March chapter meeting to feature former public defender

March 5th, 2014

Our March 16 meeting at Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore (1 p.m., 7419 Madison St, Forest Park, IL) will feature Julius Kole, a Buffalo Grove attorney who spent two years as a Cook County Public Defender. Kole is a graduate of the University of Illinois and the John Marshall Law School. During his tenure as a Cook County Public Defender for the Juvenile Court, Kole represented young offenders and parents charged with abuse and neglect. He also has experience defending adult misdemeanors and adult felonies and DUIs. Kole now owns his own practice.

Come with questions about about domestic abuse in the courts, and juvenile court.

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Chapter meeting Sunday features psychic Karen Jacobson

February 4th, 2014

Looking for a little magic for your next mystery? Psychic Karen Jacobson will share stories from her work and tips on how to incorporate mystics, tarot readers, or psychics into your stories at this Sunday’s MWA Midwest chapter meeting. We meet at NOON at Love Is Murder (The Hotel Intercontinental, Rosemont, 5300 River Road).

Rev. Karen L. Jacobson has been a Pathways Minister since 1995. She has a BA in Psychology and an Associates of Applied Business Principals.

You don’t need to be registered for the conference to attend the meeting. We have a premonition we’ll see you there.

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MWA Midwest presents Writers Track at Love Is Murder

January 21st, 2014

At the mystery and romance writers conference Love Is Murder, February 7-9, Mystery Writers of America-Midwest Chapter offers The Writer’s Track,  a nuts and bolts approach to the most important and perplexing questions of a writer’s career. From writing great dialogue and character, to the realities of the best seller list, and all the myths and mistakes writers make, MWA Midwest will give you the scoop from people who’ve been on the scene.

Writer’s Track is Friday, February 7, from Noon-4pm

Noon-1pm:

From Conferee to Author: What I’ve Learned in 27 Years, with Matthew Clemens

All the things you wish someone talked about at conferences, but seldom do…from starting out to what happens if you sell your novel. This is the talk to learn the insider tips, the mistakes, and the realities of starting life as a writer, given by a long-successful practitioner of the craft.

Matthew Clemens is a long-time co-conspirator with Max Allan Collins. The pair has collaborated on more than twenty novels, several comic books, four graphic novels, a computer game, and a dozen mystery jigsaw puzzles. Their latest thriller Supreme Justice, will be out in 2014.

1pm-2pm:

Creating Memorable Characters, with Luisa Buehler

Every author wants well-drawn characters and every reader wants memorable characters. This workshop will discuss the melding of the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of character development.

Luisa Buehler writes the Grace Marsden Mystery Series. Reviewers call her style “a cold case sizzle.” The stories follow the cold trail of bygone crimes, blending traditional whodunit with hints of romance and the supernatural. The series won The Readers Choice Award for best traditional amateur sleuth. The seventh in the series, The Reenactor: A Staged Death, debuted at Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Literary Festival. Luisa lives in Lisle, IL with husband Gerry, son Christopher, and the family cat Martin Marmalade.

2pm-3pm:

An Actor’s View on Dialogue, with Diane Piron-Gelman

“Speak the Speech, I Pray You” A wordsmith’s skills are often the same, whether the words are written or spoken. Author, actor, and audiobook narrator Diane Piron-Gelman brings an actor’s perspective to the part of storytelling that’s most like the stage: the fine art of dialogue.

Diane Piron-Gelman, writing as D.M. Pirrone, is the author of No Less In Blood (Five Star/Cengage, 2011) and A Judgment in Ashes (forthcoming in 2014 from Allium Press of Chicago). In addition to her work as an author, editor (Word Nerd, Inc.) and audiobook narrator, Diane has been active in Chicago’s theatre scene since 1985, and often draws on her acting experience when writing. She is a long-time member of MWA Midwest and Sisters in Crime, and currently serves as chapter president of Sisters in Crime Chicagoland.

3pm-4pm:

Stages of a Writer’s Career with Julie Hyzy, Clare O’Donohue, and Lori Rader-Day

On the cusp of publishing a first novel… in the mid-list doldrums… sitting pretty on the bestseller’s list. These are three crucial stages in a writer’s life, where making the right choices can lead to a more satisfying and successful, career. And making the wrong ones can send a writer off track. Three writers—each representing one of these stages—will have a round-table discussion on the best and worst, the “wow” and the “what now?” of the writing life.

A relentless snoop and mystery seeker since childhood, Julie Hyzy gets to play detective by writing amateur sleuth adventures. She’s thrilled to have won the Anthony, Barry, Lovey, and Derringer Awards, and still can’t believe that she has “New York Times Bestselling Author” across the front of her books. Julie writes the White House Chef Mysteries and the Manor House Mysteries for Penguin/Berkley Prime Crime, the most recent of which, Home of the Braised, came out January 7.

Clare O’Donohue is the author of seven novels in two mystery series, The Someday Quilts Mysteries and The Kate Conway Mysteries. She is also a TV producer of documentary and true crime, and has lived and worked in New York, London, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. She is the current president of the Midwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, and when she’s not in a hotel, airport, or shooting location, she lives near Chicago.

Lori Rader-Day is the author of the mystery The Black Hour (Seventh Street Books, 2014). Born and raised in central Indiana, she now lives in Chicago with her husband and dog. Her fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Time Out Chicago, and others. She is the current vice president of the Midwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, and is the editor of the group’s newsletter.

REGISTER for Love Is Murder here.

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A year in mystery writing

January 21st, 2014

At this month’s chapter meeting, several early career writers asked about conferences for the genre. Here’s what the year in mystery writing looks like for 2014:

Love Is Murder, Rosemont, IL, Feb. 7-9, 2014

Left Coast Crime: Calamari Crime, Monterey, CA, March 20-23, 2014

Malice Domestic, Bethesda, MA, May 2-4, 2014

Book Expo America, New York, NY, May 29-31, 2014 (not just mystery, but with mystery programming)

Printers Row Lit Fest, Chicago, IL, June 7-8, 2014**

ThrillerFest IX, New York, NY, July 10-12, 2014

Midwest Writers Workshop, Muncie, IN, July 24-26, 2014** (not just mystery, but lots of mystery programming)

Killer Nashville, Nashville, TN, August 21-24, 2014**

Magna Cum Murder, Indianapolis, IN, October 24-26, 2014**

Murder and Mayhem in TBD, Wisconsin, November TBD, 2014

Bouchercon, Long Beach, CA, Nov. 13-16, 2014

**Especially good content for beginning or early career writers.

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Holiday Party Dec. 8!

December 7th, 2013

Sunday, December 8, is our annual Holiday Lunch. Members and their guests only this time, please.

1 p.m. at Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore, 7419 Madison St, Forest Park, IL.  Lunch from Jimmy’s Place is included.

See you there!

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November meeting features ghost stories

November 9th, 2013

Our November chapter meeting has a special, spooky guest…

Adam Selzer is the author of the new GHOSTS OF CHICAGO book from Llewellyn worldwide. It’s his attempt to figure out what we really know and how we know it regarding various Chicago ghost stories—he solved a mystery or two along the way. He’s also the author of several young adult and middle grade novels, including I KISSED A ZOMBIE AND I LIKED IT (his attempt to make fun of Twilight for 200 pages) and I PUT A SPELL ON YOU, a spelling bee mystery. He runs ghost tours at night.

Sunday, November 17, 1 p.m.

Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore,

7419 Madison St, Forest Park, IL

Anyone is welcome! Bring a friend!

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October MWA Midwest Meeting is this SATURDAY!

October 14th, 2013

Our October MWA Midwest chapter meeting is a shared event with our partners in crime, Sisters in Crime Chicagoland!

Meet Hank Phillippi Ryan and hear how to use TV tricks to write novels. Hank’s a great friend of ours, and a great speaker.

REGISTER to join us this SATURDAY, Oct. 19. Also note the location.

Register here: http://tinyurl.com/n4lwkpr

Saturday, Oct. 19

10:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

Schaumburg Township District Central Library

130 South Roselle Road

Schaumburg, IL 60193

“Using Television Techniques to Write a Killer Novel”

with HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN

A 90-minute writer workshop followed by a meet-and-greet & book signing with the award-winning author and SinC 2013 national President

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate. A television journalist since 1975, she has won 28 Emmys and twelve Edward R. Murrow awards for her work. Her work has resulted in new laws, people sent to prison, homes removed from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in restitution. A best-selling author of five mystery novels, Ryan has won the Agatha, Anthony and Macavity awards for her crime fiction. Her newest thriller, THE OTHER WOMAN, was published by Forge in September 2012 and named to several “Best of 2012″ lists. She’s on the national board of directors of Mystery Writers of America (and an instructor at MWA-U) and is president of national Sisters in Crime.

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Technical difficulties

September 8th, 2013

Unfortunately we’re having some connectivity issues, so we won’t be able so stream today’s meeting. However, look for our meeting report in the next Clues!

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Sunday signing schedule

June 9th, 2013

10-11:45
David Walker
Jack Fredrickson
Robert Goldsborough
Susanna Calkins
Clare O’Donohue
Erin Hart
Libby Hellmann

Noon-1:45
Julie Hyzy
Michael Black
Diane Piron-Gelman
Tim Chapman
Frances McNamara
J. Michael Major
Molly MacRae

2-3:45
Helen Osterman
Lydia Ponczak
Laura Caldwell
Susan Froetschel
Nancy J Parra
Raymond Benson
Luisa Buehler

4-5:45
Michele May
Luisa Buehler
Diane Piron-Gelman
Susan Froetschel
Clare O’Donohue
Helen Osterman
Lydia Ponczak

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Saturday signings at Printers Row

June 9th, 2013

Saturday signing schedule

10-11:45
David Walker
Erin Hart
Frances McNamara
Jack Fredrickson
Jennie Spallone
Helen Osterman
Lydia Ponczak

Noon-1:45
Joelle Charbonneau
Diane Piron-Gelman
J. Michael Major
Linda Tsoutsouris (Kate Collins)
Susan Froetschel
Luisa Buehler
Molly MacRae

2-3:45
Clare O’Donohue
Brian D’Amato
Julie Hyzy
Michael Black
Libby Hellmann
Robert Goldsborough
Bryan Gruley

4-5:45
Raymond Benson
Barbara D’Amato
Sara Paretsky
Joelle Charbonneau
Susanna Calkins
Tim Chapman
Nancy J Parra

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