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 this by working year-round on behalf of writers, fans, and forensic experts.  We connect writers with other writers, publishers, agents, publicists, attorneys, and others 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 the annual conference held the fourth full weekend of every August in Nashville, Tennessee at the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville. Designed as an intimate conference with an emphasis on networking, individual education, and personal career planning, maximum attendance is capped at 500. Beginning and seasoned authors increase their education and meet new contacts through our

  • Scheduled sessions
  • Manuscript critiques (fiction, nonfiction, short story, screenplay, marketing, query)
  • Roundtables
  • 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
2008 Mock Crime Scene

2008 Mock Crime Scene with TBI Special Agent Dan Royse

The forensic/CSI track provides insight into the latest in forensic investigations and crime detection and is hosted by the TBI, FBI, and other law enforcement branches, including a realistic crime scene staged by agents of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and solved by conference guests for prizes.

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 because of people like you), we’ve been able to give back to the community by

  • Supporting literacy groups who teach adults to read
  • Donating needed books and funds to libraries
  • Coordinating authors in schools programs
  • Granting basic supplies to needy schools
  • Contributing money to build a library in Malawi, Africa
  • Providing 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.


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 Executive Director Beth Terrell. Year round day-to-day activities are managed by Office Assistant Tracy Bunch.

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
contact@killernashville.com

Our preferred method of contact is via email.

contact@killernashville.com

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