Whodunit Winner Announced!

Winner Named in 2017 Mystery Writers Whodunit Writing Competition


Winning Authors Composite

Mike Pettit of Gulf Breeze, Florida, has been named First Place winner in an international competition to claim the 2017 Mystery Writers Whodunit Award, to be presented at the 4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 16-18 in Key West, Florida.

Supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks,Pettit’s winning entry “Key West Flashpoint” wins him a Whodunit Award trophy, book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, complimentary Mystery Fest Key West 2017 registration, airfare and hotel accommodations for two nights.

No stranger to mystery writing, Pettit is author of 29 fiction suspense thriller novels as well as several short stories and how-to books for independent authors. Joining Pettit in the winner’s circle are Kathryn K.M. Hershberger of Richmond, VA, who took Second Place with “Triggerpoint;” Lewis C. Haskell of Key West, FL, (who was also 2016 First Place winner and 2015 Second Place winner) who took Third Place with “Kilimanjaro Snow;” and Susan Chiappone, who placed with “The Choirboy Sings.”

Candidates for the award were required to submit the first three pages of a finished, but unpublished manuscript to a “blind” judging committee comprised of Dr. Toby Armour, a playwright, author and performer whose credits include the murder mystery book “Blood Tells” and the play, “Is This 24 Lily Pond Lane?”; Carol Lazar, an author, columnist, photojournalist and former senior editor for South Africa’s Independent Newspapers; Captain Reef Perkins, author of “Sex, Salvage and Secrets,” Screwed, Blu’d and Tattoed,” and the mystery novel “Deep Air”; Robin Robinson, an author, syndicated newspaper columnist, educator and horticulturist; and Shirrel Rhoades, an author, film critic, media consultant and publisher of Absolutely Amazing eBooks.

“Why just the first three pages? That criterion is a nod to late author Jeremiah Healy, a world-class mystery writer and a great judge of mystery writing,” says Shirrel Rhoades, co-founder of Mystery Fest Key West. “Jerry’s opinion was that a book either captures a reader in the first three pages…or it doesn’t. The competition judges all agreed with that assessment, and decided to use it as a yardstick for the competition.”

“I am honored and truly humbled to have won the First Place award,” said Pettit. “It is an amazing and talented group of authors that entered the contest and how fortunate I am for even placing in the run off. I thank the organization for selecting my book and look forward to receiving the Whodunit Award at the Key West Conference in June.”

Pettit is to receive his award trophy at 11am on Saturday, June 17, at DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort, headquarters for the Key West Mystery Fest, and will read his entry for the audience. The Fest itself is to include multiple workshops, presentations, panel discussions and social events where attendees mingle with acclaimed crime fiction and true crime writers including this year’s headliners John Hemingway, Clifford Irving, Randy Rawls and Charles Todd, featured presenters Lisa Black, James O. Born, Nancy J. Cohen, Heather Graham and many other authors and true-crime experts.

For information on attending the 4th Annual Fest as well as complete Mystery Writers Whodunit Writing Competition guidelines and submission details, visit mysteryfestkeywest.com.

8 Killer Reasons…

8 Killer Reasons to Register for Mystery Fest Key West 2017 Now

 The 4th Annual “Murder & Mayhem in Paradise” themed Mystery Fest Key West will take place June 16-18 in Key West, Florida. Here are 8 “killer” reasons to register now:

1)   With celebrated authors of action/adventure, true-crime, cozies, noir and more, it’s a mystery genre cornucopia!

2)   Sensational star power: Liaise with headliners John Hemingway, Clifford Irving, Randy Rawls, and Charles Todd, featured presenters Lisa Black, James O. Born, Nancy J. Cohen and Heather Graham, and panelist authors David Beckwith, Robert Coburn, Bill Craig, John Cunningham, Mike Dennis, Lewis C. Haskell, Susan Haskell and Nora-Jean Perkin, Renee Kumor, Meg Muldoon, Siera London, Rick Ollerman, Reef Perkins, Ken Rijock, Shirrel Rhoades, Marjory Sorrel Rockwell and Paul Sinor.

3)   Ramp up your sleuthing savvy: Learn first-hand the exciting how-to’s of crime scene investigation from leading local true-crime law enforcement experts.

4)   Pitch session opportunities with four prominent literary agents!

5)   You’ll get to explore infamous hauntings in Old Town Key West with New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham as she co-hosts a Saturday evening ramble with Sloan’s Ghost Tour Key West.

6)   You might walk into the very pages of a mystery novel: Fest guests who register by midnight on June 1 are automatically entered into a drawing for a cameo role in bestselling author Meg Muldoon’s next “Christmas River” series novel.

7)   Alluring diversions: A reception and dinner at the Hemingway Home and Museum, author book signings, a ‘mysterious’ special event at the Custom House Museum, and a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast at Key West’s historic Schooner Wharf Bar.

8)   It’s a steal of a deal: Event registration is just $195 and includes three days of exciting panels, presentations and social events – in Paradise – plus four meals in the company of Fest guests and celebrity authors.

The 2017 Mystery Fest Key West is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter, the Florida Keys Council of the Arts and supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and the Helmerich Trust.  For a full Fest schedule, online registration and links to accommodations visit mysteryfestkeywest.com

Mystery Fest 2017 Square Art w TDC out of county logo (1)

Schedule of Events: June 16-18, 2017

2017 MYSTERY FEST KEY WEST

FRIDAY, JUNE 16

1:00 – 1:45 p.m. Workshop 1: To Be Announced (Special Guest Appearance)
2:00 – 2:45 p.m. Workshop 2: James O. Born – Police Myths
3:00 – 3:45 p.m. Workshop 3: Lisa Black – Blood Spatter Forensics
4:00 – 4:45 p.m. Workshop 4 – Nancy J. Cohen – How to Write a Cozy
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Reception and Buffet Dinner at Hemingway Home and Museum
Welcome – Mystery Fest Co-Founder Shirrel Rhoades
Special Guest Speaker – John Hemingway
8:30 p.m. Sloan’s Ghost Tour Key West – hosted by Heather Graham

SATURDAY, JUNE 17
8:30 a.m. Coffee & Danish

8:45 a.m. Introduction

9:00 – 9:45 a.m. Panel Discussion: Where I Get My Ideas
Moderator: Randy Rawls
John H. Cunningham
David Beckwith
Dan Ames
Paul Sinor

10:00 – 10:45 a.m. Panel Discussion: How to Commit a Perfect Murder
Moderator: Heather Graham
Lisa Black
Rick Ollerman
Robert Coburn

11:00 – 11:45 a.m. the Whodunit Mystery Writing Award, presented by Shirrel Rhoades.
Introduction of 2016 winner, Lewis C. Haskell
Presentation of the 2017 Whodunit Award

11:45 – 12:00 p.m. Presentation of the Florida Keys Community College Scholarship Winners

12:00 p.m. Luncheon

12:30 – 1:45 p.m. Clifford Irving, Keynote Speaker

2:00 – 2:45 p.m. Panel Discussion:  It Takes a Crook
Moderator – Rick Ollerman
Mike Dennis

Ken Rijock
Reef Perkins

3:00 – 3:45 p.m. Panel Discussion: Cozy Mysteries and Female Sleuths
Moderator – Nancy J. Cohen
Susan Haskell / Nora-Jean Perkin
Marjory Sorrell Rockwell
Renee Kumor
Meg Muldoon

 

4:00 – 4:45 p.m. Panel Discussion: Law Enforcement 
Moderator: James O. Born
Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Key West Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Federal Bureau of Investigation

 

5:00 – 5:45 p.m. Book Signing

7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Event To Be announced

SUNDAY, JUNE 18
8:30 – 11:00 a.m. Brunch at Schooner Wharf Bar at the historic Key West waterfront (included in registration + $15 for each additional guest.

To Contact:
Mystery Fest Key West
Please write to:
Mystery Fest Key West,
926 Truman Avenue,
Key West, Florida 33040
or Email Us info@mysteryfestkeywest.com

 

Mystery Fest Key West Reminder

Mystery Fest 2017 Square Art w TDC out of county logo (1)

Just a friendly reminder that if you are attending Mystery Fest Key West this year, and you need to share the hotel room expense, email me at BDors52@yahoo.com with the subject line: Need A Roommate for the Conference, and I will attempt to pair you with another attendee.

You other guys: get on the stick, as my dad used to say, and register for the conference at the southernmost point in the US. Website is http://mysteryfestkeywest.com/ .

Mystery Fest Key West: 2017 Whodunit Writing Competition Kicks Off

Whodunit cutout

(Image above is of last year’s trophy)

Mystery Fest Key West Announces 2017 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition and Award

Key West, Florida Keys, March 10, 2017 — Mystery Fest Key West has announced a call for entries for this year’s Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition. The winner will claim a book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, free Mystery Fest Key West 2017 registration, airfare, hotel accommodations for two nights, meals and a Whodunit Award trophy to be presented at the 4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 16-18 in Key West, Florida.

Sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks and supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, candidates wishing to compete for the 2017 Whodunit Writing Competition are invited to submit the first three pages (maximum 750 words) of a finished, but unpublished manuscript to whodunitaward@mysteryfestkeywest.com no later than April 15, 2017. There is no fee to enter, finalists will be notified by May 1, and will have until May 10 to submit full manuscripts.

“Why just the first three pages? That criterion is a nod to late author Jeremiah Healy, a terrific mystery writer and great judge of mysteries,” says Shirrel Rhoades, co-founder of the Mystery Fest Key West. “Jerry often said a book either captures a reader in the first three pages…or it doesn’t. The competition judges all agreed with that assessment, and decided to use it as a yardstick for the competition.”

The inaugural, 2015 award was called “The Jerry” in Healy’s honor and was won by J.E. Irvin of Springboro, Ohio, for her entry titled “The Dark End of the Rainbow.” Lewis C. Haskell of Key West, Florida, took the 2016 Whodunit with “Tequila Mockingbird.”

Whodunit Writing Contest judges for 2017 are Dr. Toby Armour, a playwright, author, dancer and choreographer, whose credits include the murder mystery book “Blood Tells” and play, “Is This 24 Lily Pond Lane?”; Carol Lazar, an author, columnist, photojournalist and former senior editor for South Africa’s Independent Newspapers who has chased stories, mysteries and even bodies to continents as disparate as Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas; Captain Reef Perkins, author of “Sex, Salvage and Secrets,” Screwed, Blu’d and Tattooed,” and the mystery novel “Deep Air”; Robin Robinson, an author, syndicated newspaper columnist, educator and horticulturist; and Rhoades, an author, film critic, media consultant and publisher of Absolutely Amazing eBooks.

The 2017 “Murder & Mayhem in Paradise” themed Mystery Fest Key West is to include multiple writers workshops, presentations, panel discussions and social events where attendees mingle with acclaimed mystery, suspense, crime fiction and true crime writers, including headliners John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest and author of “Strange Tribe,” Keynote Speaker Clifford Irving, and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter past-President Randy Rawls; New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham; bestselling and award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen; award-winning crime and science fiction writer James O. Born; bestselling Buck Reilly adventure series author John H. Cunningham and many others.

Complete Whodunit Writing Competition guidelines and submission details are available at mysteryfestkeywest.com.

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4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West Set to Infiltrate Southernmost City June 16-18, 2017
 
Key West, Florida Keys, March 10, 2017 — Renowned mystery writers and celebrated storytellers are set to infiltrate the tropical island city where Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams found their inspiration during the 4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 16-18, 2017. 
 
Open to authors, aspiring authors and non-writing mystery-buffs alike—2017 headliners are John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest and author of ‘Strange Tribe,’ Keynote Speaker Clifford Irving, and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter past-President Randy Rawls. Lisa Black, James O. Born, Nancy J. Cohen and Heather Graham are the featured presenters among a criminally stellar hit-list of some two dozen high-profile and award winning mystery and crime fiction authors and true-crime experts. Highlights include presentation of the 2017 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition and Award, a ghost tour hosted by Heather Graham and a panel on ‘How to Commit a Perfect Murder.’
 
The 2017 Mystery Fest Key West is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts.  Event registration is $175 and includes all panels, presentations and four meals. 
 
Contact: 305-587-9392

Mystery Fest Key West 2017

One of our Keynote Authors is John Hemingway. Join us to learn from this writer and others.

John Hemingway

John Hemingway was born and raised in Miami and today lives with his wife Kristina in Montreal, Canada, where he works as a writer and translator. His critically acclaimed memoir, Strange Tribe (Lyons Press, May 2007), describes the love/hate relationship and the striking similarities between his father, Dr. Gregory Hemingway, and grandfather, Ernest Hemingway. His articles and short stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines in Spain, Italy and the U.S. John was a contributor to the Murder In Key West 3 anthology. A riveting storyteller, John has run 16 times with the bulls at the festival of San Fermín in Pamplona, Spain.

Another of our keynote authors is Clifford Irving. Yes, that Clifford Irving. Join us and hear his story, from the writer’s mouth.

Clifford Irving

Clifford Michael Irving is an American novelist and investigative reporter. Although he has published 20 novels, he is best known for a fictional autobiography of millionaire recluse Howard Hughes, which was to be published in 1972. After Hughes denounced him and sued the publisher, McGraw-Hill, Irving and his collaborators confessed to the hoax. He was sentenced to  2 1⁄2 years in prison, of which he served 17 months.
Irving wrote The Hoax (1981), his account of events surrounding the development and sale of the fake autobiography. The book was adapted as a 2006 biopic of the same name, starring Richard Gere as Clifford Irving. He has continued to write, and publishes his books as e-books available via Kindle and Nook.