Frequently Asked Questions
When can I register for the conference?
You can register for Killer Nashville at any time. Register now! Example: You can register for Killer Nashville 2015 during the 2014 conference all the way up to and during the 2014 conference. Once the 2014 conference ends you will then be registering for the 2015 conference.
What is a breakout session?
A breakout session is a special add-on session that is a more in-depth workshop or panel and is not included in the basic conference registration. Sign up for breakout sessions here.
What is the crime scene?
The crime scene is staged by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) special agents and is based on real crime scenes investigated by the TBI. Attendees gather clues and try to solve the case. The Killer Nashville registered attendee who best interprets the clues and solves the “murder” wins the Dupin Detective Award, which includes a free registration to the next year’s conference.
How can I sign my books at the conference?
When you register, click “yes” to the question, “Are you a published author?” When prompted, type in your book titles, publication date, and publisher information. If needed, additional titles may be typed into the box for additional comments. If our Barnes & Noble liaison is able to order your books, the books will be carried in the on-site conference bookstore. If not, you will need to bring copies for Greg and Mary Bruss of Mysteries & More to carry on consignment. You’ll be contacted before the conference with details.
How do I speak on a panel / session / workshop?
If you are a published author or a law enforcement or forensic professional who would like to be a Killer Nashville panelist or presenter, when you register, click “yes” to the question, “Would you like to be considered for a workshop, seminar, or panel?” Answer the question about what topics you would feel most comfortable discussing, and in the same box, please explain if you have any special qualifications or skills that would influence your panel placement. While we can’t guarantee anyone a slot, we do our best to find a panel placement for every published author and law enforcement/forensic professional who requests one. If you’ve requested a panel placement, you’ll receive an email with more details in late April or early May. If you would like to propose a solo presentation, please send your proposal to us contact(at)killernashville(dot)com. Presentation slots are limited and in high demand.
What are the policies of Killer Nashville?
Please see our policies page here.
How do I volunteer for Killer Nashville?
When is the schedule made out?
A tentative schedule is put up in the fall. This is a broad-strokes schedule, with many general descriptions (like “Business Workshop 1” and “Craft of Writing Panel”). The schedule is updated as more sessions are defined, but the final schedule is not generated until a month or so before the conference, because panel assignments are dependent on the number of authors and law enforcement/forensic professionals registered. Once the program has been sent to the printer, the schedule is considered “final,” but there may still be last-minute changes announced at the conference. To view the current schedule, please click here.
How do I get on the schedule?
If you are a published author or a law enforcement or forensic professional who would like to be a Killer Nashville panelist or presenter, when you register, click “yes” to the question, “Would you like to be considered for a workshop, seminar, or panel?” Answer the question about what topics you would feel most comfortable discussing, and in the same box, please explain if you have any special qualifications or skills that would influence your panel placement. While we can’t guarantee anyone a slot, we do our best to find a panel placement for every published author and law enforcement/forensic professional who requests one. If you’ve requested a panel placement, you’ll receive an email with more details in late April or early May. If you would like to propose a solo presentation, please send your proposal to us at email@example.com. Presentation slots are in high demand.
When are the breakout sessions listed?
The general categories (Craft, Business, and Forensic) are placed on the tentative schedule in the fall. More specific designations are added in the spring and early summer. To purchase a breakout session, or read more about them, please go to our breakout sessions page. You can change your breakout selections at any time as long as the sessions have not happened yet and there is still room in the particular breakout you would like to move to.
How can I register for a breakout session if I don’t know what it’s about?
Most attendees who register for breakout sessions register for a Friday session, a Saturday session, and a Sunday session. If you know what general category you’re most interested in, you can sign up for the breakouts in that category when you register. Once you get to the conference, you can switch from one breakout session to another breakout session scheduled on the same day as long as the session you are interested in still has room. Alternatively, you can wait until the breakouts are finalized a month or so before the conference and add them then.
What is a round table?
Each round table consists of 8-10 writers, 2 agents and/or editors, and a volunteer to read submissions. Writers provide copies for each member of the group and may choose to remain anonymous by not placing identifying information on the pages. After each manuscript is read, the agents and/or editors will give constructive feedback on the pages. Each agent and editor has been asked to keep comments instructional, helping writers see both their strengths and where they need to improve. Agents and editors may request partial or full manuscripts, if desired, or–if they thought a manuscript had promise, could suggest the writer submit once he or she had implemented the suggested changes. Since it is understood that these sessions are educational in nature, in practice, each session serves as a pitch without penalizing a writer whose work is not yet ready for representation or publication. In addition, each writer can learn from what is said to the others. You must be a 3-day conference registered attendee to sign up for a round table.
Where are the pitch sessions?
The agent/editor round tables take the place of traditional pitch sessions. For writers who prefer a more traditional pitch, there is time built into the day for the agents and editors to mingle with registered attendees. They are there to find new clients, so they expect to be approached and engaged in conversation. During the course of the conversation, an opportunity to pitch your work will usually arise. If not, you still have a personal connection to reference in a query. The Sisters in Crime and SEMWA receptions are excellent opportunities to meet the agents and editors, and they can often be found in the Bar & Grill area between round table sessions.
Why do you do round tables rather than pitch sessions?
With “speed-dating-style” pitch sessions, it’s easy to get an agent or editor to say, “Sure, send me some pages.” This is partly because you’re engaging and they like you, partly because it’s hard for them to say no to a hopeful writer who is standing right in front of them, and partly because, outside of genres and subjects they know they don’t represent, it’s impossible to know if a project is right for them until they read some of it. On the surface, this sounds like a good thing, but what happens when they get that submission? Often, there are problems that result in a form rejection—problems the writer could have fixed had he or she only known they were an issue. The writer never knows why the manuscript was rejected or what could be done to make it better. With a round table, you receive feedback on those vitally important first pages. If the manuscript is professional, polished, and ready to go, you’ll either get a request for more pages or the assurance that they are ready to be submitted to the agent of your dreams. You send them out knowing you’ve already crossed the first hurdle. If your manuscript has promise but is not yet ready for submission, you have a chance to revise before you submit. In essence, the round tables give you two chances to get it right. An added perk is that the agents and editors are more relaxed. They feel good about helping emerging writers in an instructional setting. In this environment, it’s easier to connect with them on a personal level. Based on the emails and comments we received after last year’s conference, more writers signed with agents and/or publishers than ever before.
When is my round table session?
There are two round table sessions for 3-day registered attendees each day. By the time the conference rolls around, you will have been in contact with us for several weeks and will have received a round table schedule. There will also be copies of the schedule at the registration/information desk.
How many round table sessions can I be in?
How many sessions you can be in depends on how many 3-day registered attendees request sessions. We assign each person one session to begin with. Once everyone has been assigned one session, if there are slots remaining, we add a second session, beginning with those who registered earliest. Once everyone who requested a second session has been assigned, we begin assigning third sessions, beginning with those who registered earliest. This process continues until we run out of sessions or until we run out of people who want them. Since there are two publishing professionals heading each session, each round table is the equivalent of two pitches and two critiques.
Who is my round table session with?
That depends. Before the conference, you’ll receive an email asking you to rank your round table preferences. We do our best to give everyone at least his or her first choice.
What is the Killer Nashville Claymore Award?
The Claymore Award is bestowed upon the author of the best opening (up to the first 50 pages) of a manuscript not currently published or under contract. Ten finalists are chosen through a blind judging process and sent to a final judge at a publishing house not affiliated with Killer Nashville. This final judge will read the Top 10 and recommend the winner of the annual Claymore Award.
Do I have to attend Killer Nashville to enter or win the Claymore Award contest?
I have more Claymore Award questions, what now?
Please go to our FAQ page on our Claymore Award Website.
What is the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award?
The purpose of the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award™ is to honor the best books published for the first time that are readily available to a North American audience in any format from the past year. The categories include both fiction and nonfiction. The winner is determined by the votes of the other attendees during the conference.
Do I have to attend Killer Nashville to enter the Silver Falchion Award?
No. But, if you do attend Killer Nashville in a year that you have a book nominated, you do qualify for an additional entry into the Silver Falchion Award in the category for Best Book By A Conference Attendee.
Can I nominate an E-book for the Silver Falchion Award?
An e-book is eligible if the nominating person is able to have four (4) copies of the book printed on demand by the publisher to disseminate to the judging pool. Four (4) copies of the completed manuscript are also acceptable.
Is a self-published or indie published book eligible for the Silver Falchion Award?
Yes! Any book published for the first time in the previous conference year readily available to the North American market is eligible for the Silver Falchion Award.
What is the Magnolia Award?
The Magnolia Award is given to a Southeast Mystery Writers of America (SEMWA) member who has shown exemplary service to the Mystery Writers of America, Southeast Chapter. You may nominate someone for the SEMWA award by contacting the chapter president, Beth Terrell at www.semwa.com, or bethterrell(at)comcast(dot)net.
What is the Dupin Detective Award?
How do I sign up for a critique?
What is a critique?
A critique is an individualized session in which an editor, agent, or published author gives you feedback on your query letter or the first 10-15 pages of your manuscript. Sign up for a manuscript critique here.
I’ve signed up for a critique, now what?
Several months (depending on when you purchase your critique) before the conference, you will receive an email asking you to choose the person to do your critique, then a second email giving you instructions for delivering the material to that person. You and the person doing your critique will arrange a time to meet at the conference and discuss your work.
Who will do my critique?
The critiques will be done by an attending agent, editor, or published author. Since the people doing the critiques change from year to year, we send you a list of critiquers to choose from once you’ve registered for a critique. The critiques are first-come, first-served, so if your first choice reaches his or her quota quickly, you will need to choose someone else.
How do I know who to choose?
When you get your list of options, go to their websites and see what they write or represent. You might want to choose someone who writes or represents work similar to yours. Sometimes a writer asks us to help them choose, and we’re happy to do so. One important note: Authors tend to give more detailed critiques than publishing professionals do. If you want a quick overview of how your work looks to an agent or editor, choose a publishing professional. If you want a more detailed and craft-focused response to your work, you will probably be happier if you choose an author.
What hotel is the host hotel for Killer Nashville?
The host hotel for Killer Nashville is the Hutton Hotel & Convention Center in downtown Nashville, Tennessee
How do I book a room for Killer Nashville?
You can book your room two ways. You can click our direct link to book your room online at the Killer Nashville rate. Or you can call the Hutton Hotel & convention center at 1-866-894-4609 and ask for the Killer Nashville group rate.
How do I book a room with early / late check in / out dates?
If you are coming to Killer Nashville and would like to stay in Nashville a few days before or after the conference, we would love to have you as a visitor of Nashville. To get the Killer Nashville rate for your entire stay (occasionally dependent upon availability for non-conference dates), please call the Hutton Hotel & convention center at 1-866-894-4609 in order to book your room.
How do I get to the crime scene?
The crime scene site can vary from year-to-year. For the past 3 years, the crime scene has been located in the parking garage of the Hutton Hotel. This is convieniently located on the 2nd floor of the parking garage, which is on the path between the hotel rooms and the conference floor, which is located on the top floor of the parking garage. We will try to list directions online and in the program book for each conference. You can also stop at the registration/information desk for directions.
How do I get to the conference from the hotel lobby?
At the Hutton Hotel, take the stairs located behind the horse statue in the lobby. At the top of the stairs take a left and cross the “Sky Bridge.” At the end of the “Sky Bridge” there is a set of elevators that you will need to take to the 6th floor. Once the elevator arrives on the 6th floor, you have access to all of our meeting rooms. You may also take the main hotel elevators to the 2nd floor, exit to the parking garage on the right, go across the parking garage to the opposite door, then take the elevators on the right to the 6th floor. Once the elevator arrives on the 6th floor, you have access to all of our meeting rooms.
Sponsors / Vendors
How do I become a sponsor?
Go to the Killer Nashville “Become a Sponsor” page and look over the various levels of sponsorship. Choose the one that best meets your needs and click “Buy Now” to add it to your shopping cart. If you’d like to discuss your particular needs before choosing a level, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615-599-4032.
How do I become a vendor?
Contact us to see if your product will be a good fit for Killer Nashville and whether you will be best served through a table rental or some other vendor arrangement.
Do I have to attend Killer Nashville to be a sponsor or vendor?
No, we welcome all sponsors. Vendors need to contact us to see if your product will fit with Killer Nashville.
How do I get a display table?
How can I get my book listed on the Killer Nashville Bookstore?
There are two ways to get your book listed in the Killer Nashville Bookstore. The first option is to submit your book for the Killer Nashville “Featured Book of the Day.” The second is to request that your book be added to the Killer Nashville Bookstore. The Killer Nashville bookstore is a list of books of various genres with which we feel writers in general and genre writers specifically should be familiar because of some inherent trait within that particular title. If you feel your book should be included in this list please send us a note telling us why to email@example.com.
How can I get my book chosen as a “Featured Book of the Day?”
If you would like your book to be considered for Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day, please submit a physical copy of your book to the address below. Please note that books submitted for Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day will not be returned. Killer Nashville Featured Book of the Day P.O. Box 680759 Franklin, TN 37068-0759