The Best Little Known Conference In New England


A few years back I attended a single day writer conference in Portland, Maine. I walked into the room expecting to see a bunch of strangers–wrong! I immediately saw Kate Flora and several writers I knew from my years as a committee member for the New England CrimeBake. If nothing else, the Maine Crime Wave (held every spring) is a true example of how something small can quickly morph into something special.

The initial Crime Wave was a single day event with panels and several breakout sessions taught by such well known Maine writers as Julia Spenser-Fleming (who gave a great breakout session on how to structure a scene), Paul Doiron, and several New England crime writers. Two years ago the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance (the conference’s sponsor, along with the New England chapters of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime) implemented the CrimeMaster Award for Distinguished Achievement (Tess Gerritsen was presented the 2017 award and Douglas Preston the 2018 award) this year’s recipient is Lisa Gardner. The conference was expanded to a Friday night and all day Saturday event attracting writers from all over New England–I’ve even run into a couple of writers I know from Canada.

I recall the second conference when I saw a tall, lanky man sitting in the back row. My first impression was that he was an interested reader. I had no idea that he was a retired Portland homicide detective and now Bruce Robert Coffin has published three of his popular crime novels (between Bruce’s detective John Byron and Kate Flora’s detective Joe Burgess murder rate in Portland, Maine is the highest in its history–then again so isn’t the Portland PD close rate).

I’ve been to a number of conferences, but none in which attendees had such open access to writers, book reviewers, and literary agents. I have yet to hear a negative review of the conference from anyone attending.

Maine Crime Wave

This year’s event is being held on May 31 and June 1. If you haven’t signed up yet don’t wait. Registration closes in 8 days, May 20, 2019. I’ll be there and I hope you will be too.

I will be appearing with Brenda Buchanan and  Dick Cass at the Bangor Public Library on May 14 at 5:30 p.m.

Coming July 2, 2019
My Brothers Keeper

Look for My Brother’s Keeper, the next Ed Traynor crime thriller to be released on July 2, 2019 (available online for pre-order).

About Vaughn C. Hardacker

Vaughn C. Hardacker has published seven novels and numerous short stories. He is a member of the New England Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, and the International Thriller writers. Three times he has been a finalist in the Maine Literary Awards Crime Fiction category, SNIPER in 2015, THE FISHERMAN in 2016, and WENDIGO for the 2018 award. The second installment of his Ed Traynor series, MY BROTHER'S KEEPER, was released in July 2019 and is available through all major booksellers. A signed copy can be ordered directly from Vaughn ( RIPPED OFF is his most recently published crime/thriller, it was released on January 25, 2023 by Encircle Publications. He is a veteran of the U. S. Marines and served in Vietnam. He holds degrees from Northern Maine Technical College, the University of Maine and Southern New Hampshire University. He lives in Stockholm, Maine.
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1 Response to The Best Little Known Conference In New England

  1. I agree, it’s a great conference, very affordable and always offers something surprising. I’m signed up.

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