Writers, readers and fans of mysteries, suspense and thrillers – join us for two days at the Granville Island Hotel, a cool boutique hotel surrounded by the great vibes of Granville Island and views of False Creek.

Members of Sisters in Crime – Canada West will benefit from an exclusive advance registration window and significantly reduced registration fees. A discounted registration fee will also be offered to members of Sisters in Crime (national). More details about registration are set out below.

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,
  • an informal no-host gathering the evening before our conference kicks off,
  • ample opportunities to meet and socialize with your tribe during breaks and over lunch,
  • the launch of Canada West’s first anthology, Canada West Crime Wave,
  • our Authors’ Showcase, Saturday evening, at Andina Brewing Company, a cool craft brewery on Powell Street,
  • books to discover, books to buy,
  • a ton of fun.


This is currently a work in progress. However, to assist you with travel plans — the conference will open early on the morning of November 14, 2020 (estimated at: registration at 8:00 a.m., welcome at 8:30 and the first session at 8:45). You’ll have two coffee breaks and a lunch break on Saturday. Our Authors’ Showcase happens at 7:00 p.m. Saturday evening at Andina Brewing Company, a craft brewery.

Sunday sessions will begin at a more reasonable hour (probably 9:00 a.m.) and continue until mid-afternoon, with a short lunch break and at least one coffee break.

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

Our Speakers:

We are in the midst of finalizing arrangements with several of our speakers, and as plans firm up we will post updates here (naming names and describing the speakers’ topics). For now, count on this:

Jan Burke

Photo by Sheri McKinley Photography

Master Class: The Art and Science of Crafting a Mystery

This three-hour master class presented by our featured speaker, Jan Burke, will provide tips on creating a fully-developed protagonist with a personality that can carry a successful novel (and even a series) and will help you understand how tension between characters moves a story forward. You’ll learn about the importance of the two Vs – the villain and the victim. And you’ll learn how to use POV, tone, dialogue, motivation, voice and more to develop an original and believable sleuth, how secondary characters can help define your protagonist, how action, suspense and pacing affects your story and your reader’s level of engagement, and how to create and plant clues and red herrings.

 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.

We are very grateful to Sisters in Crime Speaker’s Bureau for making it possible for us to host Jan Burke.

All About Criminal Investigations

During the conference, you will hear presentations from experts about police procedures (with a focus on homicide and integrated investigations) and forensic investigations. We anticipate that there will be ample time for you to pepper the speakers with your burning questions.

All About the Court/Justice System

Learn about how the Canadian Court/Justice system works from a Judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia who deals with criminal, juvenile and family matters, and a lawyer who regularly represents clients facing criminal charges.

All About Getting and Staying Published

Accomplished members of the publishing community will 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.

We have feelers out to other speakers, so the list may expand.  Stay tuned for updates!


Situations may arise (for example a speaker being delayed in arriving at the event, or having to withdraw from the event) which will require us to make changes to the program, associated events, 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.

The Venues

Granville Island Hotel

All day-time conference sessions will take place at the Granville Island Hotel, situated in the heart of Granville Island, Vancouver’s coolest public market. The hotel is offering a conference rate for guest rooms. Once you register, we’ll send you an email with instructions on how to book a room at the conference rate.

Andina Brewing Company

This popular craft brewery on Powell Street in Vancouver is the site of our evening Author’s Showcase (Saturday, November 14, 2020). Join us in Andina’s spacious production area, a post-industrial 2,000 sf space next to the fermenting tanks and equipment. You will be able to purchase beverages and food items on site.


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 day-time sessions at the Granville Island Hotel
  • coffee, tea and goodies during morning and afternoon breaks,
  • an invitation to meet presenters and other registrants at an informal gathering the evening before the conference begins (details will be distributed by email closer to the event),
  • admission to the Author’s Showcase at Andina Brewing Company (if you are at least 19 years old)
  • if you are a member of Sisters in Crime – Canada West, an opportunity to sell your books at the conference
  • innumerable opportunities to meet and mingle with our speakers and like-minded writers, readers and fans of mysteries


You can join our speakers and other conference registrants for lunch at the hotel by choosing the “conference and lunch” option when you register.

Sunday’s lunch is “on your own” for all participants – Granville Island offers plenty of lunch options, either at restaurants, pubs or in the public market itself.


 Registration fees will be announced when registration opens.


We hope you don’t have to cancel your registration, but we realize that sometimes it is inevitable.

No refunds will be made if you cancel your registration on or after October 1, 2020. For other cancellations, we will provide refunds as follows:

Date Cancellation Notice Received Refund
On or before May 31, 2020 Registration fee less Cdn $35 processing fee
From June 1, 2020 until September 30, 2020 50% of your registration fee