Wednesday, September 18, 2019



by Jodie Renner, editor and author,

In my editing of fiction manuscripts, I often find writers using ellipses (...), hyphens, or semicolons where they should use dashes. Here's a brief run-down on the correct use of these punctuation marks.

A. Ellipsis (…) or Dash (—)?          

In fiction,

An ellipsis (…) is used to show hesitation:

“What I meant is… I don’t know how to begin…” 

or a trailing off:

"She came with you? But I thought..." She paused.
"You thought what? Come on, spit it out."

(Also, usually in nonfiction, indicates the omission of words in a quoted text.)

A dash (—), also called em dash, is used to show an interruption in speech:

“But I—”

“But nothing! I don’t want to hear your excuses!”

or a sudden break in thought or sentence structure: “Will he—can he—find out the truth?”

The dash is used for amplifying or explaining
, for setting off information within a sentence, kind of like parentheses or commas can do: 

“My friends—I mean, my former friends—ganged up on me.” 

B. Hyphen vs. En Dash vs. Em Dash:

The en dash is longer than a hyphen but shorter than an em dash (the normal dash).

A hyphen (-) is used within a word.

It separates the parts of a compound word: bare-handed, close-up, die-hard, half-baked, jet-lagged, low-key, never-ending, no-brainer, pitch-dark, self-control, single-handed, sweet-talk, user-friendly, up-to-date, watered-down, work-in-progress, etc.

Dashes are used between words.

An en dash (–) connects numbers (and sometimes words), usually in a range, meaning “to”: 1989–2007; Chapters 16–18; the score was 31–24 for Green Bay; the London–Paris train; 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Also sometimes used as a dash in articles and other nonfiction writing, with a space on each side ( – ).

An em dash (—) is used to mark an interruption, as mentioned above (“What the—”), or material set off parenthetically from the main point—like this. Don’t confuse it with a hyphen (-). In fiction, the em dash almost always appears with no spaces around it.

How to Create Em Dashes and En Dashes:  

Em dash (—) Ctrl+Alt+minus (far top right, on the number pad). CMS uses no spaces around em dashes; AP puts spaces on each side of em-dashes

En dash (–) Ctrl+minus (far top right, on the number pad). Usually has a space on both sides.

D. Advanced Uses of the Dash (Em Dash):

According to the Chicago Manual of Style (6.87), “To avoid confusion, no sentence should contain more than two em dashes; if more than two elements need to be set off, use parentheses.”

Also, per CMS, “if an em dash is used at the end of quoted material to indicate an interruption, a comma should be used before the words that identify the speaker:

“I assure you, we shall never—,” Sylvia began, but Mark cut her short.

But: “I didn’t—”

No comma after it here, as that’s the end of the sentence, and no tagline.

The Chicago Manual of Style also says (6.90) that if the break belongs to the surrounding sentence rather than to the quoted material, the em dashes must appear outside the quotation marks: “Someday he’s going to hit one of those long shots and”—his voice turned huffy—“I won’t be there to see it.”

Using an em dash in combination with other punctuation: CMS 6.92: “A question mark or an exclamation point—but never a comma, a colon, or a semicolon, and rarely a period—may precede an em dash.

All at once Jeremy—was he out of his mind?—shook his fist in the officer’s face.

Only if—heaven forbid!—you lose your passport should you call home.

See also: Dialogue Nuts & Bolts
 Some Common Grammar Gaffes,
 Basic Formatting of Your Manuscript
Style Blunders in Fiction

Do you have any other punctuation or grammar questions you'd like me to address? If so, please leave your suggestions or questions in the comments below. Thanks!

Jodie Renner is a freelance fiction editor and the award-winning author of three craft-of-writing guides in her series An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction: FIRE UP YOUR FICTION,  CAPTIVATE YOUR READERS, and WRITING A KILLER THRILLER, as well as two clickable time-saving e-resources, QUICK CLICKS: Spelling List and QUICK CLICKS: Word Usage. She has also organized two anthologies for charity: VOICES FROM THE VALLEYS – Stories and Poems about Life in BC’s Interior, and CHILDHOOD REGAINED – Stories of Hope for Asian Child Workers. Website: Facebook. Amazon Author Page.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

QUICK CLICKS: SPELLING LIST - Commonly Misspelled Words at Your Fingertips

 by Jodie Renner, editor and author 

Are you a busy writer or journalist? A student with writing assignments piling up? An editor who needs to verify info quickly? Then you'll love my handy, time-saving, clickable resource for writers, editors, students, and anyone who has any kind of writing project. It's called QUICK CLICKS: SPELLING LIST - Commonly Misspelled Words at Your Fingertips. CLICK HERE to check out the Kindle book on Amazon. It's also available as a PDF document to leave up on your screen, behind or beside your W.I.P. To purchase the PDF version for $2.99, please email info (at) JodieRenner (dot) com.

How will this e-resource make your life easier?

Whether you’re a journalist, fiction or nonfiction writer, student, blogger, editor, or anyone else on a busy schedule (aren’t we all these days?), this clickable spelling list will save you tons of time, no matter what you’re writing. Just keep this doc up on your screen or beside you on your Kindle, tablet, or smartphone, and if you’re unsure of a word, go to this, click on the first two letters, find the word quickly, check the spelling, and you’re back to your writing project within seconds. 

Words are listed here for various reasons. They might be challenging to spell, like “acquiescence” or “hemorrhage” or “abhorrent” or “zucchini” or “Caesar.” Or what about those everyday words we think we know how to spell, but just want to quickly verify, like “occurrence” or “embarrassed” or “occasion” or “recommend” or “separate” or “weird” or “vacuum”?

In many other cases, the words or terms are easy to spell but are just included because there is confusion as to whether they should be hyphenated, one word, or two words. For example, is it back seat, back-seat, or backseat? checkout, check-out, or check out? Is it under-achiever or underachiever? counter-clockwise or counterclockwise?

I’ve also included troublesome homonyms such as its and it’s; rein and reign; stationary and stationery; principal and principle; peek, peak, and pique; insure and ensure; complement and compliment; lightning and lightening, and many more.

For the sake of brevity and ease of use, definitions are rarely given in this resource, except in cases where the incorrect word is often mistakenly used.

So why wouldn’t you just rely on your word processor’s spell-checker? Because Word’s spell-checker is made up of words that users submit and in many cases is blatantly incorrect. 

All of the words in this list have all been verified as correct spelling or normal current usage. My main references are the two copyeditors’ and proofreaders’ “bibles,” Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (M-W) and The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS); and for words that don’t appear in Merriam-Webster, I’ve chosen the spelling used in the majority of online dictionaries.

Click on the letters to go to words starting with those letters. To come back to the list, just click on “Home,” found on every page of this convenient resource.

Endorsements and Reviews for Quick Clicks: Spelling List:

“One word or Two? Hyphen or no hyphen? I never can keep all that straight. This books clears the air. A must for every writer.”~ DP Lyle, award-winning author of the Samantha Cody and Dub Walker thriller series

“This is a great resource for word usage, with clickable links that make it easy. I see it becoming indispensable.”~ L.J. Sellers, author of the bestselling Detective Jackson and Agent Dallas series

An Avid Listener, April 7, 2019:
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast and authoritative

"A dictionary has the correct spelling of all these words, but only Jodie Renner makes looking up words virtually instantaneous. Every word is quick-linked to the index pages, and every page links back to the index, so it's simply a matter of tapping and scrolling.

"Plus she's backed up every 'iffy' answer with my go-to sources, Merriam Webster and Chicago Manual of Style, so I know I'm right. (Asking "The Google" for correct spelling often yields decidedly nonstandard results.) Thanks, Jodie!"

“Must-have useful reference for editors and writers! The organization is brilliant.
“This time-saving reference is incredibly useful for writers and editors. It's a very well-organized book and the clickable links are absolutely one of the best features. I'm going to use this again and again!”
~ Eve Paludan, author and editor

“Indispensable tool for all writers, novice or seasoned. Once you start using this quick spelling resource, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.”
~ Los Angeles Writer

“A useful time-saver! Very easy to use. Convenient and slick.”
~ Mandrake 

“Lots of live links make it quick and easy to use!
“This guide to commonly misspelled words and phrases is a time-saver for any writer. Quick Clicks: Spelling List is a quick reference guide you can keep in the background of your work in progress. If you are not sure how to spell a word, whether it's hyphenated or not, or which of several homonyms is the right one, like peak or peek, weather or whether, etc., you can find the answer with a few clicks and get back to work quickly. This is a must-have resource. I give Quick Clicks: Spelling List a 5-star ranking as an indispensable writer's tool for spelling.”
~ John W. Kurtze

“To hyphenate or not to hyphenate . . . Is there an ‘e’ in there? this quick and easy to use guide helps with some of the most common spelling demons without me having to go to Google and sort through the results to get the best answer. Jodie is a great editor and this is the latest in her series of practical writing guides. You can keep it open on your Kindle or your computer-based Kindle app for easy reference during writing sessions. Grab it, you won't regret it.”
~ Patient Reader

A Superb Tool
“I haven’t owned Spelling on the Go [former title] for 24 hours yet and I’ve already used it four times. The layout is simple to use and can be navigated with ease. This is going to be one of those resources that people say ‘I can’t believe nobody thought of that before’ about.”
~ Brian Switzer

And check out the companion e-resource, Quick Clicks: Word Usage.

Jodie Renner is a freelance fiction editor and the award-winning author of three writing guides in her series An Editor's Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction: Writing a Killer Thriller, Fire up Your Fiction, and Captivate Your Readers, as well as two clickable time-saving e-resources, Quick Clicks: Spelling List and Quick Clicks: Word Usage. She has also organized and edited two anthologies for charity.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Some Common Grammar Gaffes

by Jodie Renner, editor and author 

Is it "with Dave and me" or "with Dave and I"? Should it be"who" or "whom"? Do you "lie down" or "lay down"? Is it "the guy that just left" or "the guy who just left"? Is it "My Mom" or "My mom"? Should I use "that" or "which" there?

The English language is in a constant state of flux, evolving and changing along with technological changes, changes in attitude, the influence of other cultures, street language, slang expressions, etc. That means the English language is vibrant, not stagnant, just as is our society. Language needs to keep up with changes to facilitate communication.

But it’s probably a good thing to try to have some degree of consistency and standards, so we don’t all sink to the lowest common denominator of texting-style, “fast-food” language. [Sorry, I shake my head when I see "ur" in a Facebook post instead of "your"-- or "4" for "for," "r" for "are," or "u" for "you." How hard is it to type two more letters? It just reflects badly on the writer, I think.] Texting family and friends is one thing, but blog posts, articles, assignments, short stories, and fiction or nonfiction books require accurate spelling and correct grammar (except in dialogue, of course), in order to retain reader credibility and respect.
Here are a few common grammar blunders I see in my editing of books and my general reading. (All rules are per Chicago Manual of Style.)


Is it “my brother and me” or “my brother and I”? That depends. 

Is it “Give the books to Jane and I,” or “Give the books to Jane and me.”?

Is it “Carol and me went with them,” or “Carol and I went with them.”?

Is it “She and Brad are coming, too,” or “Her and Brad are coming, too.”?

Here's a simple little trick to know whether to use “I” or “me”; “he” or“him”; “she” or “her” etc.:

Just take out the “and” and the other person’s name or pronoun. What are you left with? Does it make sense?

For example, which is it? “Him and his buddy are going fishing,” or “He and his buddy are going fishing.”

Take out “and his buddy.” Would you say “Him is going fishing” or “He is going fishing.”? 

Since you’d use “he” when it’s alone in the sentence, then you’d say, “He and his buddy are going fishing.”

Or is it “Leave your sister and I alone for a few minutes,” or “Leave your sister and me alone for a few minutes”?

To figure this out, take out "your sister and" and think of whether you’d say, “Leave I alone” or “Leave me alone.”

Since you’d say “Leave me alone,” then it has to be “Leave your sister and me alone.”

Apply this little trick to the first two examples above, and you’ll know it has to be “Give the books to Jane and me,” and “Carol and I went with them.”

And by the way, "between you and me" is correct.

I could get into a lengthy explanation about subject (nominative) pronouns and object (objective) pronouns, but if you just use that little gimmick, it works every time.


Even though nowadays, in casual conversation or dialogue in novels, “whom” often seems affected or pretentious and out of place, it’s good to know the correct usage for nonfiction writing, academic writing, journalistic writing, some narration, and dialogue spoken by educated characters.

Here’s the general rule:

Who is used for the subject of a verb or the doer of the action: “Who saw him?”

Whom is correct for the object of the verb, or the receiver of the action: “Whom did he see?”

Whom is correct usage after prepositions (by, for, to, with before, after, beside, in front of, etc.), e.g., By whom? For whom? With whom? To whom? “To whom are you referring?” “The woman for whom he gave his life.”

Quick trick: A quick way to remember which to use: Ask yourself whether the answer would be “he” or “him”. If he, use who, if him, use whom. Who went with you? He went with me. Whom did you see? I saw him

Test the “who –> he” vs “whom –> him” trick with these sentences:

Is it “Whom should I say is calling?” or “Who should I say is calling?”

(He is calling, so “who” is correct here.)

Is it “Who will you choose to go first?” or “Whom will you choose to go first?”

(You’ll choose him, so “whom” is correct here.)

As I mentioned, the use of “whom” in everyday conversation often seems somewhat affected these days. So, unless you want to come off as sounding pedantic, it’s best to avoid using “whom” in casual conversation with friends or family. Also, avoid whom in casual dialogue in fiction, especially (obviously!) when rough or uneducated people are talking! 


“that” for “who”:

 –  “that” is for things; “who” is for people. I’m probably not the only one who winced a bit the first 100 times I heard Katy Perry’s great song, “The One That Got Away.” I even heard the radio announcer saying, “It should be ‘The One WHO Got Away,’ of course!”

Examples of correct usage:
The children who were playing ran in when it started to rain. The bikes and toys that were left outside got wet.
The boats that were in the harbor got tossed around in the storm.
The ladies who organized the church tea were surprised at the attendance.

“that” versus “which”: 

(This one’s directed at North Americans, as Brits use “which” where we use “that,”)
Quick trick: An easy way to remember whether to use “which” or “that”:

 “which” always follows a comma, while “that” almost never follows a comma.

Or think of it this way: If the sentence doesn’t need the clause/phrase that comes after the word to make sense, use “which.” If what comes after the word is essential to the sentence, use “that.” 

Here's an example to illustrate: 

The library, which is on Main Street, has about 30,000 books.
The library that is on Main Street has about 30,000 books.

In the first sentence, the one with “which,” we don’t need the extra information that it’s on Main Street for the sentence to make sense, as there’s only one library, and it’s on Main Street.
In the second sentence, we need the “that” part, as that tells us we’re talking about the library on Main Street, not some other library in town. So what follows “that” is essential to the sentence. 

Let’s look at another example:

The car, which was a Toyota, was badly crumpled in the accident.
The car that was a Toyota was badly crumpled in the accident.

The first sentence implies that there was only one car in the accident, and by the way, it was a Toyota. That’s nonessential information, so it’s enclosed in commas and introduced by “which.”
The second sentence tells us there was more than one car involved in the accident, and that the Toyota, unlike the others, was badly crumpled. The “that” clause gives us essential information.
So another way to look at it is “which” introduces nonessential info, and “that” introduces essential info. 

LAY vs. LIE:
This one stumps a lot of people, even a bestselling author I know, who has emailed me a few times for a reminder of when to use “lie” and when to use “lay.” It’s very common to mix up these two, especially with their weird past tenses, which just complicate the issue.

Basically, you lay something down, but you lie down. So “lay” takes an object – a thing after it that you’re putting down. Not counting ourselves, so a person just lies down. And even if it’s a thing, if it’s already there and nobody’s in the act of putting it there, it’s lying there, not laying there.

Correct usages:

Present tense:

Lie: I like to lie in the hammock. Mom often lies down for a nap in the afternoon. Ricky is lying down on the grass.

Lay: She lays the baby in the bassinette every night. She is laying the baby down right now.

So far so good. But here’s where it gets weird: The past tense of “lay” is “laid,” as in “I laid the book on the table.” But the past tense of “lie” is “lay” as “She lay down on the couch for a nap yesterday.” Huh?! Just another of the many ways that English is weird and often illogical.

So to reiterate:

Lay requires a direct object: You lay something down. 

Lie does not require a direct object: You lie down.

The verb tenses of lay: 

Present: lay, is laying.  Lay the report on my desk.

Past: laid, has laid, was laying.  She laid the ring on the table and walked out; she had laid it there before.

The verb tenses of lie: 

Present: lie, is lying: Why don’t you lie down for a while? The book is lying on the table.

Past: lay, has lain, was lying. The little boy lay in the shade, fast asleep. He has lain there many times, in fact yesterday he was lying in that exact spot.

So: He laid (past tense of lay) the wreath on the grave, where it lay (past tense of lie) for a month.

If you think you'll forget all this stuff, especially the past tenses, just copy and paste this somewhere to help you remember. That’s what I did before I finally got it into my head! 


There's often some confusion around capitalization of titles, family members, and places. Basically, it's "Mom" but "my mom," "Uncle Ted," but "his uncle,” etc. Also, "Doctor Edwards," but "the doctor," “Vancouver General Hospital” but “the hospital” and so on.

Use caps for proper nouns but not for generic nouns: 

the doctor, but Doctor Wilson; the president, but President Obama; the general, but General Eisenhower; the judge, but Judge Judy; the sergeant, but Sergeant Wilson; the prince, but Prince Charles; the police department, but the Chicago Police Department; the library, but New York Public Library, the hospital, but Toronto General Hospital. 

But when you’re addressing the president, it’s “Mr. President,” and when you’re addressing anyone else with a title, you still use the capital, even if you don’t use their name, as in “Yes, Sergeant, I’ll do that right away.” Also, “Yes, Your Majesty.” And “No, Your Honor.” 

But sir, ma’am, my lord, my lady, milady, etc. are not capitalized.  

Don’t capitalize terms of endearment or pet names, like dear, honey, sweetie, son, buddy, etc.: “Yes, dear.” 

Family names: Capitalize family names like father, mother, etc. only when using them as a name, as in “Dad, can I borrow the car keys?” or “Where’s Mom?” or “Thanks, Grandma,” but no caps when just referring to family members, as in “my dad” or “your mother,” or “his grandmother.”

Do you have any other grammar or style points that you'd like explained? Or any great little tricks for
remembering them? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

See also Common Grammar Gaffes, Part II (past perfect, misplaced modifiers)

Saturday, September 14, 2019


List compiled by Jodie Renner, editor and author of award-winning writing guides 

If you know of writers' events that aren't listed here, please add them in the comments below. Include the name of the festival, the date, and the city. Thank you.


Aug. 9-11, 2019 - When Words Collide - A Festival for Readers and Writers, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 

Aug. 22-25, 2019 - Killer Nashville, Nashville, TN.

Aug. 22-25, 2019 – Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference, Corte Madera, CA.

Aug. 22-25, 2019 - Writer's Digest Annual Conference, NYC.

Aug. 29-Sept. 1, 2019 – Decatur Book Festival, Decatur (Atlanta), Georgia.

Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 2019 - White County Creative Writers' Conference, Searcy, AR -

Sept. 6-8, 2019 – Colorado Gold Writers Conference, hosted by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Denver, Colorado.

On all Amazon sites
Sept. 7, 2019 - Boston Writing Conference, Boston, MA

Sept. 12-15, 2019 - Pacific Northwest Writers Assoc. annual conference, Seattle, Wash.

Sept. 15, 21, and 22 - Telling Tales Festival, 3 locations in Ontario, Canada.

Sept 20-21, 2019 – Alaska Writer’s Guild Conference, Anchorage, Alaska.

Sept. 20-22, 2019 - Words Alive Kamloops, Kamloops, BC, Canada.

Sept. 20-22, 2019 – Southern California Writers’ Conference, A Weekend for Words, Newport Beach, Calif.

Sept. 22-30 - Thin Air 2019 - Winnipeg International Writers Festival, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Sept. 21-22 - Word on the Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Sept. 24-29, 2019 – WORD Vancouver: Inspiring Words, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Sept. 25-29, 2019 - NINC Conference (Novelists, Inc.), St. Petersburg, FL.

Sept. 25-29 - Kingston WritersFest, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Sept. 26-29, 2019 – The American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) annual conference, San Antonio, TX.

Sept. 27-28, 2019 - Western Writers of America convention, Great Falls, MT.

Jodie Renner's award-winning fiction-writing guides are available on all Amazon sites. 
- Jodie's Amazon Author Page on


Oct. 3-6, 2019 - Moonlight and Magnolias romance writers’ conference in Norcross, Georgia;

Oct. 4-6, 2019 – Write on the Sound Writers’ Conference, Edmonds, Washington.

Oct. 4-6, 2019  - South Dakota Festival of Books, Deadwood, SD

Oct. 8-10, 2020 - InD'Scribe Write Like a Pro Conference, Peoria, Illinois.

Oct. 10-12, 2019 - Ozark Creative Writers' Conference, Eureka Springs, AR -

Oct. 10-13, 2019 – Women Writing the West conference, San Antonio, Texas.

Oct. 10-13, 2019 - Historical Writers of America Conference, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

Oct. 11-13, 2019 - Imaginarium Convention, Louisville, Kentucky.

Oct. 17-20, 2019 – 18th Annual Florida Writers Conference, Altamonte
Springs, FL.

Oct. 18-20, 2019 – Put Your Heart in a Book, New Jersey Romance Writers Conference, Iselin, N.J.

Oct. 18-20, 2015 – Emerald City Writers’ Conference (Romance Writers of America), Bellevue, Washington.
Oct. 17-20, 2019 – Whistler Writers Festival, Whistler, BC, Canada.

Oct. 19-20, 2019 – Boston Book Festival.

Oct. 21-27, 2019 – The Vancouver Writers Fest, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Oct. 24-29 - Ottawa International Writers Festival, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Oct. 24 - Nov. 3 - International Festival of Authors, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Oct. 25-27, 2019 – Surrey International Writers Conference, Surrey, BC, Canada.

Oct. 25-27, 2019, Magna cum Murder Crime Writing Festival, Indianapolis IN

Oct. 25-27 – The La Jolla Writers Conference, Hyatt Regency, La Jolla, CA

Oct. 26, 2019 - Books by the Banks Book Festival, Cincinnati, OH

Oct. 26-27, 2019 - Texas Book Festival, on the State Capital grounds, Austin, Texas.

Oct. 31 - Nov. 3, 2019 - Bouchercon 2019, World Mystery Convention, Dallas, Texas.


Nov. 1-3, 2019 - The Next Bestseller Workshop, New York City.

Nov. 2, 2019 - Louisiana Book Festival, Baton Rouge, LA

Nov. 4-10, 2019, Kauai Writers Conference, Kapaa, Hawaii.

Nov. 2020Sanibel Island Writers Conference, Sanibel Island, Florida.

Nov. 8-10, 2019 – The New England Crime Bake Conference, Woburn, Mass. 

Nov. 8-9, 2019 - Charleston YA Book Festival – YallFest:

Nov. 16, 2019 - Baltimore Writers' Conference, Towson, Md.
On all Amazon sites

Nov. 17-24, 2019 - Miami Book Fair International, Miami, Florida. 

DECEMBER 2019:       

(Not usually any conferences in December)

Jodie Renner has published three award-winning writing guides. Visit Jodie's Amazon Author Page.



Jan. 17-20, 2020 - Annual Winter Poetry and Prose Getaway, Seaview Resort, New Jersey Shore (near Atlantic City).

Jan. 18-25, 2020: Writers in Paradise conference, St. Petersburg, Florida.


Feb. 8-9, 2020 - Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Winter Conference, Los Angeles.

Feb. 12-16, 2020 – San Miguel Writers' Conference and Literary Festival, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Feb. 13-16, 2020 - San Francisco Writers Conference, San Francisco.

Feb. 13-16, 2020 – Savannah Book Festival, Savannah, GA. Free and open to the public.

MARCH 2016:

March 12-15, 2020 - Left Coast Crime's annual mystery convention. This year it's in San Diego, California.

March 14-15, 2020 – The Tucson Festival of Books, University of Arizona campus, Tucson, AZ. Free and excellent!

March 26-29, 2020 - Sleuthfest, an annual conference for mystery, suspense, and thriller writers, Deerfield Beach, Florida.

March 26-29, 2020 - Pathway to Publication, Writer's Institute, Madison, Wisconsin.

APRIL 2020:

April 3-5, 2020 – Grub Street’s “Muse and the Marketplace” Conference, Boston, MA.
Clickable e-resource

April 17-19, 2020 - Pikes Peak Writers' Conference, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

April 17-19, 2020, Chanticleer Authors Conference, Bellingham, WN.

April ? - Las Vegas Writers Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada.

MAY 2020:

May 1-3, 2020 - Malice Domestic, annual traditional mystery fan convention, in Bethesda, MD.

May 4, 2019 - Michigan Writing Workshop, Livonia, MI.

May 4, 2019 - The Writing Conference of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

May 8-9, 2020, Lakefly Writers Conference, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

May 15-17, 2020 - Creative Ink Festival for Writers, Readers, and Artists; Burnaby, BC, Canada.

May 11, 2019 - San Diego Writing Workshop, San Diego, CA

May 3-4, 2019 - Oklahoma Writers Conference, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

May 10-12, 2019 - Word on the Lake Writers' Festival, Salmon Arm, BC, Canada.

May 15-17, 2020 – Pennwriters Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

May 28 - June 1, 2020 - Bear River Writers' Conference, Walloon Lake, Michigan.

March 30-31, 2019 - "Create Something Magical" - Liberty States Fiction Writers Conference, Iselin, NJ.

JUNE 2020:

June 8-9, 2019 – California Crime Writers Conference, Culver City, Cal. 

June 8-12, 2020 - West Texas Writers' Academy, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas.

June 7-9, 2019 - Philadelphia Writers' Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

June 12-16, 2020 – Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, Lands End Resort, Homer, Alaska.

June 13-14, 2020 - Dallas - Fort Worth Writers Conference, Hurst Conference Center, DFW Metroplex, Texas. Twitter: @dfwcon. 

June 15-19, 2020 - Write-by-the-Lake Writer's Workshop and Retreat, Madison, Wisconsin.

Clickable e-resource on Amazon
June 25-27, 2020 - Jackson Hole Writers Conference, Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

JULY 2020:

July 7-11, 2020 – Master Craftfest, Craftfest, and THRILLERFEST – International Thriller Writers annual conference, New York, NY.

July 18-21, 2019 - West Virginia Writers' Workshop, West Virginia.
July 29-Aug. 1, 2020 – Romance Writers of America Annual Conference, San Francisco.

AUGUST 2020:

Aug. 1-4, 2019: Cape Cod Writers Center Conference, Hyannis, Mass. Cost varies depending on number of courses you register for.

August 1-4, 2019 – Writers’ Police Academy, Appleton, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Aug. 2-4, 2019, Willamette Writers Conference, Portland, Oregon.

Aug. 2-4, 2019 - FAPA (Florida Authors and Publishers Assoc.) Annual Conference, Orlando Florida.

Aug. 13-16, 2020 - Writer's Digest Annual Conference, NYC.

Aug. 22-25, 2019 – Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference, Corte Madera, CA.

SEPT 2020:

Sept. 19-20, 2020 - Flathead River Writers Conference, Kalispall, MT.