A New Conference in Town

This Aug. 12-13, Gotham Writers will launch a brand new Genre Fiction Conference, which will focus on writing and selling novels in the genres of mystery, horror, science fiction and fantasy. I may be biased, having worked at Gotham for so long, but this conference looks fabulous. What follows is a Q&A with Stuart Pennebaker, Director, Publishing Guidance, Gotham Writers.

1. Tell us about Gotham’s new genre conference. 

Gotham’s genre conference brings together some of the top writers, editors and agents working in the genre space, including keynote speaker Ken Liu, panelists Paul Tremblay, George Jreije and Peng Shepherd, as well as incredible pitching opportunities with top-selling agents. We’re really excited to be able to focus on genre fiction (fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thriller, horror) in this way and are counting down the days to the conference! 

2. What makes it different from other conferences?

Great question! It’s on Zoom which makes it less pricey than other conferences– no plane tickets necessary, though we are offering a couple of in-person pitching tables for folks local to NYC. We’re also offering a mix of craft and practical instruction. You’ll hear from writers such as Kemi Ashing-Giwa on how to build worlds with inherent stakes, but we’re also offering a panel on how to navigate pre-query research. We think it’s important that conference participants leave the conference with actionable skills they can put to use as soon as the panels end. 

3. Why will mystery writers want to go?

There will be can’t-miss panels featuring mystery authors such as yourself! The way we run our pitching roundtables is also really beneficial for mystery writers. Each roundtable will have two agents who specialize in that roundtable’s field (either Mystery/Thriller/Horror or SciFi/Fantasy) and up to eight writers with book projects in that field. So you’ll be presenting your work to agents who have experience selling Mystery novels and series.

4. Sounds great! How do I sign up?

We’d love to have you join us! You can learn more and sign up here.

Susan Breen is the author of the Maggie Dove mystery series. Her stories have been published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. The MWA anthology, Crime Hits Home, in which she has a story, just won an Anthony Award. She teaches novel-writing at Gotham Writers and is on the staff of the New York Write to Pitch Conference. www.susanjbreen.com


  1. Oh this sounds great! Gotham got me started in this whole writing business. They are a great resource for writers all around.

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