Writers, readers and fans of mysteries, suspense and thrillers – join us for our virtual conference over the weekend of November 13-15, 2020!

Members of Sisters in Crime will benefit from reduced registration fees.

Who Should Attend:

  • Writers, at every stage of your career, especially those who focus on crime based fiction,
  • Readers and fans of crime fiction
  • Anyone interested in learning about crime fiction – both the stories and the authors

What to Expect:

  • seminars and panel discussions featuring internationally acclaimed and award-winning novelist Jan Burke, police and investigative professionals, members of the legal community, and publishing and marketing experts,
  • the launch of Canada West’s first anthology, Canada West Crime Wave,
  • our Authors’ Showcase,
  • books to discover, books to buy,
  • a ton of fun.


We’ll post the schedule once it’s finalized. 

Our Speakers:

All About the Craft


Our featured speaker, Jan Burke, will speak about the art and craft of writing a mystery.

Photo by Sheri McKinley Photography

Jan Burke is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She has won the Edgar for Best Novel, and the Agatha, the Macavity, and the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Readers Award for Best Short Story, among other honours. Her books have been published internationally and have been optioned for film and television. She is the author of over thirty short stories. Jan’s work in nonfiction includes serving as the associate editor (with Sue Grafton) for MWA’s Handbook, Writing Mysteries. Her forensic science and criminal justice columns appear in Sisters in Crime’s InSinC Quarterly. For more about Jan Burke and her books, click here.

All About Criminal Investigations


You’ll learn about police procedures, with a focus on homicide investigations from SERGEANT GORD REID, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. There will be ample time for questions.

During his years with the RCMP Sergeant Gord Reid has worked General Duty, Youth Section, Drugs, Vice and Sex Crimes, and has been a member of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team and the Integrated Proceeds of Crime Section. Ten years ago he transferred to the Serious Crimes Section in North Vancouver and for the last three years has managed Professional Responsibility within the detachment. Sgt. Reid grew up in Quebec, travelled extensively (both after high school and after university), and worked as a teacher before joining the RCMP. In addition to travelling, he enjoys reading, listening to music, and socializing.


You’ll learn about forensic procedures from SERGEANT JONATHAN P.R. SHELDAN, M.O.M., a member of a British Columbia municipal police department. He has promised to leave plenty of time for questions.

Sergeant Jonathan Sheldan is currently in his twenty-eighth year of police service with a municipal department in British Columbia. He served as a Forensic Identification Specialist from 2001 to 2011 and returned to Forensic Services as the Sergeant in charge of both the Forensic Identification Services and Integrated Tech Crimes Units in 2017. Sergeant Sheldan has experience as an Integrated unit Homicide Detective from 2011 until 2016; and as a Patrol Road Supervisor (2016/17). Prior to his Law Enforcement career, Sergeant Sheldan was a Captain in the Canadian Armed Forces serving as an Armoured Officer.

All About the Justice System

Learn about the Canadian justice system (with a focus on criminal matters) from JEFFREY RAY, Q.C., a defence lawyer, and LAURA BAKAN, P.C.J., a Judge of the British Columbia Provincial Court.

Laura Bakan, P.C.J. — After thirty-one years as a civil litigator, Ms. Bakan finally became Honourable, joining the British Columbia Provincial Court as a judge in 2015. She hears criminal, family, child protection and civil matters.

Jeffrey Ray, Q.C. represents clients charged with a variety of criminal offences. He also provides advice to individuals facing criminal investigations or criminal charges. In addition, he has represented small and medium sized businesses engaged in quasi-criminal regulatory investigations.  He has appeared in all levels of court including the Supreme Court of Canada on both Conviction and Sentence Appeals, and often provides advice to other counsel on appeal matters.

All About Getting and Staying Published

Learn from accomplished members of the publishing community as they share tips about what writers can do to secure a publishing contract and, once an author is published (either traditionally or indie) what she can and should do to keep her books in the public eye and on the “must-read list” of crime fiction lovers everywhere. In alphabetical order, our panelists are CRYSTAL (C.J.) HUNT, JENNIFER SOMMERSBY, and GORDON WARNOCK.

Crystal (C.J.) Hunt ( is a writer, creative mastermind, health psychologist, productivity geek, and strategic authorpreneur who has 40+ published books to her various writing names. She is passionate about helping writers embrace technology and succeed in the brave new world of indie publishing. She writes non-fiction for writers as Crystal Hunt, contemporary romance as CJ Hunt, and kids books as Crystal Stranaghan and various pen names. She has helped hundreds of books through the publication process over the past 15 years, and held leadership positions in numerous writing organizations. Crystal is also the co-founder of the Creative Academy for Writers (, and co-host of the Strategic Authorpreneur Podcast (

Jennifer Sommersby is, among other things, a collector of elephants, a Superman freak, a wearer of tattoos, an author, a Shakespeare nerd, and a copy and line editor. She lives in Coquitlam with her darling husband and kids and two Very Spoiled Tuxedo Cats.

Gordon Warnock, Partner at Fuse Literary, works with New York Times bestsellers and debut authors alike, representing high-concept suspense, psychological thrillers, and graphic novels. His clients include Amber Cowie (Loss Lake), Steena Holmes (The Perfect Secret), and Kerry Lonsdale (Last Summer). He is a helicopter dog parent and lives in an island fortress off the coast of Vancouver., @gordonwarnock


Situations may arise (for example a speaker having to withdraw from the event) which will require us to make changes to the program and/or speakers. We reserve the right to make changes to the conference at any time without notice.

Other Conference Policies:

 Our Conference Policies (including our conduct guidelines and cancellation policy), are available for review here.


Sisters in Crime (national) Members and Members of Sisters in Crime – Canada West will be eligible for discounts on the registration fee for the conference.

To qualify for the Sisters in Crime (national) discount you must be a member in good standing of Sisters in Crime (national) at the time you register. Membership will be verified.

To qualify for the Sisters in Crime – Canada West discount you must be a member in good standing of both Sisters in Crime (national) and the Canada West chapter at the time you register. Membership will be verified.

The conference registration fee covers the following:

  • admission to all presentations and online events
  • if you are a member of Sisters in Crime – Canada West, an opportunity to sell your books at the conference


We hope you don’t have to cancel your registration, but we realize that sometimes it is inevitable. Please review our cancellation policy here.