I wasn’t planning to attend another writing conference this year! I’ve already been to Left Coast Crime in March and the California Crime Writers Conference in June–one more conference than I usually budget in a year. But then this happened:

The Claymore is for best 50 pages of an unpublished crime fiction manuscript. Finalists are chosen via blind judging. According to Killer Nashville, “finalist manuscripts will be sent to a committee of editors and publicists at Kensington Books and they will select the Top 3 Finalists. The Top 3 Killer Nashville Claymore Award Winners will be announced at the annual Killer Nashville Awards Dinner during the Killer Nashville Conference.”

This seems like a possible opportunity to find a publisher for my manuscript, THE GUN, especially since KN claims “almost all Top 20 Finalists will usually land a publishing contract within the next year, most through contacts made at Killer Nashville.”

I will note, though, that I was a Claymore Award finalist with my Carol Sabala mystery BLACK BEANS & VENOM and no traditional publishing contract came from that. So, I’m going off to KN with no real expectations. The previous nomination did get me an invitation to submit my manuscript to one of my favorite crime fiction publishers, and I did receive personal and invaluable feedback.

No matter what happens, a fun conference lies ahead, August 22-25. Killer Nashville offers an opportunity to hobnob East Coast authors who don’t attend Left Coast Crime. The conference also has a great staged crime scene where participants try to figure out what happened. And last time I went, I was able to sneak away one evening to hear some fabulous music at Robert’s downtown.