Thrillerfest 2020 Goes Virtual

Free programming and classes with the experts should interest both librarians and their patrons.

Founded in 2004 and currently claiming more than 4,500 members in 49 countries, International Thriller Writers (ITW) brings together thriller writers worldwide to discuss and promote the genre. Its crowning jewel is Thrillerfest, held every summer in New York for the last 15 years. This year, of course, the conference has had to go virtual. Says ITW executive director Kimberly Howe, “It’s amazing how our community has come together during these turbulent times. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response to our idea of trying to turn lemons into a refreshing lemonade.”

The virtual conference offers free programming that thriller-hungry librarians will want to investigate, including the annual Thriller Awards, videos created especially for this event with ITW authors, and the presentation of the 2020 debut authors, a great way to track rising stars. These materials will be made available starting July 6 on the ITW Facebook page.

In addition, numerous classes of interest to fledgling authors will run in the first two weeks of July, including Mega CraftFest, Master Class, Pitching Sessions, Consulting Sessions, and CareerFest. The Mega CraftFest, for instance, pairs veteran authors (150 altogether) to discuss the craft of writing, with pairs including Karin Slaughter and Mark Billingham, Alafair Burke and Michael Connelly, and Jeff Ayers (formerly of Seattle Public Library) and John Grisham. The Master Class, a private Zoom session for up to ten attendees, offers individual instruction from authors ranging from William Bernhardt to Hank Phillippi Ryan.

For more information, including schedules and fees, check out the Virtual Thrillerfest 2020 website.

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