Killer Nashville

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Killer Nashville is an annual education and networking convention devoted to writers in the mystery, thriller, suspense and true crime genres. It is produced by volunteers, and open to authors, publishers, editors, and literary agents. It was founded in 2006 by author and filmmaker Clay Stafford.[1] Stafford founded Killer Nashville with three goals in mind: 1) to assist authors starting their careers, 2) to help authors develop a better understanding of the craft, and 3) to ensure that law enforcement and forensics are portrayed in a fair and accurate manner.[2]


The annual conference is held the third full weekend in August in Franklin, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville. The conference draws well-known writers such as Joyce Carol Oates and Walter Mosley, screenwriters, playwrights, filmmakers, fans, literary and film attorneys, editors, agents, and publishers from all over the world.[3]


Killer Nashville's objectives are to assist writers in the mystery, thriller, suspense, and true crime genres to develop a better understanding of the craft. Topics featured and discussed are investigative techniques, verifying crime information, submitting one's manuscript for publication, and portraying law enforcement and forensic science in an accurate manner.[4]


The event features over 70 panel sessions and workshops throughout the conference weekend. Sessions focus on various aspects of the publishing industry including craft,[5] business, legal issues, and marketing/publicity. The conference also hosts numerous panels and workshops on forensics and law enforcement. These sessions are hosted by assorted attorneys, police professionals, physicians, firearms experts, attorney generals, public defenders, health professionals, and members or former members of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, United States Department of Defense, United States Department of the Treasury, United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Central Intelligence Agency. As part of its emphasis on forensics and law enforcement, Killer Nashville features a Mock Crime Scene organized by special agents and other law enforcement professionals. Conference participants are encouraged to try and solve the fictional "murder" throughout the conference weekend.[6] The conference also features an annual awards banquet that celebrates the conference's guests of honor and literary award recipients.[7]


  1. "Killer Nashville Founder Starts Publishing Company". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  2. Folds, Angela. "Killer Nashville conference celebrates suspense writing". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2020-12-04.
  4. "Get Ready for Killer Nashville". Retrieved 2020-12-04.
  5. McBryde, John. "Killer Nashville conference helps writers with their craft, offers professional connections". Williamson Home Page. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  6. "Following The Clues: 'Killer Nashville' Writers Hone Their Craft With A Hands On Whodunit". WPLN News - Nashville Public Radio. 2013-09-10. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  7. "Killer Nashville Claymore Award". The Writer. Retrieved 2020-12-09.

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