fire, sheriff, police, private investigation, and emergency services personnel?

To get all of this in, Killer Nashville conference hours are Thursday 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Friday 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Saturday 7:05 a.m. – 11:30 p.m., Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. offering a plethora of educational and networking opportunities.

Because of our success (and generous people like you), we’ve been able to give back to the community and help others. Since Killer Nashville’s creation in 2006, we have:

  • Supported literacy groups that specialize in improving adult literacy rates
  • Donated books and endowment funds to various libraries in need
  • Coordinated authors in schools programs
  • Granted basic supplies to local schools in need
  • Contributed money to help build a library in Malawi, Africa
  • Provided Killer Nashville scholarships for high school students and adults who are thinking of changing the world with their own voices, but do not have the funds or opportunities to explore that dream

We thank you for supporting us in our efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of writers. If you would like to become a sponsor or pledge a donation, please go to our Become a Sponsor page or our Charity and Donations page.

Killer Nashville was founded by writer / filmmaker Clay Stafford of American Blackguard Film & Television who is still heavily involved in the role of President. Jacqueline Stafford serves as special projects manager and CFO. Conference event is managed by Special Programs Coordinator, Jaden (Beth) Terrell.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Killer Nashville
P.O. Box 680759
Franklin, TN 37068-0759
(615) 599-4032

Our preferred method of contact is via email. Please reach us at: