Latest News: Guest of Honor, Claymore Award

By Beth Terrell

Greetings, friends (and future friends) of Killer Nashville.

I know you’ve been on pins and needles wondering who the Killer Nashville 2009 Guest of Honor will be. All right, maybe the question has floated across your mind. Well, wonder no more.

New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance will join the ranks of past Killer Nashville Guests of Honor: Carol Higgins Clark, Michael Connelly, and “Body Farm” creator Dr. Bill Bass. Jance is the author of four popular crime fiction series, one of which earned her the American Mystery Award. All attendees will have a chance to meet Jance and hear her conference interview and one-hour presentation on Saturday, August 15. That night, attendees may join Jance at a special guest of honor dinner, where she will be awarded the traditional Killer Nashville guitar. (For those of you who have attended past guest of honor dinners, we hope 2008 Silver Falchion Award winner Don Bruns will be there to continue yet another tradition, playing one of his original songs on it. Don?)

We have a great lineup planned for 2009 (August 14-16). We’ll have manuscript critiques and breakout sessions, as well as four tracks of panels and presentations. Once again, there will be one track on the craft of writing, one on the business of writing, one on forensics and investigative techniques, and one just for fans. So whether you’re a reader or a reader/writer, we hope to see you at this year’s conference. I’ve heard that some fans of the genre have lamented that Killer Nashville is just for writers. Actually, it’s for anyone who has ever stayed up past midnight with a good mystery or thriller, anyone with an interest in forensice or investigative techniques, or anyone who has written–or dreamed of writing–a piece of crime-related fiction. div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>

Some of you have asked about the agent and editor pitches. Our visiting agent for 2009 is Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency. Lucienne has sold over 600 titles and is one of the most respected agents in the industry. Maryglenn McCombs, a 15-year veteran of the publishing industry, will also be returning this year. Maryglenn represents Oceanview Publishing, which has accepted manuscripts from two of our attendees, Scott Pearson and Margaret Fenton. Scott’s book just came out in early February, and Margaret’s will be released in June. (Congratulations, both of you!)

Now, let’s talk about awards. In addition to the Silver Falchion, which is awarded to the best novel published in the current or previous year (2008 or 2009) by a registered attendee, we’re unveiling the first annual Claymore Award. The Claymore Award is for the best beginning (defined as up to the first 50 pages) of an unpublished manuscript that is not currently under contract. The winner will receive an engraved replica of a claymore dagger, and the winning manuscript will be read and considered for publication by this year’s partnering publisher, Avalon Books. You can find the rules and FAQs on the website: A lot of you have asked if you have to follow Avalon’s guidelines in order to win. The answer is no, you don’t have to follow their guidelines in order to win the award, but if you want to increase your manuscript’s chances of being accepted for publication by Avalon, you do.

We have a number of special rates and discounts, including discounts for seniors, teachers, and full-time students, and an early bird special that runs through February 28. A second, lesser, discount runs from March 1 through May 31.

As always, the conference will be at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs Hotel and Convention Center.

Got questions? Comments? Concerns? Feel free to contact me:


About Clay Stafford

Clay Stafford is an author / filmmaker ( and founder of Killer Nashville ( As a writer himself, he has over 1.5 million copies of his own books in print in over 14 languages. Stafford’s latest projects are the feature documentary “One of the Miracles” ( and the music CD “XO” ( A champion of writers, Publishers Weekly has identified Stafford as playing “an essential role in defining which books become bestsellers” throughout “the nation’s book culture.” (PW 6/10/13)
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2 Responses to Latest News: Guest of Honor, Claymore Award

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