Mystery Writers Conference

July 28-31, 2016 - Corte Madera, CA

Discover All the Clues for a Successful Career as a Mystery or Suspense Writer!











Price: $550

2016 Faculty

Take a Look at Our 2015 Conference

2015 Schedule
Learning All the Clues
Private Consultations

We’re excited to announce the 23rd Annual Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference. This Conference has a strong tradition of great authors and teachers. Mystery writers learn all the clues to a successful writing career. Editors, agents, and publishers share with participants what they need to know to get published. Authors offer classes on setting, dialogue, suspense and point of view. Panels of detectives, forensic experts, and other crime-fighting professionals provide invaluable information that allows writers to put realism into their work. We’re proud of the successful mystery writers who began their careers at this conference.

Questions or concerns? Contact Kathryn Petrocelli at 800-999-7909, ext. 239, or email

Press Coverage of the Conference

Success Stories

"Before I learned about Book Passage’s classes and the Mystery Conference, the only creative writing I’d ever done were a couple of particularly imaginative IRS submissions at tax time. Sure, I was an avid mystery reader, but that didn’t translate to being a mystery writer anymore than being a gourmet means you know how to cook. So I decided to learn from the pros. Within a year I’d written my first novel, partnered with a well-known agent, and sold the book to Time Warner’s Mysterious Press...It’s been a great year of book tours, signings and getting to meet some terrific readers, librarians and booksellers. It also feels good to fulfill a fantasy I’ve been dreaming about for close to fifty years. I can stick to nonfiction for the IRS submissions now."
Louise Ure, Author of Forcing Amaryllis

"The Conference bolstered my skills and helped me get published. You can’t beat the caliber or the inspiration."
Cara Black, Author of Murder in the Latin Quarter

"I am a graduate of the Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference who has since published three mysteries through St. Martin’s Press... My first mystery, Murder Off Mike, was published as the result of winning the St. Martin’s Press Best First Traditional Mystery Contest."
Joyce Krieg, Author of the Shauna J. Bogart Talk Radio Series Riding Gain, Slip Clue, and Murder Off Mike

"I attended the conference twice, when I was learning how to write my first novel, and the faculty were so encouraging that I stuck with it. And now I've recently had my second novel published, signed a new book deal, and hit the USA Today bestseller list to boot. It's been a long and winding road, but a very fun one. Thank you for being part of the journey!"
- Gigi Pandian, Author of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series 

Read more conference success stories at Alumni News.

Photo Highlights from the Conference

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

What People Are Saying

"Book Passage's annual Mystery Conference is the creme de la creme of gatherings for both aspiring and accomplished authors, offering a star faculty, real life connections to agents and editors, and the joy of time spent with those who understand why writers write."
- Carolyn Hart, Author of Death Comes Silently

"The Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference is the most interesting, most challenging, and most fun event for novice writers I’ve ever attended, a unique symposium that challenges all those who take part to think about this curious craft from both a practical and aesthetic point of view."
David Hewson, Author of The Seventh Sacrament

"Last year I attended the Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference for the first time. As a direct result of contacts I made there, I have had my supernatural mystery Elena accepted by a small publisher. It is my first published novel and will be coming out in July. It will be available via online booksellers as an E-book or in soft cover."
Duncan Lloyd, conference participant

"After more than a decade of studying the craft of fiction writing, I was pleased that the professional consultants I met with at Book Passage felt my work was publishable. The contacts brought me one step closer to publication."
Sharon Owen, conference participant

"I attended the Mystery Writers Conference about five years ago. I made some helpful connections that got me started on the long road of writing and publishing a mystery. My novel, Shedding Light On Murder will be released by Five Star /Gale Cengage in January 2012. I have no prior writing experience to speak of but I learned so much at the conference. I doubt that I would be embarking on this new adventure if I hadn't attended. Thank you!
Patricia Driscoll, conference participant

"I want to thank you again for your hard work and help in facilitating my interviews at this year's Mystery Conference for my new podcast. The first edition of The Solwave is now published both at and by searching "The Solwave" on the iTunes store. (It's free, of course). This edition features a discussion with my podcast partner, Michael Neff, an extended eight-and-a-half minute feature on the Mystery Writers Conference including portions of my interviews with Michael Connelly, Elizabeth George, Cara Black, Ken Mercer, Tim Maleeny, Jacqueline Winspear, Sheldon Siegel, Tony Broadbent, and Elaine Petrocelli! The podcast also has a longer interview with Katherine Neville and ends with our new feature, "Strange Food for Writer Thought" in which we use an unusual news story as a prompt for short fiction (and a humorous dramatic reading of my story about some runaway nuns). Thanks again for your help and your terrific work on putting this all together."
Brian Shields, conference participant