What is Bouchercon?
Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, celebrates the mystery genre. It is the largest annual meeting in the world for mystery lovers. The convention program includes panel discussions, lectures, and other presentations by mystery writers and experts on the genre, covering all aspects of mystery fiction, thrillers, detective stories, suspense novels, and more. Bouchercon is held in cities across North America and, twice so-far, in England.
The 2009 Bouchercon will take place in Indianapolis, Indiana, following Baltimore, Maryland (2008), Anchorage, Alaska (2007), Madison, Wisconsin (2006), Chicago, Illinois (2005) and Toronto, Ontario (2004). The 2009 Bouchercon will represent the 40th time mystery lovers have convened at this event. Sites for 2010 (San Francisco) and 2011 (St. Louis) were selected at a meeting held during Bouchercon 2008 in Baltimore, October 9-12, 2008.
Who attends Bouchercon?
Bouchercon is a convention for mystery lovers. Among the 1500 or so folks who attend Bouchercon (on average), you can expect to find about 400- 500 published writers (from the biggest names in the business to the just-published first novelist). Also attending are many librarians, booksellers, and publishing professionals (agents, editors, publicists. etc.), but the large majority of attendees are readers and fans. Though the program includes some professional development opportunities for writers (both published and aspiring), Bouchercon is, first and foremost, a fan conference, run by fans for fans.
The Indianapolis Bouchercon committee expects that about 2000 people will participate in the 2009 event, traveling here from across the country and around the world. Bouchercon 2009 will also include a track of programming for younger readers, inviting school groups, scout troops, and families to hear presentations from today's top writers of young adult and children's mysteries. This will be the first time that a Bouchercon will include sessions specifically for younger readers and their families. Read more on the Special Events page.
What happens at a Bouchercon?
Bouchercon takes place over a four-day weekend, Thursday through Sunday. The daytime hours (from approximately 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and from 9:00 a.m. - noon on Sunday), are broken up into hourly sessions separated by half-hour breaks, during which authors sign books. During each session, attendees normally have three to five choices of programs to choose from. Types of programs include panel discussions on specific aspects of the genre, lectures, classes, demonstrations, book discussion groups, interviews, and more.
During the evening hours, there are a variety of special events. One popular special event is an auction that includes the chance to bid on cameo appearances in forthcoming books by bestselling writers. Auction proceeds are normally given to a local literacy group in the host city.
Individuals registered for Bouchercon also nominate and vote on the Anthony Awards, one of the genre's most prestigious awards.
The 2009 Bouchercon will include special events throughout central Indiana, including programs at some of our area's most popular and outstanding venues. Sessions are scheduled for the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the rotunda of Indiana's state house building, the Indianapolis City Market, and more. We will also be scheduling a very special pre-conference event on Wednesday, October 14 at the Lilly Library on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, where attendees will have an opportunity to see many unique items of astonishing significance, including an original, handwritten manuscript of a Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. See the Special Events page.
What does the registration price cover?
Registration for Bouchercon includes admission to all regular program sessions, a copy of the program book (which includes biographies of the hundreds of writers and other presenters at the event), and participation in the Anthony Awards process. Some special events, such as meals and trips away from the main convention site, have an extra cost.
Most people register for the meeting as a whole. In some years, single-day registration is available; this is determined by each year's committee.
Basic registration for the 2009 Bouchercon in Indianapolis is $150. Go to the Registration page to register.
The pre-conference trip to the Lilly Library will be $60, which includes transportation and lunch. (The Lilly Library trip will be limited to 75 participants; please register early to avoid disappointment.)
The committee plans to offer a reduced price for students and families attending the children's programming only, and single-day registrations for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday if space is available. Stay tuned for details.