Our Deconstructed Conference

We have “deconstructed” our planned 2020 conference in order to avoid Zoom burn-out for both presenters and registrants. Our featured speaker, Jan Burke, joins us on November 20 and 21, 2020. More details about Jan’s presentations are below.

The balance of our speakers will be presented every six weeks or so, beginning in early January, 2021. If you want to stay updated on the schedule, follow us on social media, or sign up for updates by using the form above. 


We are very grateful to Sisters in Crime, Inc’s Speakers Bureau, for making it possible to host Jan Burke for three events:

November 20, 2020, 6:30 p.m. Pacific time:

Ask Me Anything (About Writing). This is your opportunity to get to know Jan in advance of her presentations the following day, and to ask her how she handles plotting, drafting, revising, writer’s block, fear of rejection, staying motivated when life intrudes, or the thousand other questions you have. We may solicit questions in advance from registered attendees.

November 21, 2020, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Pacific time:

The Essential Triangle – The sleuth, the victim, the villain

What makes a great protagonist? What are some of the considerations you need to bear in mind about your subgenre that may affect choices about your sleuth? What are the “must haves“ concerning any sleuth? Does the victim need to be anything more than a dead body? Should the antagonist be anything more than a creepy dude with a knife? What do you need to keep in mind about these characters and the  tensions between them?

November 21, 2020, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Pacific time:

Clues, Red Herrings and Suspense

What are some of the most basic mistakes writers make concerning suspense? How can you create a suspect who didn’t do it without making a reader immediately say, “Oh, this one didn’t do it!” What are some of the tools you can use to create clues that work? How do challenges with these elements differ based on point of view?

Advance Registration is required for all of Jan Burke’s events. Space is limited to 100 registrants.

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.


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.

Event Policies:

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


All segments of our Deconstructed Conference will be available free of charge. However, you will be required to pre-register for each event and attendance will be limited to the first 100 people to log on to the specific event.

None of the events will be recorded.